The supply chain plays an essential role in business. However, there are risks involved, especially when associating with new suppliers. Such risks range from quality, ability to deliver on time, price fluctuation, or suppliers stealing your ideas and passing them off to their work. The good news is that these risks can be avoided by working with external professionals to conduct manufacturing process audits. They assess manufacturing capabilities and identify areas of improvement.
What Are Manufacturing Process Audits?
It’s a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the manufacturing processes to identify and correct problems in production. It involves assessing various aspects, including the manufacturer’s capacity, workplace environment, systems, and capabilities. All of these ensure that the manufacturing of goods is as per your specifications and legal requirements. A factory audit service can be single or ongoing and performed by an external auditing company. The process will take two weeks, depending on business size and the number of processes reviewed.
How Is The Manufacturer Audit Conducted
Manufacturing process audits vary depending on what is produced and the client’s specifications. Its procedures are properly followed, problems are quickly corrected, there is consistency in the process, and there is continuous improvement and corrective action as needed. Common manufacturer audits performed include.
Ethical Audit: Its performed to check the working conditions of the company— whether it meets international standards or not.
Structural Audit: Audits structural integrity by performing security checks like fire safety measures and relevant codes and conditions.
Manufacturing Factory Audits: It is performed to check whether the product meets the company’s specifications.
The standard manufacturer audit includes:
- Ownership of the factory.
- Legal operating status
- Confirmation of the facility’s location.
- Business size and counting employees.
- General production capabilities.
Technical manufacturer audit includes the above and department-by-department review and verification of;
- The condition of the facilities, including the number of workers, the structure, labor law compliance, and the workshop area.
- Evaluate the manufacturer’s production system, including facilities, machines, technical capability, working conditions, and environmental control system.
- Evaluate the quality system to ensure the presence of inspectors and the correct methodology for quality control.
- Evaluate the management’s capabilities.
- Evaluate the business’s financial condition, including the registered capital and bank credit grade.
What Are The Benefits of A Manufacturing Audit
You can conduct the manufacturer audit process for various reasons; assessing compliance with regulations or certifications, improving production processes to reduce costs and increase efficiency, or auditing new suppliers. The main benefits of manifesting audit include;
- Improved quality of products and suppliers’ relationship.
- Quickly find out whether a supplier is capable of carrying out your project.
- Determine whether the business complies with statutory or regulatory requirements.
- Reliable assessment of the manufacturer’s capability and facilities.
- Provide an overview of the company’s processes, operations, and workflows.
- Identify areas where the business can improve and make improvements.
- Increased efficiency.
- Reduced costs.
- A more streamlined and effective manufacturing process overall.
How Manufacturer Process Audit Is Conducted Successfully
To conduct a quality manufacturing audit successfully, here are steps you need to take
- Select the Ideal Audit Type
First, identify the objective and focus you intend to achieve. Taking a general and broad approach would be effective for your business.
- List Potential Tasks and Perform the Audit
Based on the audit you need to perform, there are certain measures you must undertake for accurate measures of your manufacturing processes’ overall performance and effectiveness.
- Document Your Findings
After performing an audit, ensure you document all your findings. It makes it easy to review the results and make necessary changes to improve your manufacturing processes. It also allows you to track your progress and check on business improvement.
- Determine and Conduct Corrective Action
Guided by the audit reports, determine what corrective action needs to be taken—changing your manufacturing processes, quality control procedures, or organizational structure. Once you’ve identified what needs to be done, you can implement the necessary changes and monitor their effects over time.
- Schedule a Follow-up Audit
In case you need to make some changes, scheduling a follow-up audit is important to see if they’ve had the desired effect. It will help you track your progress and ensure that your manufacturing processes continuously improve.
A quality manufacturer process audit is a crucial part of any quality management system since it is the quality and capability of a manufacturer. The main reason to conduct the process includes a better understanding of how the business operates and whether the business can conform to your requirements. It ensures that your manufacturing processes are up to par and identify areas for improvement.