Companies operating in the consumer products industry are playing in one of the most highly competitive industries today. Constantly changing consumer tastes and preferences, pending product market regulation, new packaging technologies, new formulations, expanding geographical markets and the ever present need to achieve profitable growth are all top of mind for executives. Although successfully positioning your brand in front of consumers is an important first step, the ensuing relationship with your product is paramount to success. For this reason, maintaining a long-term trusted status with customers is driven by product quality. With an enormous amount of choices available to consumers in almost every market globally, if their needs are not met, then companies are quickly overlooked and fall behind.
Regardless of the goods sold, Food and Beverage (F&B), Personal Care & Cosmetics, or other consumer packaged goods, these organizations all face similar issues with managing compliance, quality, operating margins, traceability, risk, changing demand and supply-chain visibility. Leading companies in the consumer products industry are some of the largest companies in the world. Over the past ten years there has been significant consolidation at the top of the market, with the remaining companies looking for additional growth by expanding into new product segments and geographies. For these large consumer products companies, a consumer goods quality management system is not only necessary for seamless global operations, it is becoming mandatory business application for offering high quality products at low costs.
Food and beverage companies are faced with the difficulties of balancing rigorous food safety standards and compliance processes – including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) – while striving for cost efficiencies in production to remain competitive. With product recalls becoming more common and highly publicized, brand protection is more important than ever before. Leading F&B companies that adopt food safety and quality solutions, such as an Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS) system, are able to increase the effectiveness of operational excellence initiatives through improved supplier quality performance as well as improved internal process performance that can support current GMP, ISO and HACCP requirements. These improvements help reduce costs while also assist in creating a quality-centric culture and a compliance platform that will support the organization with impending food safety regulations.
The need for constantly introducing innovative new products to stay current with changing customer tastes and preferences places a huge burden on personal care and cosmetics companies. Product quality is a major point of marketing and brand differentiation for these companies, and it takes a proactive approach to succeed in acquiring that new customer and developing that brand loyalty. Engineering has to be in close communication with manufacturing, while the field must have an open channel to relay defect information back to support and product development. Furthermore, there is a growing complex network of suppliers and other third party vendors that, for example, prepare surface treatments to enhance the quality of a finished good or prepare treatment to modify powders and pigments to maximize water repellency or extended-wear cosmetics. A consumer products quality management system can help personal care companies seamlessly share quality information across the organization and their suppliers as well as automate the process for managing deviations.
Managing the complexities of a global tobacco supply-chain creates many opportunities for quality issues to arise. There are also diverse regulations around tobacco and smokeless tobacco production based on the country for which the products are intended. Issues around traceability, counterfeit products, black market products, for example, all put product quality issues into the forefront. Because of these issues, the assessment and mitigation of risk is imperative for leading tobacco companies today. Tobacco production software solutions can mitigate the risk of defects or quality related issues that have legal and financial implications leading to brand erosion. Since defects emerge as quality issues, success lies within having an internal and external quality system in place to effectively manage processes and ensure deviations are promptly addressed.
TrackWise is a web-based Enterprise Quality Management Solution (EQMS) that allows consumer products companies to automate quality processes, compiling all information in one central location. Providing unparalleled visibility across your organization, processes and metrics are used to ensure compliance, risk management, and to operate in the most cost efficient way. Highly configurable, TrackWise offers point-and-click configurability to define, track, manage, and report on processes specific to your needs. Electronic signatures and records management creates a comprehensive audit trail, eliminating the inefficiencies of paperwork. As TrackWise streamlines workflow processes, integral consumer product quality management capabilities such as traceability are leveraged through on-demand reporting, using the TrackWise and Crystal Reports report generator.
Quality is not a department or an isolated function; it is a shared corporate responsibility. Best in class Consumer Products companies that integrate TrackWise EQMS with other enterprise applications like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) to optimize its capabilities and fully close the loop on quality management. Implementing applications such as supplier quality management, audit management, complaint handling, deviation management and CAPA solutions, adds visibility throughout your enterprise and are only strengthened when connected to other processes and job roles in the organization.
For more information read The Hidden Cost of Recalls.