EMNS, Inc. Announces Material Characteristics Variability Management

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Materials vary and can pose performance issues, quality challenges and even product safety risks, so managing the awareness of material variability is a key responsibility for Quality, Engineering and Procurement teams.

The EMNS supply chain quality management service GSQA® now has a unique workflow focused on the visibility and management of the material characteristic variability inherent in all manufacturing.

Materials vary in important characteristics by specification, season, supplier, plant, shift, production line, raw materials, and expiry date. As supply chains expand, more materials are flowing through supply chain partners around the world for the best price/function combination. Managing this inherent material variability is fundamental to predictable product performance. The product promise to the customer is a combined responsibility for quality, engineering and purchasing professionals, but they also must contribute to production efficiency that creates competitive products at competitive prices.

Some characteristics are product-safety related, some are quality related, and some are "performance" related. All need constant surveillance for consistent market success. The management of material variability can start with a supplier’s supplier, a direct supplier, a company feeder plant or a previous production process depending on the material’s impact on the finished product. Belief-based confidence is insufficient today; data must drive awareness, visibility and validation for consistent quality. The "COA" or Certificate of Analysis is basic to managing quality assurance in the supply chain. At EMNS, “COA” is really the code word for Material Variability Management (MVM) in GSQA.

GSQA has always been web-based for global access, so that having all material processing locations online in the same overarching web-based system is the answer to monitoring material variability. GSQA® uniquely provides this important work flow.

Without testing and analysis at each phase of external and internal production, no material variability is signaled until someone notices, unfortunately, usually late in manufacturing or at the customer. A product’s success depends on delivering on its performance promise, which cannot be managed exclusively from finished product testing or market feedback.

Many companies find that when they look at supplier material performance (spec conformance) there is more variability than they expect. The consequence of this variability is a new question: If we are not checking/testing materials routinely, what is the basis for our quality commitments?

For EMNS, the e-COA, and its management, is much more significant than just a piece of quality documentation. It is the tip of the iceberg for the MVM workflow that assures material conformance. Test results, testing methods, contracted specifications, design documents, version control management and QA documentation all must be managed by companies that want safety and success in their markets.

For additional insight into Material Variability Management, please consider attending our MVM webinar February 25, 2014. Details are to be announced on http://www.GSQA.com soon.

About EMNS, Inc.
For over 13 years EMNS, Inc. has been a leading provider of SaaS supply chain quality solutions used in 70 countries around the world. From its state-of-the-art data center in the Chicago suburbs EMNS offers business intelligence to operations, regulatory compliance, procurement and quality departments in many Fortune 1000 companies. The multi-language, global quality data management of GSQA enhances supply chain quality visibility and transparency across EMNS customers' plants, facilities, and supply bases, improves supplier performance, and lowers material variability so our customers can efficiently produce consistently high-quality finished products.

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John McGlinn
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