Traceability in manufacturing always makes the headlines. We have all read how the certain manufacturers in the automotive industry had to recall cars due to their quality problems.
You can just imagine how devastating it must be to find out that a product you have been shipping for years is subject to a recall for a quality defect. The manufacturers will be pressuring you for a solution as quickly as possible and you are going to need to access information fast. You will need reliable traceability software.
The first step in damage control for the manufacturer would be to completely understand the underlying cause of the problem. Many times the fault lies in one of parts used to manufacture the product. In that case, strong tracing functionality can be the difference between recalling millions vs. recalling thousands or less.
With a traceability system, you have a way to track problem goods from the customer, all the way back to the supplier who sent the parts.
There are a variety of ways to achieve traceability, including manually on paper, by using electronic spreadsheets, or through the use of a production control system like ProgressPlus. In any case, some important steps that must be taken.
Track Materials When Received
The first step begins when the raw materials are purchased and received. At that time the material is delivered it must be entered communicated to your ERP system. This communication can take many forms such as a vendor supplied advance shipping notice, bar coded labels or packing slips.
Use an inventory control system to keep the materials separated from each other. This separation must be built into the system and cause minimal burden to the user.
As an example, a warehouse inventory location can contain many lots of the same material but they all need to be listed by first in, first out and accessible for allocation or back flushing individually.
Track Materials Through Production
It is important that you have a system that generates and assign a job number to the products being produced in real time. All levels of products including sub-assemblies will be assigned job numbers during production. A new raw material job number is needed when a machine restarts or even operator changes. As a rule, the more often job numbers are changed the more granular the job traceability will be making it easier to pinpoint critical information.
Track Goods To Customer
The last step occurs during production reporting finished goods being delivers to the customer. It contains all kinds of information about the transactions including both job number and raw material codes. This creates the ability to query the transaction log to cross reference.
Incorporating these three steps during the normal production reporting and inventory transaction process will provide you with bulletproof and pain-free manufacturing traceability systems.
ProgressPlus provides best in class traceability software for manufacturing which can help ease the job tracking burden for your company. With our manufacturing traceability software, you can be assured your information is available quickly and accurately.