An Introduction to ERP Quality Control Compliance

ERP quality control compliance simply means the products you deliver, through your ERP system, satisfy your customers and, at the same time, satisfy the requirements of the government. Doing that is much harder than writing a simple sentence.

Customers might provide a number of points where they ask for compliance. Many are simply, “does the product work?”. Many others require keeping and revealing the entire pedigree of the product and every component used to make it. Sometimes, there are requirements that seem to offset each other and this will require up-front monitoring to identify these and negotiate the true desires of the customer.

The customer’s requirements often stem from government and organizational requirements such as FDA, ISO, TS, EPA, GMP, MSDS, to name a few. Your business will also have some requirements internally with some of the same organizations.

Having a Quality Plan

Many of today’s systems include robust ERP quality control components that can make a big difference in enabling quality compliance. A quality plan can be attached to operations in the routing. Until someone fills in the form documenting they have checked the required data for that step in the operation, the job cannot move. In this way, the necessary quality compliance is completed in real time as the job is built and not after the fact.

The employee master section of the ERP will have fields to document who has had what training. This goes together with the quality plan to show that the person who tested the product is qualified to carry out the test.

Lot numbers and serial numbers of material components are also entered and tracked throughout a job. One can then track which jobs a particular lot was used on and then if a defect is found later, know what other jobs for other customers might have a similar defect related to a lot.

Many of the ERP systems on the market today have this capability built in. The users know if they need quality compliance for their customers, they only have to align their processes to use the built-in functionality of their ERP quality control. But not every ERP includes complete quality management. Be sure the quality control people are included in your ERP team. Do not think of what they do as an unavoidable burden. They can help prevent mistakes and help assure you do it right the first time.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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