Why Quality Assurance is Indispensable in the Logistics Sector
With e-commerce and virtual marketplaces gaining popularity, the logistics industry has emerged as a critical connecting point between the seller and the buyer. In addition to its growing importance in the B2C segment, the logistics industry’s traditional role in the B2B value chain continues to grow at a breakneck pace.
The logistics operator is an important cog in the well-oiled wheel of any supply chain. It includes transportation of raw materials from various sources to the manufacturers’ factories and finished goods to various warehouses. From here, the logistics industry continues to play a role in reaching the goods to different channel partners, outlets, and end customers.
All this needs well-designed coordination to ensure that the product is delivered on time, without damage to the goods, to the right place. Again, quality assurance plays a critical role in ensuring that best practices are followed in moving the product from one place to another.
Intricate Operations in Logistics Management
Logistics operations are very intricate with many sources and many destinations. Its management activities include:
- Logistics network design,
- Inbound and outbound transportation management,
- Fleet management,
- Warehousing, materials handling, order fulfillment,
- Packaging and assembly
- Management of third-party logistics services providers and suppliers
Often when logistics is outsourced to a third-party vendor, it adds complexity to the processes of receiving and delivering goods.
To ensure that all these activities happen smoothly and seamlessly, quality management and assurance are crucial. They enhance the dependability of the logistics service provider, on which rests a manufacturer or service provider’s reputation for quality and timely delivery, within projected costs.
Quality Assurance: An ISO Perspective
ISO defines Quality Assurance as:
“The assembly of all planned and systematic actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that a product, process, or service will satisfy given quality requirements.”
Quality assurance ensures an organization’s ability to meet the requirements of their customers while complying with the statutory and regulatory requirements. It facilitates improving customer satisfaction and identify and address risks and opportunities associated with its context and objectives. Finally, businesses implementing a quality management system for quality assurance demonstrate their ability to conform to specified quality management system requirements.
Some of the aspects of quality assurance include:
- Auditing by an independent quality assurance auditor
- Document control and management including GxP documents, SOPs, specs, and work instructions to provide timely access to the Logistics Value Chain personnel
- Appropriate training for all employees across the logistics value chain to discharge their duties, to comply with processes and SOPs
- Track and monitor quality events and take corrective action
- Capture trends, perform root cause analysis, and prevent their recurrence
- Lower costs and prevent delays in delivery
Automating Quality Assurance in Logistics Management
Logistics Quality Management encompasses quality Assurance, quality Control, and quality management and provides the benefits of:
- Improvement in processes
- Increasing productivity
- Enhancing customer satisfaction
- Lowering costs
- Ensuring timely delivery
Given the complexity of logistics operations, involving multiple points of contact, manual systems will often fail, causing confusion and delays. Automating quality management in logistics can improve visibility into processes across the value chain, making tracking and monitoring easier to minimize events.
ComplianceQuest provides a cloud-based Enterprise-wide Quality Management System aligned with ISO 9001 to help logistics operators manage quality control and quality assurance. A complete integrated tool, it supports organizations in collecting, collating and managing their safety and quality information and is aligned with the following regulations:
- ISO 9001:2015
- ISO 14001
- ISO 18001/45001
- ISO 31000
- FTA 2019
CQ’s Quality Management solution for the logistics sector includes the following next-generation capabilities:
- Metrics and Reporting: Standardize, track and report on all performance data in real-time by adding metadata such as Human Factors, Drug & Alcohol Testing, Keywords, Risk Ratings, and FTEs. The configurable dashboards in the solution provide transparency while generating reports for clients, regulatory agencies or the Board. With continuous improvement, lower insurance costs and improve ROI on your Safety Program.
- Integrate and Reduce Silos: Collect data from across the company and report from all sources to demonstrate the continuous improvement of your quality and safety program.
- Quality Assurance Across the Lifecycle: Manage the full audit lifecycle by providing auditors with checklists and online or offline references to complete their work and produce the audit report at the click of a button. The same workflow also facilitates the process of managing external and third-party audits.
- Event & Hazard Reporting: Improve quality and safety culture and awareness by allowing proactive and reactive reporting of quality (and safety) events. Empower the employees to collect and disseminate information on adverse events, failed controls and barriers, and near misses and ideas. Seamlessly share experiences from across the organization. Automate reporting to regulatory agencies.
- Corrective/Preventative Actions: It facilitates taking quick corrective action in case of any event and implement preventive measures to prevent any recurrence.
- Root and Causal Analysis: It enables root cause analysis to identify the true cause and address it as needed. It is possible to assign and manage investigators, standardize their workflow, and track their progress, activities and results from within the system. ComplianceQuest also offers a Next-Gen ‘5 Why’ Root Cause Analysis Dashboard for Effective Problem Solving.
- Quality Control: The ComplianceQuest EQMS provides online/offline tools to reduce or capture errors and manage third party operations. It includes digital and recordable workflows for Permit to Work, training/certification records and LOTO protocols. Checklists for inspections, pre-use of equipment, Tool Box Talks, inventory, change management, maintenance, and procedures are some of the other features helping with quality control.
In addition, the scalable EQMS solution from ComplianceQuest facilitates audit management, document management, training, CAPA, root cause analysis, change management, management review, and risk management. It is integrated with the ComplianceQuest Safety Management Solution, providing customers with the convenience of managing their quality and safety from within a single platform.
With ComplianceQuest EQMS, it is easy to identify and define key performance indicators (KPIs) across the supply chain and track/monitor their performance for continuous improvement.
To know how the ComplianceQuest quality management system can help with quality assurance of your logistics operations and improve productivity, quality and safety, contact us now: https://www.compliancequest.com/contact-us/