A recent post on the Elliance blog addresses the rise to preeminence of manufacturing branding: “Manufacturing buyers instinctively reduce risk for themselves and their corporations. Branding—by making promises of reliability, dependability, and responsibility—inherently reduces the risk of buying a product from a company.” Not surprisingly, brand protection is increasingly seen as a valuable commodity for the manufacturing enterprise. This is one of the reasons that brand risk reduction is a key benefit of manufacturing execution systems (MES).
Recalls, quality escapes, dissatisfied customers—manufacturers never want to hear these words associated with their brands. Modern MES reduces brand risk by preventing and containing quality escapes through proactive enforcement, systematic monitoring and alerting, nonconformance management, and engineering change order (ECO) performance and visibility. Avoiding quality escapes limits potential product recalls. In the event they do occur, MES minimizes and precisely identifies the affected product through complete product and process traceability with backward and forward genealogy. Consequently, this process eliminates customer dissatisfaction at the source and minimizes brand risk.
Manufacturers incorporating MES have shown dramatic reductions in metrics associated with brand risk, including recall exposure, inventory errors, and overall complaints. In the medical device and diagnostics industry, product quality issues that result in recalls can be fatal for the brand as well as the patient. MES protects the brand while ensuring patient safety by driving proactive prevention into the manufacturing process, reducing the likelihood of quality escapes.
Semiconductor manufacturers are facing increasing customer demands that are driving new requirements for manufacturing, including faster reaction times, increased flexibility, and easier reconfiguration without coding to protect systems against future obsolescence. Modern MES protects the brand with a platform capable of meeting the manufacturing requirements driven by customer demand. Legacy systems continually increase brand risk as the base technology loses support, necessary maintenance skills are no longer taught, and employees with the skills retire.
Rapid product introduction and shrinking windows-to-market put increasing pressure on brands in the electronics sector. When products have smaller timeframes to get to the market and establish traction, product recalls can be devastating to brand reputation. MES prevents recalls from occurring by driving proactive prevention into the manufacturing process, reducing and eliminating quality escapes at the source. Rapid root-cause analysis, complete product and process traceability, and nonconformance and event management contain suspect items, determine failure cause, and rapidly identify the source, allowing for lot containment before product leaves manufacturing. This proactively protects the brand.
“Suppliers and especially manufacturers have market power because they have information about a product or a service that the customer does not and cannot have, and does not need if he can trust the brand,” said Peter Drucker. “This explains the profitability of brands.” It also explains why minimizing brand risk is an important function, and one of the key benefits of today’s MES.