Edward Deming has a number of famous quotes about data (like the one above). Another famous Deming quote is;
In God We Trust: All Others Bring Data
Market Drivers For Complete Supply Chain Data
It seems that everyone (you, industry regulators and even consumers) want to know the following information about your supply chain, which, in turn, has produced one of the three market drivers.
- Inbound Quality From Direct Suppliers (Visibility) – The quality of the inbound ingredients used in product as defined by the supplier’s certificate of analysis to drive operational improvement.
- Inbound Visibility From The Supply Chain (Traceability) – The source of the inbound ingredients from the direct supplier as defined by the COA or COC from every supply chain partner to drive regulatory compliance.
- Inbound Visibility From The Source (Transparency) – The original source of the raw ingredients used in the finished goods.
While there are subtle differences between these market driven requirements, they can all be satisfied with inbound supplier quality. This includes both ingredient and material quality and supplier quality processes.
Visibility – Direct Material Inbound Quality Drives Operational Efficiency
Supplier quality data drives operational efficiency. By ensuring that every inbound shipment from every supplier shipping location to each production facility meets your specification, a manufacturer can realize many financial benefits including;
- Reduced pre-production inventory – No longer does a manufacturer have to put inbound materials or ingredients on a quality hold if they know that every inbound lot meets their specification. The manufacturer can implement skip lot testing as a means to ensure that the supplier continues to conform to specification.
- Meet demand variability – With the ability to efficiently schedule inbound materials, a manufacturer can better schedule its production activities based on variation in demand. It may be time to look at that predictive analytics project you have always wanted to do…
- Less rework / improved efficiency – Knowing that your supplier’s ingredients or materials meets your specification before it enters your inventory results in higher quality and less rework.
Traceability – Inbound Material Accountability Drives Regulatory Compliance
FSMA continues to change based on market conditions and consumer behavior. Allergens, genomic testing and foreighn verification are the latest additions to the information you need to gather from suppliers. Each requires extensive supplier documentation across corporate, production facility and material quality metrics for both process and finished good quality.
Having the supplier’s electronic COA (eCOA) easily accessible, in addition to the supplier’s signoff of the specification, allows you to more easily comply with these regulations. The eCOA can provide the documentation that keeps you in compliance with your industry regulations.
Transparency – Supply Chain Mapping Engenders Consumer Trust
Consumers continue to demand more and more transparency information about their purchases. Whether it is driven from a greater social consciousness or by a medical condition, consumers want to know that all of the ingredients or materials used for the goods they purchase. This market driven transparency level is unprecedented, and requires systems to track this information.
There is evidence, though, that people are willing to pay a premium for goods that have these characteristics that can be proven. Consumer facing corporate applications, therefore, need to have access to the entire supply chain bill of material so that they verify to the consumer that their products meet their needs.
Having this information creates brand trust. By demonstrating that you systemically know your extended supply chain partners, you can demonstrate to your consumers that you understand their concerns and are addressing them.
How Do You Do Get This Data?
The framework to collect this information must have the following characteristics:
- Ability to connect multiple tiers of suppliers with the products they provide along the supply chain.
- Ingredient specifications that track characteristics from the finished good to the source.
- Ongoing validation testing to ensure that suppliers are not counterfeiting or substituting substandard ingredients into the process.
GSQA can be the cornerstone application for this information. By combining GSQA ingredient quality data with other application data, either from within your operations or third party risk assessment data, you have all of the tools to be able to assess and manage risk.