The need for manufacturing traceability is increasing globally as commercial pressures grow to meet regulatory requirements. By mitigating the risk of product recalls, reducing manufacturing costs, and quality controlling end-to-end traceability of processes, organizations can reduce inefficiencies across the supply chain.

The key purpose of traceable manufacturing is its ability to help manufacturers easily determine when a problem occurred and its associated details. It takes two forms. The first is known as product tracking, which is the capability to follow the path of a specified unit of a product through the supply chain as it moves between organizations. Products are routinely tracked for obsolescence, inventory management, and logistical purposes.

The second form, product tracing, is the capability to identify the origin of a particular unit and/or batch of product located within the supply chain by reference to records held upstream in the supply chain. Batch segregation helps in sorting out problems because when you determine which batch is bad, you only have to get rid of that single batch rather than destroying all of the products. This helps companies save on resources. Products are traced for purposes such as product recall and investigating complaints.

It’s important to have a set process in place for handling customer complaints in an orderly and composed fashion. This type of process can act as a “warning system” that there may be an issue with a product in terms of design, materials, etc. This will help you remain aware of any issues at hand and effectively communicate them to customers who’d be affected by the mistakes. Traceable product recalls help consumers identify if the product they purchased is subject to recall. It also can help retailers determine which supplier sent them the recalled product or give inspectors a heads-up.

So, why is this so important in this industry? It is a critical requirement in manufacturing for several reasons. The first is the need to comply with regulation. Another vital factor is the need for companies to better manage customer relationships. By using it to reduce the time required to react to customer complaints, for example, organizations can typically ensure higher levels of customer satisfaction.

Traceability enables organizations to guarantee the origin of a product or raw material. As such, it also allows companies to reduce risks by quickly searching impacted products and removing them from the marketplace as and when required.

It also helps organizations enhance the quality of the process and, as a direct result, the quality of the service or solution they are developing. It also helps companies improve the efficiency and pertinence of quality controls, while simultaneously reducing costs by minimizing non-conformities (deviations from specifications, standards, or expectations).

The time is right for manufacturing companies to recognize that implementing traceability will identify the weak elements of the production system and also become an important tool for continuous improvement. When internal controls are tightened, the risks of defects escaping or entering the system will be significantly reduced.

The importance of manufacturing traceability is clear, but do you understand the importance of Product Inspection Services? Similar to most things in life, it comes with misconceptions. Click here to debunk 4 common misconceptions about Product Inspection Services!

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