The Secret to Avoiding Bad Audits in Manufacturing
Updated: May 23
Bluestreak Reading Time: 4 minutes
Manufacturing audits don’t have to strike fear into your entire organization. This is a radical concept—no stress, toil, and agony over an audit—but trust us. A new world is possible, one where you nail your audit every time.
The secret to avoiding bad audits in manufacturing is a straightforward concept: automation. Automating vital manufacturing processes helps you get ready for your audits in record time without putting undue pressure on your teams and spiraling out of control looking for missing pieces.
Auditing compliance can be more burdensome on the manufacturing industry than in others, but applying automation could help reduce that burden until new systems take over. Here are three things that you can automate to ensure that your next (and every) audit goes smoothly.
Whenever you create a new product or update a current option, those specifications must become a documented and consistent part of your output. During a manufacturing audit, auditors want to see conformance to specifications.
It seems simple enough, but if you have a complex production pipeline or hundreds of products, showing conformance gets complicated. One missed touchpoint, and you’ve got a batch that doesn’t conform to standards, a costly mistake from a revenue standpoint and potentially from a regulation angle as well. When you automate documentation, you have a two-fold approach to conformance.
Production side: Every point of contact gets notified of changes from one dashboard, quickly seeing modifications and updates, along with confirmation that those changes are happening.
Audit side: Proof of conformance is transparent and clear at a glance. Auditors can see specifications compared to production and confirm conformance at each stage.
Automation puts your entire production line on the same page and generates reports to support conformance. You won’t scramble to communicate with each section of your production pipeline or get caught in a waiting game as you wait for reports to roll in.
Production produces tons of paperwork. There are reports on top of reports, updates, scheduling, and special situations where you need to adjust or make notes on specific orders—the list is endless. When it comes to your next audit, you need more than paper, data silos, and a fragmented scramble to make it happen.
Scheduling leaves a great deal of room for human error.
With so many details in the mix, you may let an order fall through the cracks or complete an order, only to have questions about the origin. If an auditor sees the gap, production stops while departments search for missing pieces, making the audit disruptive.
When you automate scheduling, you provide a digital “paper trail” for organizational efficiency. You reduce or eliminate disruptions and facilitate production continuing even in the middle of your audit process, without sacrificing attention to detail. Automation keeps track of your:
Rush orders and connections
Any other connected pieces of relevant info
With this efficient and comprehensive digital paper trail, you’ll have all the records that you need and you know that they’re up to the latest specifications. You get to balance giving the audit your full attention while keeping up the usual energy for your production process.
Your reputation depends on consistent quality during your production. During the production chain, each piece provides records that outline standards of quality and prove that those standards are met at each phase. In a small production, this is a straightforward process, but the larger your production model is, the faster those records can get out of control.
Documenting quality checks is a vital part of avoiding bad audits in manufacturing. Human error is a big concern, with complex production systems at high risk of recording errors or missing crucial pieces of quality check documentation.
Quality management automation eliminates errors and missing information by streamlining the entire process from start to finish and allowing you to build customized reports in seconds right from a dashboard. You’ll have the answers to any audit request with no waiting periods. You can:
Streamline reporting and analysis from the production floor.
Have build documentation and reporting in seconds.
The dashboard allows you to make sense of mounds of records and ensures that all steps, quality checks, and documentation are consistent and complete. It reduces the risk that human error will grind your audit to a halt and makes sure you have last-minute audit requirements covered.
Missing documentation, downtime, waiting for a departmental response—all these things may have been the norm in the past. With an end-to-end solution for automating documentation and record-keeping, you’ll have the data to build your case for the auditor quickly and efficiently.
Bluestreak’s integrated solution provides everything that you need to automate your processes and access the data that you need in real-time. Don’t just focus on avoiding bad audits in manufacturing. Be assured of a great audit every time. It’s time to transform your audit experience.
If you’re tired of business being halted for lengthy audit processes and want to see how automation not only cuts your audit times in half but helps build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free demo today!
Bluestreak™ is a powerful Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and a fully integrated Quality Management System (QMS), designed for the manufacturing environment and service-based manufacturing companies ( metal-treating/powder-coating, plating, heat-treating, forging, and metal-finishing), businesses that receive customers’ parts, perform a process (service) on them, and send those parts back to the customer). Companies need MES software tailored to specific functionality and workflow needs such as industry-specific specifications management, intuitive scheduling control for both staff and machinery maintenance, and the ability to manage work orders and track real-time data. If different work centers on the production floor aren’t “speaking” to each other via the MES, the data loses value and becomes disjointed or lost in disparate silos.
Bluestreak | Bright AM™ is an MES + QMS software solution specifically designed to manage and optimize the unique requirements of Additive Manufacturing’s production of parts and powder inventory usage.