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An organization’s ability to identify and track issues on the production floor is an important competitive advantage that can greatly increase its profitability and, deliver a significant return on investment year after year. Proactively spotting issues as they occur on the shop floor is a key ingredient paperless quality process. It is however quite surprising to know that some manufacturing companies still depend on paper-based quality management processes.

Paperless quality system enables shop floor employees spend less time on the preparation and collection of work instructions, work orders, checklists and quality data forms. Companies who face the additional demands of strict compliance standards, short manufacturing lead times, and stiff cost competition are able to eliminate the problems and put a company on the path to success.

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The following are some benefits of paperless quality initiatives:

  • Systematic Dissemination of Critical Data Across all Facilities

A paperless process improvement & quality management culture enables a systematic way of evaluating incoming data to make effective decisions much sooner than paper-based approach. Managers are able to get a holistic view of the enterprise that results in improved quality due to instant access to data from all company locations.

Paperless approach enables elimination of redundant processes which in turn boots productivity, reduces labor costs, and ensures consistency of operation. A database eliminates the need for double entry of data and eliminates risk for errors.

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  • Improved  Revision Processes

Change on a continuous basis often takes place on the production floor. These changes (engineering changes, process changes and updates to industry standards) require consistent tracking. The tracking process using Paper-based approaches often slows workflow and hinders quality and effective process improvement.

A paperless solution eliminates such slowness which are often in the form of paper documentation and/or legacy systems for build history, as-built data collection, non-conformance processing, and tool recording. Revision control with real-time query compared with manual search for objective evidence of change saves valuable production hours. Document revision control minimizes risk of products built to prior versions.

Automated processes and improvement of efficiency are enabled using a paperless solution. Online work instructions can easily be updated in order to ensure completeness. Detailed inspection and shop work instructions with attachments, variable and attribute data collection, documentation and workflow management of nonconforming material can be utilized by shop floor personnel using a paperless approach.

Visibility into inspection process and inspection documentation history enables manufacturing and quality teams to work together in order to ensure greater control of the manufacturing process, helping to immediately identify potential for costly errors without slowing down production.

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  • Training Control

It enables effortless tracking of training activities and requirements for personnel. Objective evidence of job skill training, machinery and process skills and industry skills such as FAA, FDA, AS9100, & EASA are available within the system to ensure customer and regulatory compliance.

All necessary quality and/or process improvement data are validated and maintained in electronic formats and are visible throughout the enterprise. Access level controls simplify approval process and provide necessary security for sensitive data. Complete digital traceability within the system are enabled within a paperless system, including comprehensive product documentation history which ensures audit readiness.

Automate your process, mitigate risks in real-time and avoid costly mistakes by implementing paperless quality within your organization. If you are looking to improve efficiencies in your processes in order to ensure consistent profitability through customer’s value creation, check out the following:

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About the Author

Adebayo is a thought leader in continuous process improvement and manufacturing excellence. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CSSMBB) Professional and Management Systems Lead Auditor (ISO 9001, 45001, ISO 22000/FSSC 22000 etc.) with strong experience leading various continuous improvement initiative in top manufacturing organizations. 

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