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This is the first blog in a series of 4 blogs concerning the topic of Integrated Quality Assurance.

Manufacturers of chemical products for industry and end-consumer use are increasingly forced to meet stakeholder expectations regarding their goods sold. Regulators, corporate customers, retailers, NGO’s and consumers, all expect safe and more eco-friendly products. And they want  to trust those products. They want to rely on correctness of disclosed product information regarding ingredients, origin, eco-friendliness, safe-use and hazardousness. They expect that products meet quality specifications and last but not least they require that products are not corrupt because they have been contaminated, treated wrongly (e.g. interruption of cooling chain) or imitated (product counterfeiting) along the value chain. Today’s complex supply chains make it very hard to trace ingredients through the supply chain to ensure their quality. Assuring quality of each component has become an enormous challenge. This blog series, spanning 4 weeks, will explore various solutions chemical manufacturers can implement to integrate quality management with supply chain visibility and batch genealogy so that corrective and preventive actions can be executed to protect consumers, the environment, and the brand.

Quality by design:

Quality by design is a process which sounds so simple, but offers invaluable benefits for companies. In an industry filled with hazardous materials, early integration of quality control functions is essential in ensuring the safety of customers & employees and the reputation of the company. Designing a product that meets all quality requirements right from the beginning reduces costs for a company and mitigates future risks. However, this is easier said than done. With the use of transparent and non-redundant master data and mass maintenance options, companies using SAP software have been able to tightly design and monitor the quality of products to meet local and global standards. This software allows for early detection of quality issues, mitigating risks and damages.

Quality planning and control measures are crucial for most industries. These measures enable task-list planning to be integrated with production, environmental, and safety processes to help ensure compliance with current regulations as well as consistent master data. Manufacturers can maintain common inspection characteristics as well as global catalogs defining defects, tasks, actions, and the like. And SAP software enables the implementation of product and process design that incorporates failure mode and effects analysis and control plans to identify risks and potential defects at an early stage. This approach not only helps save costs but also allows for closed-loop inspection planning in compliance with industry standards like ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 9000. In addition, all master data is controlled by comprehensive change management and audit trail functionality to adhere to legal requirements and good manufacturing practices.

For more product details you can refer to these documents:

Quality Management with SAP ERP

Functions in Detail

More >

Closed-Loop Inspection Planning: An Integrated Approach to Quality Management

Functions in Detail

More >

Companies using quality by design with SAP software have noted some of the following benefits:

·        Closed-loop quality planning through integrated master data and tools

·        Reduced product and process failures

·        Ability to keep low operational costs and high customer satisfaction

·        Entire inspection process streamlined -> sustained quality control

·        Quality consistency strengthens customer loyalty

I encourage you to use the comment area below to share any experiences you have encountered with quality by design and the challenge of achieving quality excellence in the chemicals industry.

Be sure to check back for the rest of the blogs being released in this series during the upcoming weeks. These are

Item Serialization and Product Traceability http://scn.sap.com/community/chemicals/blog/2013/07/30/achieving-quality-excellence-while-reducing-costs-item-serialization-and-product-traceability

Quality Operations http://scn.sap.com/community/chemicals/blog/2013/08/05/achieving-quality-excellence-while-reducing-costs–quality-operations

Product Genealogy http://scn.sap.com/community/chemicals/blog/2013/08/13/achieving-quality-excellence-while-reducing-costs–product-genealogy

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5 Comments

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  1. Rohit Saini

    I was intrigued by your post. It would be better to read about a few examples of the application of Quality by Design using SAP for chemical product.

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    1. Marko Lange Post author

      Rohit,

      thanks for your feedback. Although we have plenty of customers in the Chemical Industry using the ERP QM module I am talking about here I am restricted to provide details on customer projects since this have to be treated confidential of course. However I attach a document to my blog which describes in very detail what I was talking about here. Other stuff to come in further parts of this blog series which refer then to topics like LIMS (Laboratory Information System) for Quality Control, Corrective and Prventive Actions, Tracking & Tracing, Product Genealogy while I was talking about Quality Engineering in this part.

      Kind rgds

      Marko

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  2. Craig S

    I’m looking forward to your blogs!  As you indicate it can be difficult to get too specific regarding some processes due to customer confidentiality.  But discussion of standard SAP integration and capabilities should be possible and examples of best practice designs built against that backdrop.

    I wish someday I could get a client/project that really wanted to redesign their quality processes in SAP from the ground up.  For most projects they want to duplicate what they have and so often the end result is less than satisfactory. 

    Thanks for blogging!

    FF

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    1. Marko Lange Post author

      Many thanks for your feedback. In terms of integration and Best Practices: Do you know the Best Practices template for ERP in Chemicals? Please refer to this site

      https://www.sap.com/campaign/ne/2012/04_cross_best_practices_and_aio_for_chemicals/index.epx

      Here you find demos and descriptions of more than 90 processes suitable for Chemicals based on hundreds of ERP implementations. Among these processes are those which comprise Quality Management. And here is a list of some of them:

      1. Quality Management in Procurement (905)
      2. Returns and Complaints (including QM and Batch Recall) (924)
      3. Repetitive Manufacturing with QM (992)
      4. Process Order with Co-Product and QM (993)
      5. Work-in-Process (WIP) Batch (996)
      6. Returns and Complaints (111)
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      1. Craig S

        Yep.. Pretty familiar with it.  I have about 18+ yrs in QM primarily in Chemicals and Pharma. 🙂  Started with 3.0C.

        FF

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