For the past four months, the manufacturing and processing industries have faced significant disruptions to operations and production due to...
As the number of SKUs continues to expand and production runs get shorter, food and beverage manufacturing is only getting more complex. This challenge is compounded further as new processes and procedures are introduced, often across distributed facilities. Specifically, there are significant gaps in knowledge and experience between those who define your food quality and safety procedures, and those who execute and adhere to them.
And while everyone in your organization – from the C-suite to the cleaning team – is 100% committed to quality and safety, there are hundreds of potential points of failure and non-conformance in your processes that can significantly impact your productivity, bottom line and even company brand.
Here are five ways connected worker technologies will help you achieve world-class food quality and safety.
1. Transform Static, Paper-based Documents into Live Work Instructions
Connected worker technologies deliver an immediate productivity boost by converting static procedure documents into cloud-based, interactive digital work instructions. With connected worker technologies, when a procedure author hits “Publish,” new or updated work instructions and digital checklists are immediately available on a mobile app and accessible by everyone who will execute or oversee that work. This could be an entirely new end-to-end workflow, or a tiny detail of a step nested three levels down in an existing procedure – critical to the process, but easy to overlook. These changes are equally quick for pictures, audio and video – formats not available with paper-based procedures and record keeping LEARN MORE
2. Streamline Quality Control, Audit and Certification Processes
With connected worker technologies, you’re continuously capturing, measuring and verifying quality control data. You can analyze it in real-time to ensure actual quality aligns with expected quality. And when an auditor or certification authority asks you for proof, you have easy access to detailed procedural adherence evidence and earn top marks for compliance by 1) making and distributing mandated process changes faster; 2) automatically tracking work, compiling data and capturing visual proof – at the level of micro steps and granular details – to prove procedural adherence; and 3) demonstrating you’re using ongoing operational data to continuously improve your food safety and quality processes above and beyond. LEARN MORE
3. Improve Traceability and Response Time When Food Safety and Quality Control Incidents Occur
Despite your best efforts to increase food safety and quality, there will always be the ever-present specter of health risks from food-borne pathogens. When something goes wrong, it’s disastrous; the time it takes to navigate all the elements of sourcing, production and distribution to troubleshoot what went wrong is never fast enough. With connected worker technologies, full traceability puts all the information about any particular batch right at your fingertips. You’ll have granular data on the execution of every step of every process, enabling you to identify and analyze any procedural adherence deviations and non-conformance. And you’ll be able to tell if this is a one-off, or a systemic issue that will necessitate additional monitoring, controls or training. LEARN MORE
4. Integrate Proactive Risk Reduction into Operations
While faster response to quality and safety events is critical, avoiding them in the first place is the ultimate goal. With connected worker technologies, ensuring procedural adherence means you get ahead of potential risks. If a temperature value or machine tolerance, for example, is drifting toward a quality threshold, a line operator can be prompted to add a simple preventive maintenance step to the normal work instruction. By regularly analyzing data captured by connected workers, you can also proactively seek out ways to improve your operations. Comparing data across plants, lines and shifts helps identify processes in need of tightening, as well as workers in need of more training to improve quality and increase the safety of both the product and themselves. LEARN MORE
5. Generate and Update Work Instructions in Real-Time
In traditional paper-based environments, it can take weeks or even months to fully implement procedural changes in support of new products, or in response to new retailer packaging requirements or regulatory changes. With connected worker technologies, you not only have real-time visibility into what’s happening in production, you also have the ability to change work instructions in real-time. Teams can easily modify any step of any procedure electronically. Using a common repository of procedural elements — such as steps, thresholds and alerts — means they’re instantly available for use by all plants. Since the technology keeps track of where every element is currently being used, a single update refreshes all instances. LEARN MORE
Conclusion: Your QMS and EHS Standards Drive Business and Brand Performance
When everyone in your company is doing their measurable, provable best for quality and safety, you’re moving the needle not only on KPIs like uptime and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), but on productivity, consumer satisfaction, inventory management efficiency and profitability. Quality and safety shifts from being a cost center to a business performance enabler.
Within a connected worker environment, quality and safety processes and procedural adherence have the power to transform your entire organization. LEARN MORE