David Klein, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Fernando Moncayo, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Inspectorio and Lien Nguyen, Quality Assurance Auditor
Consumers, now more than ever, expect their products to be of top quality, responsibly sourced, environmentally friendly and, of course, competitively priced. This trend has put a significant amount of pressure on the industry to change its entire sourcing and manufacturing operations. In order to keep up with consumer’s demands, retailers, vendors and factories have all collectively invested billions of dollars into their quality and compliance operations every year. Unfortunately, few organisations have been able to obtain the type of returns on investments that they’d been hoping for.
Most players in the industry, including some of the largest and most forward-thinking ones, have continued to direct their resources towards outdated manual processes that have seen little true innovation in decades. Heads of quality and compliance around the world manage and continue to expand teams of people who rely on pen and paper, Excel and email, or limited in-house solutions to carry out the core activities of their day-to-day.
Organisations of all sizes in the industry suffer from a lack of standardisation. The large global companies find that their regional teams all operate in slightly different ways, often using their own tools that they’ve built from scratch, and into which each invest significant duplicate efforts to maintain. The discrepancies in how each regional office operates makes it incredibly hard for these organisations to gain aggregate insights from their collective efforts. The relatively small factories also suffer from this since they find that their internal teams must follow varying reporting methods and need to use different tools of collaboration to work with different clients. This ultimately leads to a significant investment for all organisations in their data collection and operational efforts, with diminished returns due to the lack of standardisation and duplicated efforts.
There are major issues with efficiency as well. On the field, inspectors can spend anywhere between one and a half to four hours a day simply keying in inspection data they’ve found on the production line into Excel or PDF files. Many inspectors who finish their last inspection at a factory late in the afternoon may decide to type up and email their reports the following day. Then, due to time differences between sourcing headquarters and factory locations, these reports don’t make it to the eyes of the correct person on time for them to be able to make critical decisions to move the business forward.
The lack of standardisation and efficiency combined lead to a poor allocation of resources within the industry. In order to keep up with production expectations, many organisations simply scale up unequivocally ineffective processes and, in so doing, further entrench themselves in a trap of low returns. Instead of doing this, some industry leaders have identified that the best way to move forwards is to completely revolutionise the status quo by turning to more advanced technologies that can completely disrupt today’s working model. These innovators have led their organisations through the adoption of specialised cloud-based and mobile technologies, artificial intelligence and powerful automations in order to take their operations to the next level.
The adoption of digital platforms that allow for the centralisation of all core quality and compliance operations has allowed certain organisations to begin to reap benefits incredibly fast. Bringing all regional offices onto the same platform to conduct their operations ensures that each team member across the world executes their activities in a way that allows for their data and reporting to match that of their global counterparts. For factories and vendors, the fact that more and more of their clients are turning towards the same platform implies that they can start interacting with each of their clients in the same way, and thus have data from each of those interactions aggregated and actionable for them.
The benefits of efficiency are also almost immediate for adopters of these types of technologies. Thanks to the power of automation and artificial intelligence, business leaders can dedicate fewer resources to low value-added manual work such as generating reports or reviewing inspection booking information, and instead have their quality teams focus on higher value-added activities.
Due to this evident opportunity for improvement, technology companies have come to the table to provide all-in-one solutions that provide all the impacts business leaders should be looking for. Inspectorio, a quality and compliance platform powered by artificial intelligence, is currently taking the industry forwards by providing the best solutions to deliver on the impacts mentioned. Inspectorio allows retailers, vendors and factories to execute all of the activities that are core to their interactions such as inspection bookings, inspection report generation, CAPAs, environmental, social and technical audits of facilities and more, all in one platform. Then, beyond allowing for the seamless digitisation of these important activities, Inspectorio takes things a step further by providing robust automations that take care of many of these activities in a second rather than hours. Inspectorio allows users to automatically generate inspection reports, confirm or waive inspections bookings based on the criteria within the booking, allocate quality resources to the right facilities based on risk and more.
The extensive adoption of Inspectorio by thousands of organisations including some of the largest retailers and vendors in the world has allowed the company to amass significant amounts of data with which they’ve been able to power their artificial intelligence offerings. For example, Inspectorio uses machine learning to dynamically generate predictive risk profiles for factories. These predictions of risk are then used in the system to automatically make business decisions such as whether to confirm a booking or what type of inspections procedure a facility should be subject to. By leveraging artificial intelligence in this way, companies can move from being reactive to proactive in how they manage their operations. It allows them to seamlessly allocate their resources toward the operations that matter much more efficiently, mitigate risk and, ultimately, significantly increase the return on their quality and compliance investments.
The quality and compliance industry is ready for change. After decades of seeing money poured into the industry with little to no tangible benefits to show for it, it’s time for technology to provide departments with the tools they need to succeed. Companies such as Inspectorio have shown that the technology is here, and their proven track records with some of the largest companies in the world have proven that it works. So now it’s just a matter of time before more and more business leaders decide to take the step forward and adopt the tools that’ll finally provide the ROI that quality and compliance needs.
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