Quality Posts

Key Reminders for Managing Suppliers

Mark Crawford

Supply chain management is harder than it used to be. Many OEMs are outsourcing more functions instead of keeping them in-house, adding geographical distance and cultural diversity to the supply chain. This, of course, adds complexity as well, which increases the chances of something going wrong and compromising quality. (more…)

SOPs: What You Need to Know

Mark Crawford

According to the FDA, the problem cited in 60 percent of all warning letters is SOP—standard operating procedures.

That’s actually a good thing because it is relatively straightforward (but not always easy) to fix SOPs. Identifying them is one thing—they also need to be concise, clearly written, well-communicated, monitored, and enforced. Taking the time to meet or exceed FDA SOP expectations will not only bring you into compliance but also improve operations and productivity in every department—leading to higher quality, improved profits, lower costs, faster delivery to market, and improved customer satisfaction. (more…)

Could Your Quality Systems Protect You in a Court of Law?

Mark Crawford

Quality system management and documentation contain a wealth of information (or lack of) that can be used by a regulatory agency like the FDA or a plaintiff in a lawsuit to determine if the company is in compliance with federal regulations or its own internal quality management procedures. Failure to meet these requirements can be highly damaging to a company in litigation.

“Quality manuals and quality system documents are intended to guide the operation of a company’s quality management system, says James Kolka, president of Kolka & Associates in Atlanta and an international legal consultant in regulatory affairs. “Quality system documents are neither intended nor constructed to provide evidence of a company’s concern for patient safety and product safety. If a company wants to prove it cares about patient safety and make safe products, it must build documentation to prove that point.” (more…)

Lean Is the Cornerstone of Quality

Mark Crawford

Eliminating waste in a process is essential for reducing complexity, lowering risk, increase productivity, improving quality, and reducing overall costs—savings that can be passed on to the client through lower pricing. A simpler, more streamlined process also makes reproducibility and validation easier.

There are lots of ways to tackle quality improvement, including monitoring equipment and software. But one of the easiest and least-expensive ways to improve quality and reduce risk is value stream mapping (VSM), one of the key principles of lean manufacturing. In fact, VSM is so simple it just requires a pencil and a piece of paper. (more…)

MHRA Looking for Quality Risk Management Systems — Sound Familiar?

The UK is on to something. British inspectors will be looking for a “risk register” and a defined document management control system including periodic reviews of risk management assessments when inspecting drug manufacturers. It seems both sides of the Atlantic are on board with quality risk management, and for good reason. (more…)

Quality and Safety Systems Need to Break Out of their Shells

The Senate reconvened this month with a very important bill on its plate – the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). With the recall of more than 550 million eggs and over 1,500 people sickened from salmonella fresh on their minds, this bill couldn’t be served up at a better time. Many of the backers of this bill feel strongly that this could have prevented or at least minimized the outbreak, and are hopeful that it will “solve” all potential future outbreaks. However, the 483 violations found at the two facilities were mostly facility-focused and clear violations of the Salmonella Prevention Plan. While the FDA has focused on the state of the facility’s environment, where is the focus on the quality and safety systems that are supposed to be in place at the company to prevent it from becoming a national crisis? As food safety issues continue to grow, regardless of whether S.510 is passed or not, manufacturers need to take control of their quality and safety issues in-house to prevent such disasters.  (more…)