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Improve the quality and safety of products with a material traceability report

Material traceability reports help your business save money, offer higher quality products, build consumer trust, and pass any official audits or inspections

What is a material traceability report?

A material traceability report is a document used to generate a list of products and processes for recall and quality control purposes. It contains the lists of all the orders, expenses, and manufacturers related to specific materials and lot numbers. This report is an essential tool in the manufacturing industry to ensure compliance with OSHA material traceability standards.

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a material is traceable if it meets these two requirements:

  1. It is clearly and specifically identified
  2. All the information regarding the object is included, meaning it is traceable from its origin to its destination

Furthermore, the organization requires that all products must:

  1. Use appropriate means to identify outputs when necessary and ensure compliance with standards
  2. Identify the condition of outputs concerning measuring and monitoring requirements throughout production and distribution
  3. Regulate the unique identification of the outputs and maintain documentation

Table of contents:

1. How can you optimize your material traceability report?

1.1. Working closely with suppliers

1.2. Implement tracking software and systems

1.3. Integrate traceability with the latest technology

1.4. Establish alerts

1.5. Talk to customers

2. Why are material traceability reports important?

2.1. Gets you ahead of competitors

2.2. Fosters transparency and accountability

2.3. Discourages counterfeits

2.4. Prevents product recalls

3. Material traceability reports with a mobile app

How can you optimize your material traceability report?

Tracking and tracing product components helps your business react swiftly and appropriately when quality issues arise. It also ensures end-users that the product they purchased has passed quality regulatory standards.

You can improve your material traceability reports by:

1. Working closely with suppliers

No matter your industry, your suppliers should have software and systems that enable them to conduct forward and backward tracing, as well as link lot numbers with recalled components.

Suppliers should be able to identify when a lot entered their inventory and where it was used in the manufacturing process. That way, they can link the lot to the barcode label of the finished product. If their product is recalled, the supplier can identify the finished goods that used that component lot and inform consumers who purchased the goods.

2. Implement tracking software and systems

Traceability is about monitoring and documenting product movement. Businesses can use several tracking tools like bar codes, lot codes, and RFID to monitor their products. If there is a system in place, retailers can quickly identify which lot has issues.

3. Integrate traceability with the latest technology

Using current technology to document the movement and transformation of your products from origin to destination enhances your tracking.

4. Establish alerts

Having a warning system in place helps businesses inform managers across the supply chain when an incident happens. This allows the retailers to freeze inventory wherever it may be located, preventing the sale of faulty or defective products

5. Talk to customers

If your business has a customer loyalty program, you can use it to tell their customers about product recalls. Fast and transparent updates can contain the recalled products and strengthen customer trust and loyalty.

Why are material traceability reports important?

Whether it is in the manufacturing or food industry, traceability is essential for quality control of manufactured goods. Ensuring a quality product keeps your consumers safe.

As a business, material traceability reporting:

1. Gets you ahead of competitors

Material traceability gives you a competitive advantage. A study conducted by LNS Research revealed that only 23 percent of manufacturing companies have the software and processes to enable traceability.

Adopting this software early gives you more opportunities than your competitors. Moreover, complete traceability allows you to monitor the entire life cycle of your products, allowing you to identify issues and trends and innovate quickly.

2. Fosters transparency and accountability

Your supply chainrequires synchronized efforts to keep businesses running profitably and efficiently. Whether you are a large corporation or a small business, it’s more important than ever to provide information about your products, the materials you use, and how they are transported.

Material traceability reports provide a documented product trail, including the components, quality, and safety. It provides evidence that the product complies with regulatory standards within the industry.

3. Discourages counterfeits

The US Customs and Border Protection seized $1.2 billion worth of counterfeit products in 2018 alone. This is a substantial loss in profit for manufacturers, not to mention the risks that sub-par products pose to users.

Using serial numbers is not enough since perpetrators can copy this as well. However, there’s a more advanced layer of protection using identifying marks. The advanced technology, called 2DMI, uses laser markings to encrypt unique proprietary markings that are hard to replicate. By adding this level of protection, you can easily identify any discrepancy or missing data.

4. Prevents product recalls

Product recalls are a major challenge for every industry. They often have a major impact on a business. For example, the Takata airbag recall affected 2.7 million vehicles worldwide.

With complete traceability, businesses can protect themselves against this liability. It gives them evidence that proves they have complied with the regulated standards, and allows them to quickly pull a product if this is not the case.

Close up of a machine in production

Material traceability reports with a mobile app

Manufacturers and food producers must ensure full traceability of materials for most equipment, critical applications, or food produced. It’s not always easy to reproduce this process on paper, and paper forms make it easier to lose information.

Using material traceability software like Lumiform minimizes these risks. Lumiform’s mobile app and desktop software allow you to collect data in real-time, retrieve records and identification information at any time, and continuously improve production and monitoring processes. In addition, the powerful app and desktop software lets your team:

  • Monitor and document your products’ journey, from their origin to their destination. Give every employee a role in the process using only one digital application.
  • Include photos of materials, processes, and defects and add annotations for more descriptive reports.
  • Allocate corrective actions to responsible employees via the app and track their completion via your dashboard.
  • Continuously improve material traceability: With the flexible form builder, you can adapt your forms to new specifications at any time. Since Lumiform guides employees through every checklist, no intensive training is required.
  • Store your material traceability reports securely in the cloud, so you’ll always have access to your records.

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