While impact of pandemic continues to stay with the emergence of new variants, manufacturers need to make a proactive approach to pace up with upcoming trends. They should rather take a leap to achieve operation excellence with new technological solutions, especially cloud based EQMS solutions, while mitigating risks and overcoming business challenges.
The manufacturing industry had been quite challenging in 2021, and the year 2022 may not be much different, as supply chain issues and shortages still exist.
Businesses must stay ahead of industry trends and keep up with the competition by embracing technology innovation. Nevertheless, manufacturers need to be agile and find ways to adapt to the demands of their customers.
In today’s article, we explore six trends’ companies should watch in the coming year based on manufacturing audits.
Address operational data gaps
Due to the uncertain supply chain, inventory management has proven more difficult than usual. In one out of four cases, manufacturers cannot align their production schedules with material availability, and a third is having trouble maintaining inventory levels.
However, inventory control problems don’t just point to market instabilities; they illustrate the cost of running an organization where it’s hard to extract real-time insights from business data.
In a recent survey of manufacturers in North America, it is estimated that a more significant share of businesses is having difficulty gathering business data. At the same time, many don’t trust the information generated.
Manufacturers need to enhance data connectivity and trustworthiness in 2022 to improve decision-making across the business. Data quality must be prioritized if organizations are to remain competitive. It is why manufacturers want to have access to real-time performance data by 2022.
Setting up remote audits
In the wake of the pandemic in 2020, many manufacturers began performing remote audits. It is valid for regulatory audits, and surveillance audits under ISO standards and supplier audits.
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There are many benefits to conducting a remote audit rather than a traditional audit. Their efficiency and reduced staffing requirements make them more cost-effective. We gain a lot more efficiency by providing documentation for review in advance rather than finding requested documents onsite.
You should make sure you have your documentation available for easy sharing. For example, having documents like internal audit results and corrective actions available in electronic format is much more convenient since it only requires a few clicks to assemble and download them.
Reducing supply chain risks
Several industries are expected to suffer shortages in 2022 as needs continue across the board. To fill orders, plants will often have to expand their supplier base, introducing quality uncertainty into their process.
Manufacturing companies can mitigate supply chain risks through plant floor audits by:
- Conducting layered audits such as LPAs to ensure crucial inputs, such as materials, are checked more frequently.
- Inspecting error-proofing devices to make sure the devices correctly detect defective components.
- Maximizing profitability by minimizing scrap.
Plant floor inspections with evidence
Manufacturing companies should utilize audit trails and other forms of evidence more in 2022.
Using audit evidence to improve plant floor checks, what are some of the different ways you can do so?
- Whenever an audit finding or question is failed, auditors must attach the relevant records.
- Including more options on what auditors will look at to answer a question, such as a photo or description of the equipment or material to be inspected.
- When validating that the equipment measurements are Out of Tolerance, identify and define what is acceptable and what isn’t.
- Uploading an image as proof that the audit occurred at the plant
Identifying and addressing ongoing staffing issues
The manufacturing skills gap could leave more than two million unfilled jobs by the end of the decade, reports the National Association of Manufacturers. While most manufacturers have recovered from job losses caused by the pandemic in 2020, more than three out of four anticipate continuing difficulties retaining employees.
It can’t be ignored that this impacts quality, and plants must use all their tools to avoid a negative impact on customers. Adding more plant floor checks can help ensure standards, regardless of whether a new hire is working in a different area.
Since factory orders are up 17.2% over last year, these checks will be imperative to balancing production and quality at a time when staffing is limited. Therefore, assessments such as LPAs are especially crucial, allowing plants to:
- Minimize human error by verifying key inputs.
- Analyze training requirements.
- Ensure employees have the necessary tools and support by engaging with them one-on-one.
Increasing use of cloud software
Approximately 85% of companies will adopt cloud-first approaches by 2025, with cloud software becoming ubiquitous during this period. As a result, there is no doubt that cloud-based software and mobile apps will play a significant role in manufacturing audits.
Cloud-driven audit applications offer several advantages over traditional auditing, including:
- Generate email notifications for audits and assign audits.
- Act in response to audit findings to resolve systemic issues faster.
- Monitor quality risks in real-time with real-time reports.
- Control LPAs, safety inspections, 5S audits, and plant floor checks all through a single platform.
The skills shortage in manufacturing is expected to continue to be plagued by pandemic-related trends into 2022, such as remote audits and supply chain bottlenecks. These trends directly affect manufacturing audits, which emphasize the need for more frequent check-ins and technology improvements to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Cloud-based solutions like Qualityze EQMS Software for Manufacturing provide simple solutions that will help you handle audits more efficiently and get a better understanding of your most critical risks.
Based on the Salesforce.com platform, Qualityze EQMS Suite provides the best quality and compliance management system for compliance, regulatory, and process management that is easily configured, scalable, and intuitive for all users to use. Organizations can use Qualityze to manage quality, compliance, and regulatory issues, as well as develop and maintain quality policies, procedures, and programs that optimize their day-to-day operations.
To obtain more information or receive a free demonstration of Qualityze EQMS Suite, please get in touch with our customer success team at 1 877 207-8616 or email@example.com.