When we see errors in production processes, you can bet that something or someone hasn’t followed the bouncing ball, or that there wasn’t a bouncing ball to follow in the first place.
Governance is all about establishing processes, policies and standards, while continuously monitoring that they’re being properly implemented.
For a manufacturing business to achieve Excellence, it’s necessary to have good Governance. This means a range of systems in place that ensure things are made to standards and processes are being followed
Businesses use Standard Operating Procedure (or SOPs) for a variety of tasks. SOPs are written to ensure the result is repeatable. This leads to compliance and assurance that the output of the process is predictable. And customers demand this.
Reviewing the result is part of a continuous improvement cycle so that SOPs can be adjusted to make improvements in the process, for example, when there are changes in requirements, such as new products, processes or laws regarding compliance.
One of the key foundations for any manufacturing process governed by an SOP, is to ensure that master data quality is as close to 100% accurate as possible. Some organisations have master data teams whose sole purpose for existence is to ensure accurate master data. If the data is wrong, then the chance of making consistent product that complies with standards and regulations is very slim.
We have a mantra of “a single version of the truth.” Manufacturers that have kept this top of mind when implementing change, ensure that where possible, master data is not replicated, but read from the one source, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
The moment master data is spread across multiple systems, you’re opening yourself up to Pandora’s Box. It used to be that connectivity between data silos was a barrier to this approach, however today this is not the case. In one example for a large international soft drinks manufacturer, we designed and implemented an information backbone that linked 23 disparate systems, none of which could natively ‘talk’ with each other. The result is a seamless sharing of master information, in real-time, all driven from their central ERP. Strong governance!
With the addition of inline packaging and label verification systems, another level of governance is now available to manufacturers, especially for food and beverage producers. In a recent installation, we installed a system called AutoCoding, which ensures correct product is in correct packaging. Where allergens are concerned, this is becoming a must. It also prevents recalls so the larger supermarket chains are starting to have this in their quality assurance roadmaps for their suppliers.