The Moving Target of Compliance

February 3, 2022

The Moving Target of Compliance

Four ways forensic traceability leads to future-ready product compliance & quality management

By Joe Sheeran

When it comes to ensuring your supply chain’s ability to manage product compliance, utilizing a traceability solution is vital. Forensic traceability functionality makes it possible to follow goods, raw materials, and processes throughout every aspect of the supply chain from the supplier to the shelf. Whether it’s food, medical devices, or equipment, visibility into the supply chain is an important part of meeting government compliance mandates and maintaining quality control.

However, only 6% of companies report full visibility into their supply chain. It’s important that businesses implement forensic traceability like Ashton Potter’s ProLinc® to gain better insights and increase management efficiency. Let’s discuss four ways forensic traceability ensures product compliance and quality management, thus enhancing returns.

69% of companies say

they do not have total visibility into their supply chain.

Real-Time Visibility Through Tracking

Studies show that 69% of companies say they do not have total visibility into their supply chain, which can create significant oversights. But accurately tracking products as they flow through the supply chain allows companies to easily manage workflow processes with serialization, barcoding, component tracking, and quality management. Gathering information at each of these key points is critical for supply-chain transparency, traceability, and compliance. The ability to track raw materials and finished goods brings obvious value, and the data gathered through traceability solutions makes navigating issues like recalls far less painful.

For example, food producers and distributors have to navigate the complexities of tracking inbound ingredients and outbound finished goods as well as routing products to distribution centers, foodservice operators, and retail stores. A traceability solution like ProLinc® helps provide quality assurance throughout various points of the supply chain by gaining visibility into the routing processes helping to ensure all requirements are met.

Gain Product History and Knowledge

With forensic traceability technology, companies can record all information about products in the manufacturing process. From where a product is in production to its shipping and purchase, product history is stored for any issues that arise such as recall. Traceability enables companies to know exactly which products to recall and where they are with data insights into production dates, expiration dates, production time stamps, product order numbers, and more. Research found that 43% of business owners use data for all of their business decisions.

Making things more efficient through traceability has become the new status quo for industries like food manufacturing to establish food safety strategies. Traceability’s merits involve product origins, such as whether or not ingredients are sustainably farmed, and how eco-conscious a product’s supply chain process is. The transparency offered by traceability solutions in the food supply chain provides enhanced ingredient security to uphold product compliance.

With in-depth knowledge of product history due to traceability, companies can perform a root cause analysis to determine the source of a problem. These analyses can help prevent errors and improve any part of a supply chain.

Prevent Quality Issues with Traceability

Information technology systems with traceability functionality like ProLinc® have become powerful tools for manufacturers to isolate quality, warranty, or safety issues, and minimize disruption to production. Previously, taking hours of manual work to handle issues like recalls was standard, but this often was time-consuming and left room for human error. Being able to analyze traceability systems will help companies look for repetitive tasks that automation can address.

Additionally, using traceability automation to create a risk management strategy that updates risk levels based on criteria can help reduce quality or compliance concerns. For instance, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported that applying sensor technology to increase traceability in the food supply chain could reduce waste by between 5% and 7%. With forensic traceability functionality, companies can proactively prevent issues using tracking documentation to quickly recall defective products, streamline their production, and meet regulatory compliance.

Ensure Industry Regulations are Met

With stricter measures being implemented as well as audits and recalls increasing, using time-consuming manual methods simply won’t cut it anymore. However, 90% of all businesses fail compliance due to a lack of sufficient policies in place to meet governance regulations. Consumers expect increasingly higher quality standards, so government agencies implement regulations to safeguard against compliance issues. It’s up to the manufacturer to track processes and business information to meet industry regulations. Manufacturers and their suppliers face challenges to continuously improve quality and maintain compliance with government and industry mandates changing frequently.

For example, in the medical equipment manufacturing industry, FDA Medical Device Reporting (MDR) regulations have required firms that have received complaints of device malfunctions, serious injuries, or deaths associated with medical devices to notify the FDA of the incident. Industry mandates often require a tracking and traceability solution to enable companies to proactively address issues to assure quality and compliance.

Utilizing Forensic Traceability Technology to Enhance Outcomes

The goal of a traceability solution is to identify potential problems at any point in the supply chain process. The data and information delivered from the tracking technology can proactively prevent issues and offset increased complexities in the supply chain such as expiration dates, damaged products, lot controls, and more. This can reduce in-process costs, eliminate the potential for recalls, and improve product safety, compliance, and quality.

Ultimately, a product security and traceability solution are important to optimize comprehensive product insight to ensure quality management and compliance. Ashton Potter’s ProLinc® empowers manufacturers to uphold production quality standards at every point in the manufacturing process by tracking components, products, and batches in real-time and housing insights in a tamper-proof, blockchain-enabled database.

Speak with an expert today to learn more about how ProLinc® can help you secure future-ready product compliance and quality management for your supply chain.