December 18, 2018 - by Hasmukh Thacker
In manufacturing, consistency of operational processes is critical to ensuring high-quality, compliant production and distribution. As operations spread globally and as new regulations make their way through, the bar for privacy, security and compliance continues to rise. Modern manufacturers now need to comply with several technical, legal and corporate requirements, regulations, and practices in order to produce and market products.
With this in mind, the host of features found within Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps manufacturers meet their industry-specific compliance requirements while simplifying the overall process. Take a look:
Importance of Compliance in Manufacturing
Different organizations look at compliance and regulation in different ways. Some consider it to be the reason for manufacturing excellence, others look at it as an obstacle. However, with numerous factors leading to regulatory compliance including reputation, image, ethics, competition, and survival, more often than not, it is one of the main reasons for success. For example, the core mandate guiding the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA is consumer safety. This can be guaranteed by following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that ensure products are produced according to quality standards and therefore, reduce the degree of risk to consumer safety.
Common Compliance Challenges that Manufacturers Face
The strategic goal of most manufacturing companies is to manufacture competitive products, operate profitably, and grow their business in an environment that is battling with increasing globalization and elevated product development costs.
While this is challenging in and of itself, manufacturers also have to adhere to various compliance requirements around product safety, health safety, environmental impact, data protection, export, anti-corruption, IT safety and security, fair competition, and employment laws. And in industries such as medical devices and biotech, the task is even more daunting due to the additional burden of dealing with compliance requirements of the FDA, EPA, and SEC, among others.
6 Ways Dynamics 365 Improves Manufacturing Compliance
Microsoft has always given a lot of importance to facilitating compliance, and with Dynamics 365, it looks to up its compliance game for the manufacturing sector. Here’s how you can boost manufacturing compliance with Dynamics 365:
1. Implement Standardized Production Practices
For organizations that operate in an FDA-regulated environment, Dynamics 365 offers digital tools that help in the implementation of standardized production processes. Digital audits, task lists, and quality checklists enable you to record and track every task and ensure your team performs tasks according to safety standards. Such standardization also makes managers more accountable, and ensures tasks are conducted at the right time and completed at the right pace.
2. Achieve End-to-End Traceability
As industries expand globally, and become more and more fragmented, there is an increased focus on achieving traceability and compliance to maintain a competitive edge. Using Dynamics 365, you can track materials and ingredients from supplier to consumer and get end-to-end traceability. Such insights can enable you to increase product visibility, speed recall activities, as well as improve the accuracy of recalls.
3. Manage Product Safety Data Sheets
For products that are regulated by a government agency, you need to meet various types of compliance needs and audit reports. If you manufacture, distribute, or consume products that are regulated, you can manage such products using the Product Safety Data Sheets feature in Dynamics 365. You can create regional lists for regulated products under Product Compliance in the Inventory Management module.
Additionally, you can set the date range for generating reports, define the validity for product safety data sheets, set notifications for issuing alerts as expiry date approaches, and more. While working with purchase orders for regulated products, if the product safety data sheets are missing or have expired, an error message will be displayed.
4. Deal with Restricted Products
In addition to dealing with regulated products, companies also have to carefully plan distribution of products that are limited or constrained by a government body. In Dynamics 365, you can manage such restricted products through the “Restriction Lists” for various countries and regions in the compliance section of either the Inventory Management module or the Product Information Management module.
You can set up two types of lists – inclusive lists for countries and exclusive lists for regions. Once you set up the restriction lists, you can add items or products to them. If a product that is restricted in a particular region appears on a sales order, Dynamics 365 will display an error log and prevent the sale.
5. Efficiently Manage Inventory
In highly regulated environments, Dynamics 365 makes real-time inventory visibility and tracking easy. You can track material expiration dates through shelf life management and ensure you meet quality requirements for all of your products. You can also proactively monitor, retest, and quarantine materials using retest management, especially in areas where temperature and humidity control are key. By receiving alerts for any deviations, you can rectify problems and take preventative measures to efficiently manage inventory.
Shelf life management-Product information management -> release product details -> manage inventory tab -> shelf life details
6. Leverage Product Compliance Reports
If generating product compliance reports is a vital part of your business, you can leverage Dynamics 365 to capture product usage data across EPCRA (Emergency, Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act), CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act), TRI (Toxics Release Inventory), OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), EHS (Extremely Hazardous Substances), and more. Just set up the parameters for product compliance and product safety and get the data you need to ensure compliance.
Achieve a Competitive Advantage
With manufacturers carrying out operations in multiple countries and jurisdictions, the risk of non-compliance has become an increasingly major concern in recent years. This has been further heightened by the increasing role of government and regulatory bodies in certain sectors, along with the emergence of global standards to address the increasingly global nature of manufacturing. Dynamics 365 plays a key role in helping companies manage an effective compliance program and boost manufacturing compliance.
By enabling the collection, analysis, and control of enterprise-wide data, it delivers crucial information needed for intelligent business decisions. By establishing a viable compliance program and having compliance requirements integrated across the manufacturing landscape, companies can translate compliance requirements into business benefits and achieve competitive advantage.
Learn more about how you can leverage Dynamics 365 to optimize manufacturing processes and maintain industry compliance.