Best Practices: Upgrade Your Operation by Automating Your QA/QC

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Give Your QA Team the Tools to Succeed 

 

How do you leverage technology to increase efficiency in food manufacturing? This is something we and others in the food space talk about a lot, and the conversation most often tends to focus on areas like receiving, production, and shipping. However, one of the least talked about areas also has some of the biggest potential for efficiency: Quality Control.  

While their job can often seem less material than those in production, a Quality team with the right tools can open the door to huge efficiency improvements, and lower overall risk for your business. We developed PF Quality, our optional quality module, as a direct response to this, enabling users to automate the capture and management of their quality data just as ParityFactory does for their production data. Folding QA and QC into larger automation efforts can lead to many new possibilities, here are just a few of them:  

More Speed, Less Effort 

Food processors conduct numerous, thorough tests in their effort to maintain safety and get their best product on shelves. As a result, quality departments can produce huge amounts of data, data that is time consuming and difficult to maintain, especially by hand. This process can be dramatically accelerated by automating quality data capture, and this is often the most immediate and tangible benefit producers see from automation. Results beyond a certain threshold can automatically be placed on hold for review, and certificates of analysis can be automatically produced to specific customer and regulatory requirements. Beyond just speeding up the data management process, integrating the QC process with scanning and barcoding technology also removes opportunities for human error to slip into data, meaning that you can have speed, without sacrificing accuracy. 

Maximize Product Value 

Making quality products is one thing, but to truly thrive, a brand needs to ensure that their best products make it to their best customers. By tying quality data to other data types such as lot and location, processors know both which lots are their best, and exactly where they are in their facility. Once those factors are known, it’s a few simple button presses to allocate those lots to your top customers. 

Of course, the first step in making a high-quality product is putting high-quality ingredients in, and PF Quality can assist here as well. By maintaining test data throughout the production process, including at receiving, users can automatically generate reports that give them insight into the quality of product received from their suppliers over time, enabling them to identify ongoing trends and who’s consistently providing them with the best (or worst) raw materials. 

Create Greater Visibility  

Quality information can be a powerful tool when it comes to making informed, strategic business decisions. Unfortunately for processors who are handling all their QA data on paper, that data often doesn’t find its way out of the quality department. Even when it does, combing through it to find any useful insights is a time-consuming hassle. 

By integrating the QA process with a plant-wide WMS solution, Quality results are available in the office the minute they’re created. With that information gap bridged real-time reporting becomes possible, allowing executive and management teams to detect live trends and make corrections on the spot. 

Ready to learn more about automating your Quality Control process? Let us know, and our team will show you how ParityFactory and PF Quality can supercharge your operation. 

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