A topic that is definitely “top-of-mind” for manufacturers today is better understanding the details behind what products are made where, by who and according to what process. The more detail, the better … providing you can readily access this data in a format that is easy to understand and act upon. If your production lines are split across multiple locations and experience a product recall, or raw material quality issue or other circumstance whereby Work in Process (WIP) must be immediately quarantined, time is of the essence. Aggregated summary data stored off-site simply won’t cut it. Read my introduction to this topic on my post here.
If this circumstance could potentially happen to you or your company, then a prudent first step would be for you to do an evaluation to test how well you could respond – before the crisis hits. Read another related post here. This way you can think clearly and be strategic on how to best proceed forward with the right solution.
If you want to know if your enterprise global trace and genealogy is sufficient enough to contain a crisis, here is a checklist to consider:
- Are your data repositories consistent from site to site?
- Is your data granular enough (e.g., processes, parts, pallets, containers, times, locations, forward-backward traceability, etc.)?
- Is your data broad enough (e.g., production, warehouse, suppliers, their suppliers, etc.)?
- Have you closed all the gaps in the information chain?
- Is granular manufacturing intelligence available at a central source to provide corporate visibility and action?
- Is your central data updated constantly (or frequently enough) for real-time or near real-time visibility?
If you answered “No” to some or all of these questions, you are not alone. Industry surveys suggest that except for a few thought leaders in key industries, most manufacturers are just now taking on the challenge of global trace and genealogy. As they say, “hope is not a strategy.” Maybe now is the day to start thinking more seriously about what your track and trace system can really handle before it is too late?
In my next post I’ll explore how to best implement a solution for global trace and genealogy across the modern manufacturing enterprise.