Risk Reduction

Recalls can be catastrophic and lead to reputation damage, high expense, lost market share, lawsuits, federal prosecution, and bankruptcy. Thus, a vital objective for world-class organizations is to reduce risk by minimizing or eliminating recalls. Minimizing recalls is a long-term benefit for identifying most, if not all, issues or defects prior to delivery to customers. It is also vital to track all relevant procurement, production, and logistics activities for regulatory and customer compliance and product genealogy traceability.

Manpower, material, method, and machine (4M) monitoring and controls are required to reduce recalls. The appropriate, authorized, and trained personnel must be involved with all relevant shop floor activities. Quality checks need to be in place to ensure inbound materials meet requirements, specifications, and quality parameters before use. These checks also help to reduce the chances of using counterfeit and pirated materials/products in production. Methods must be monitored and followed for all significant procurement, production, quality, and logistics processes. For instance, if the correct production sequences are not followed and quality parameters are not met; production can automatically be stopped. Machine and equipment need to be optimized for maximum uptime, speed, and output quality. As a result, organizations can strive for variation free throughput that consistently meets regulatory and customer requirements.

End-To-End Visibility

Despite an organization’s best efforts to obtain zero defects; recalls may still take place. Tracking and tracing inbound (procurement) and outbound (shipping) activities are not sufficient. Thus, it is important to track and record all relevant activities for receiving materials, manufacturing, and storing/shipping finished goods. This end-to-end visibility improves an organization’s credibility, brand, and regulatory/customer compliance. It can also improve procurement, production, and logistics via insights from the collected data. Finally, end-to-end visibility helps to contain recalls and reduce the corresponding liabilities, fines, and warranty cost.

Once there is a recall, the short-term goal is to reduce scope and cost by quickly tracing finished products back to raw materials and vice versa with automation. This is a difficult task to accomplish with manual traceability. During this process, one can quickly determine if the issue resides at the raw material, WIP, or finished good level for all involved parties. The issue could also be at the machine/equipment and/or production line levels on a particular day or series of days. All affected materials, WIP, and finished goods in stock, in production, in transit, and with customers; must be recalled once the issue is validated.

Traceability via SMI Consulting Technologies

SMI Consulting Technologies helps enterprises minimize recalls with 4M controls and quickly resolve them via product traceability. Relevant quality, procurement, production, logistics, and validation actions are tracked and captured by scanning barcodes and/or RFIDs at various intervals. Information stored include suppliers, manufacturers, facilities, production lines, production dates, lot/batch/serial numbers, and expiration dates. Likewise, when a raw material, component, or finished good is subjected to a recall; the barcodes and/or RFIDs are used to access the relevant stored information. This information allows forward and backward traces to eventually identify root cause(s) to help resolve the recall.

SMI Consulting Technologies also assists enterprises with increasing their revenue and/or profit. We encourage suppliers and manufacturers to utilize our 4M controls and traceability; even if they are not mandated by their customers. These recommendations increase the organizations’ trust, performance, and relationships with their downstream customers. They also help these enterprises, relative to their competitors, maintain or acquire more sales volume. For instance, we implemented traceability for a $7B+ Tier 1 supplier. This allowed the company to either maintain or grow its market share with global OEMs in highly competitive markets.

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