Getting the Most Out of Supplier Audits and Inspections
One of the most significant challenges of having a vast global supply chain is a lack of visibility into supplier quality, safety, and sustainability. The solution? Utilizing mobile devices and apps can simplify and improve the process of performing ongoing and consistent supplier audits, leading to safer workplaces, better quality control, and more efficient procedures, all of which contribute to the well-being of employees and overall higher revenues.
It can be difficult for businesses that work with dozens or even hundreds of suppliers to ensure they’re all meeting the same high quality that you demand from your employees. This can be a significant problem. If a product issue arises that stems from a supplier, or if a supplier is violating workplace safety regulations in their facilities and faces fines or lawsuits, your costs will go up – especially if it results in recalls, regulatory fines, and brand damage.
That’s precisely why supplier audits are so important. When done correctly, supplier audits can drive value for your business by strengthening overall product quality and safety, enhancing your company’s reputation and credibility, and lowering costs. However, performing efficient audits is nearly impossible if you’re gathering data using paper, spreadsheets, or outdated mobile apps.
Mobile software can help you capture and seamlessly integrate data into existing systems, allowing you to collect, organize, and apply information to make relevant improvements. Each product from each supplier is different, with unique regional and federal laws to consider, so it’s vital to employ a solution that is both versatile and dynamic. The right mobile software can help you collect better data while providing management with a comprehensive look at how each supplier is performing and how their performance is impacting your company. Data regarding facility reviews, tool and machine inspection, communication processes, product quality, and employee skills can all be aggregated and thoroughly examined on business intelligence dashboards.
The insights provided by this deeper level of data collection and analysis can help suppliers get ahead of any problems that might arise before an accident or recall occurs or an industry or governmental auditor hits them with a hefty fine. Device functionality such as geo-location, time stamping, interactive photos, and digital markups allows inspectors to leverage their mobile app to create an interactive learning experience for the supplier.
Mobile audit management requires an investment, but it can also be an opportunity to save money in the long run by reducing OSHA fines, limiting accidents, and improving safety. Using historical information gathered from audits and inspections over the years, leadership can also identify trends and generate preventative actions to boost operational efficiency and avoid bottlenecks, recalls, and production delays.