How a Major Consumer Goods Manufacturing Company Streamlined its Complaints-on-Materials Reporting with a Custom Digital Solution
Problem and Background
Materials complaint processing was a time-consuming, manual process at the plants of a major global CPG company. Not only did the procedure consume hundreds of worker hours every month, it also created a bottleneck of nonproductive inventory that consumed valuable warehouse space and delayed reimbursement. This company needed a digital tool that would expedite and simplify the process.
Prior to Vertex’s custom digital solution for processing complaints on materials, floor personnel needed to fill out paperwork, alerting Materials Processing / Production Execution teams to investigate the defective material. These teams would then have to take photos and add supplemental information. Their notes would later be compiled into an Excel spreadsheet so another form could be submitted to the supplier.
Processing these complaints was another time-consuming process, with each one taking eleven minutes. This required an employee to devote an entire workday to process complaints reported over weekend shifts. Vertex’s material complaints reporting tool eliminated all of the manual paperwork.
Vertex created a custom solution utilizing Azure, PaaS cloud for hosting and Angular / .NET that streamlined the material complaints process, greatly improving internal efficiencies while decreasing defective material turnaround time. The resulting system puts an iPad in the hands of the workers who can easily enter information into the digital application as well as take photos. Critical defects are noted as they are found, which provides better data to both the supplier as well as the Materials Processing team.
As complaints are entered, automatic alerts are issued to the appropriate team members. For example, the application notifies team members to react to any material put on hold. Additionally, processing time has been reduced from eleven minutes per complaint to one minute. This is a huge time savings. Once the complaint on the material is approved, an email is sent to the supplier with all required documentation for processing.
Since adopting the new material complaints process, internal efficiencies have improved tremendously. Defective materials are being returned to suppliers quicker, freeing warehouse space for productive inventory. Reimbursements are being issued faster. Additionally, the plant slashed processing time from eleven minutes per complaint to one minute, while also saving $30 thousand per module annually in material carrying costs. This freed .5 of an FTE per module to focus more on NPI and vendor returns.
- One-stop shop complaint reporting
- Paperwork has been eliminated
- Fully automated, digitized system alerts appropriate team members
- Complaint notes and photos are in one place
- Adaptable for various modules within plants
- Quick turnaround of defective materials
- Reduced nonproductive inventory (NPI)
- Improved resource utilization
- Reimbursements are issued faster
- Enables efficient use of warehouse space for productive inventory
Vertex is a business and technology consulting ﬁrm that helps customers transform their business processes with leading edge technology. Learn more at www.vertexcs.com.
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