Summit Session Recap: The Future Arrived Yesterday

The past decade has seen innovation at an astonishing rate. In just a few years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of myspace, the introduction of the iPhone, and the social impact of apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. These new technologies have completely changed consumer expectations, preferences, and the way we live.

In this new digital world, we are all responsible to adapting to these technologies, regardless of our age. Businesses must also change their processes to adapt to new technologies. What was once considered satisfactory and “good enough” is no longer acceptable. It’s imperative for Quality to bring current technologies into their business processes to improve efficiency, product quality, and data integrity or they risk being left behind.

At the first annual Veeva Quality Summit, Shane Allen, Supplier Development Engineer from Uponor, shared his insights into how digitization impacts the perception of a qualified supplier. A supplier who has gone through digital transformation will be perceived as a better partner and will outperform its competitors.

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Uponor manufactures flexible, durable PEX plumbing products which replace copper in the construction of homes. It is not a vertical supply chain company and thus requires connected suppliers.

Shane shared his experience of working with a supplier that used a paper-based record system to highlight the importance of digitization. Uponor found a material non-conformance and needed to access supplier records. They asked to see what material lot was used to make the nonconforming part incase they needed to do a recall of other parts that used the same material lot. However, since the supplier was using a paper based record system, Uponor had to wait up to three days to get these records.

The process that should have taken less than an hour took days and slowed down critical decision making. The inability to proactively solve issues as they arise can get costly, lead to other more serious problems, and have a negative impact on quality.

In another example, Uponor was reviewing a measurement study on two different tools and looked at measurements taken on different days. It was discovered that the measurements were almost entirely identical and a result of copying and pasting data to avoid actual measurements. Immediate actions were taken and the supplier was held accountable for misrepresenting data. This, most likely, would have been missed if it was a paper-based system.

Shane also shared the importance of digitization to stay competitive and how Uponor is consolidating disparate and aging quality and supplier management systems with QualityOne to maintain their competitive edge in the market.

Uponor’s PPAP Problem

For many years, Uponor conducted supplier Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) through a number of siloed applications and manual systems. The process to verify that supplier parts meet product specifications became tedious, time consuming, and error-prone.

Uponor’s PPAP process consisted of employees moving back and forth between an SRM, Excel, email, Adobe/Word, and other applications. These siloed systems created massive inefficiencies and wasted employee and company time. Uponor turned to Veeva to consolidate the PPAP and other quality processes into a single application.

The new cloud based solution enables both suppliers and company employees to access the same documents and work together through the approval process, improving collaboration and speed. This has improved overall quality, reduced risk, and streamlined the PPAP process.

Digital transformation is a collective endeavor. Everyone from company CEO and employees, to suppliers, must be a part of this transformation. As Ed Van Siclen, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Veeva, put it, the foundation of digital transformation is the trifecta of digital migration, “Ubuntu” - the idea that quality exists in the collective, and you. It is up to you to be the catalyst in your organization to bring Quality into the future. Are you ready for the challenge?

Hear Shane Talk About Digitizing Quality with Veeva

Sophia Finn

Posted by Sophia Finn

Sophia Finn manages the customer success program. Prior to her adventure at Veeva, she worked for the FDA as a microbiologist testing flu vaccine efficacy and food samples for bacterial contamination. She also worked for various medical device manufactures where she remediated quality processes, and managed CAPA, complaints/MDR, and deviation programs. Prior to all of this, Sophia served 7 years in the Air Force as a medic, and we thank her for her service.