Scheduled reviews and audits are not always enough to ensure consistent quality throughout all levels of the organization. As a result, many manufacturers have introduced Layered Process Audits to strengthen their QMS and verify that standard process is consistently followed on the factory floor. To minimize the admin burden for everyone, many organizations use an app for layered process audits.
Checklist-driven internal quality audits on the plant floor
Layered process audits (LPAs) are a type of audit that focuses on observing and validating how products are made, rather than inspecting the finished products. This type of quality audit can help management teams make continuous process improvements and strengthen their quality control plan: identifying recurring issues, correcting them right at the source, and standardizing processes to eliminate manufacturing non-conformances.
As the name indicates, different “layers,” or levels, of management and production personnel perform these quick and frequent checklist-based audits. Therefore LPAs involve not only the working level team members (e.g. team leader or shift supervisor), internal auditors, but also department managers and ultimately the executive management level. Involving various levels of management demonstrates that conformance to requirements is everyone’s responsibility.
Making Layered Process Audits more efficient – with an app
From a practical perspective, in many cases this process happens with various paper checklists filled in by different personnel, many times per day or per week.
To cut the paperwork and administrative busywork, many plants have implemented software to digitize their Layered Process Audits. However, there is no need for major IT projects or process changes: an app like GoAudits is user-friendly, easily made available on everyone’s phone of tablet, works offline, and can be swiftly rolled out to all locations and personnel within days.
Here’s some of the key advantages of digitizing layered process audits on the plant floor with an app:
- Documentation: the user can take a picture and immediately attach it to document the non-conformance. Additional picture annotations and comments can be added as required.
- Visibility: any issues logged are immediately visible to Management or the right team members
- Compliance: frequent daily checks are not always done by every team member and in every shift. Improve compliance with reminders and notifications.
- Analysis: see trends, how often a certain issue re-occurs, how frequently the audits take place, performance over time, and more.
- Accountability: assign corrective actions to the right team and track resolution. Receive alerts and setup escalations in case of delays or recurring non-conformances.
- Efficiencies! Save your team’s time, Management time, and save paper. All the information can be easily captured on the mobile device – no need to move data from paper, to emails or spreadsheets.
- Use standard checklists in all locations, and easily update them anytime, on everyone’s device.
Efficient daily checks for Quality Assurance on the plant floor
Many manufacturers have implemented GoAudits for their daily production line checks, Good Manufacturing Practice checks, plant walk-throughs and more. For example, the instant cup noodle manufacturer Nissin Foods in the US increased the audit frequency and compliance – with over 96% completion for their daily checks. This includes audits of different production lines, product quality and integrity checks, packaging inspection, incident logging, inspection of different facility areas, and more.
Another example is our metallurgy customer Heat Treating Services, where the supervising team use GoAudits as part of the layered audit process, including higher-level plant and manufacturing process checks. The real-time digital communication has helped put everyone on the same page in terms of QA. Additionally, GoAudits enabled them to get ahead of the trends before they become a gross non-conformance. Their QA team consider GoAudits “a game-changer”, and said it was “the biggest no-brainer for our quality system in the past couple of years”!
You can read more of our customer success stories here.
Beyond LPAs, improve all your quality and safety checks
You can improve quality management and process performance through digitial layered process audits. However, manufacturers use GoAudits not only for their layered process audits (LPAs) and Quality Management, but also for other internal audits and inspections. The app can be easily customized for different manufacturing processes and locations.
Other audit areas typically include daily, weekly or monthly checks. This covers areas such as health and safety, fire safety, cleaning, 5S, maintenance audits, warehouse walk-through and much more. We offer a library with 100s of checklist templates for different types of audits, in different industries.
You can also create your own checklist or ask us to digitize your checklists for you. Simply download GoAudits and try it for free!