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An old saying says, “you can’t fight city hall.” And while this is a bit of a cynical take on working alongside government bodies and other regulatory authorities, it reflects the frustrations of those in manufacturing who must keep up with seemingly endless new compliance requirements.
Regulatory compliance is essential to most industries. Product liability, safety concerns, public health, fair labor, and more must be enforced to produce the highest quality consumer goods in acceptable ways.
This is especially true in industries like food and beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical, where governments have introduced strong regulations to ensure the safety and quality of easily spoiled or degraded products.
Compliance will continue to be a headache for managers using traditional, manual production tracking. They’ll expend excessive time, labor, and resources to stay compliant. Even then, there is a risk of data error or omission.
For companies utilizing smart manufacturing strategies and solutions, there is an opportunity to move beyond dreading compliance and regulatory duties and move toward creating value for customers. Because systems and processes using smart manufacturing are automated, visible, and transparent, the data needed to ensure compliance is already queued up for use.
Companies with real-time data can focus on developing and deploying compliance protocols that add value. Automating manufacturing compliance protocols reduces the risk of human error significantly and lessens the time and labor needed to audit and manage documents.
Let’s explore a few ways compliance can add value to a company’s products:
Raw materials are often shipped multiple times across long distances. For food and beverage ingredients and sensitive materials in other sectors, expiration is critical. Smart manufacturing empowers precise and accurate production control.
Its real-time data allows extensibility to demand and supply, temperature and ambient conditions, and shipping to final customers. This chain of traceability means that customers know that the company’s products will always be within safe use dates. This process also reduces waste disposal costs by ensuring more product is used for shippable goods within their expiration period.
Smart manufacturing platforms are extensible to QMS software and other quality platforms that automatically monitor product quality. For critical safety concerns for products like medical and aerospace, this real-time quality data means a company can showcase its safety compliance for product specifications and performance characteristics.
The recent upturn in trade agreements and tariffs mean that companies must remain compliant regarding content and material origin. Many countries have content regulations that a specific portion of material for certain products be sourced domestically.
There is also a myriad of regulations for inbound raw materials and outgoing exports that must be followed. By using smart manufacturing software to monitor, alert, track, and audit these requirements, companies significantly mitigate the risk of fines or seizure that would threaten their production.
Smart manufacturing helps companies remain current with regulatory changes by providing real-time monitoring and advanced data analytics capabilities. It also helps them enhance the safety and quality of their products by automating the systems that produce them.
Instead of “fighting city hall,” you can gain an edge by using smart manufacturing to turn a headache into a value proposition. It’s all about viewing compliance not as a hoop to jump through but as exceptional customer service.
Don’t manage your compliance like a burden. Instead, use the Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform to automate it and put it to work, creating value for your customers and for you.