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At ComplianceQuest, we recently published a whitepaper titled “Gearing up to restart shop floor operations? Here’s a checklist for manufacturing leaders”. In this paper, we suggested a 4-step approach to drive digital transformation of your factory operations.

The steps include the following:

  1. Conducting a gap analysis
  2. Identifying specific workflow improvements that are needed
  3. Shop floor data integrated with the entire ERP, EQMS and EHS system that’ll drive connected automation across operations, quality and health & safety requirements
  4. Continuous Improvement, taking advantage of predictive analytics and proactive measures

In this blog, we share a checklist for Step #3 that’ll help plant heads and quality leaders with choosing the right EQMS and EHS that’ll drive collaboration and ensure customization of workflows is easy.

Automation of shop floor operations, with a focus on data using a cloud-based EQMS and EHS

In Step #3, our focus is to enhance our internal shop floor operations. Quality and Safety management processes (including health and environment-related tasks) have to be designed. In today’s scenario, it is a no-brainer to adopt a cloud-based product to automate these processes.

It makes life extremely easy for quality and safety leaders for the following reasons:

  1. Scalability and Flexibility of the product, which can scale as the business scales
  2. Ease of integration with other ERP and CRM systems
  3. Easy access to data – on the mobile, through dashboards, etc.
  4. Easier to maintain, upgrade and keep secure

A cloud-based system is also designed for remote audits, remote inspection tracking, and easy connectivity between different apps. For example, ComplianceQuest’s Workplace Safety and Supplier Readiness Apps (part of our Work.com Solution) are designed for reopening. But these apps are also designed for the long-term. They connect seamlessly with our QHSE (EQMS and EHS) system.

Our QHSE (EQMS + EHS) makes it easy for quality and safety leaders to do the following:

  1. Remote audit management
  2. Change management
  3. CAPA
  4. Incident reporting and management
  5. Document management
  6. Risk management
  7. Environmental Aspects and Impacts
  8. Permit Management

Each of these solutions is connected to each other and other systems in the shop floor. If your factory is Industry 4.0 ready and equipped with IoT-based sensors for automated data capture – it will be much easier to keep track of data (from machines and shop floor operations). Ideally, manual data entry must be avoided and automated processes must be set up. Plant heads can use this opportunity to continuously improve their digital transformation methodologies, one step at a time.

Additionally, in some manufacturing companies, shop floor is optimized only for quality, efficiency, and productivity. It may not have the necessary safety systems in place. This is a critical aspect to keep in mind: safety and quality have to go hand-in-hand. A mishap or accident is an expensive way to learn about the importance of safety management.

Manufacturing leaders and plant heads must also be involved at a strategic level in sourcing and inventory management. A top-down strategy for shop floor operations may not work in the new normal. Insights from shop floor operations can become a critical input to strategy formulation. Which part of the supply chain is reducing productivity? Which machines or lines are increasing manufacturing costs? All this data must feed into your overall ERP and quality management system to result in strategic insights.

The new normal also calls for in-factory social distancing norms, reduced workforce capacity and even renewal of training for machine operators who may have forgotten how to use a piece of equipment during a lockdown. Implementing a cloud-based QHSE system will certainly make life easier for plant heads, by automating the process of tracking each of these new processes and workflows.

Here’s a sample checklist for Step #3, which includes implementing a cloud-based EQMS and EHS.

  • Design your quality and safety workflows
  • Decide which solutions do you need immediately and customize the tool to your business process
    • Document Management
    • Audit Management
    • Complaint Management
    • Inspection Management
    • Incident Reporting
    • Equipment Management
    • Change
    • Risk Management
    • CAPA
    • Supply chain management
    • Training
    • Health & Safety
    • Environment & Sustainability
  • Connect your QHSE to your Workplace Safety app & Supplier Readiness App
  • Set up your daily dashboard & reports
  • Look at predictive insights using Einstein Analytics
  • Scale and further improve how you use the QHSE as your business scales

The next step in the process is to understand that embracing automation is only the beginning. It is critical to drive continuous improvement (CI) of quality and safety workflows.

Read this whitepaper to find out more.

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