Benefits beyond the “have to”

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Complying with a regulation or “have to” can lead to benefits that more than offset the burden of change.

Nearly everyone has “have to” or “should in their vocabulary, and feels there are things that fall into those mandatory categories. For individuals that might be spending time with difficult family members, getting regular exercise, and paying taxes. For manufacturing companies, much of that is regulatory or customer compliance.

We often feel these as major burdens, and resist them. Yet the path to compliance with regulations or personal “shoulds” can actually yield big positive results.

No one regrets spending too much time with family or being healthy as they look back. Even paying taxes yields benefits like roads, schools, and public services.

For manufacturers, complying with regulations can actually yield other business benefits. There is the obvious: most regulations are designed to protect the health and safety of the customers, which protects the company from liability and risk.  Many of these regulations are based on traceability through the supply chain. This is true of the Universal Device Identifier (UDI) in Medical Devices, the food safety modernization act (FSMA), and at least one or two in most industries.

Beyond that, complying with these regulations CAN give the manufacturer a better handle on what they are doing. That CAN result in lower cost of quality, higher yield, and better throughput. It CAN also provide insight into supplier strengths and weaknesses to improve the procurement and supply chain processes. It CAN greatly lower the likelihood and cost of product problems in the field and reduce the scope of any needed recalls.

Notice the emphasis on the word CAN. Simply complying will not necessarily generate more benefit than the cost to comply. To gain those types of benefits, companies must move beyond a piecemeal approach to traceability. As long as data is scattered in many different systems, the insights into the production process, quality, and suppliers is simply to difficult to gain. The business processes are labyrinth without a consistent system.

Fortunately, there are systems today that focus on just that. Pulling together information from many sources into a single genealogy or traceability record. Allowing analysis and improvement in production and across the supply chain.

For more on this topic, please listen to a podcast I recorded with Rick Gallisa of Apriso brand of Dassault Systemes. I have also written some papers on this topic. This one is for general manufacturing. This one is for Medical Device manufacturers facing the FDA’s UDI deadline.

For more on how personal disciplines can lead the way to what you really want in life, check out my TEDx talk. This is a new dimension I’m adding to my work life, and I encourage you to be mindful in your day too!

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