5 Points to Include in the Quality Audit Checklist for a Manufacturing Company
Quality management practices must be a key priority for manufacturing organizations to ensure that best products with no defects or quality issues reach the customers. As an experienced manufacturer, you must have an all-encompassing Quality Management System (QMS) that helps in overseeing various processes and quality aspects to ensure the expectations of customers are met. While a QMS helps you to avoid disasters in your end products, you also need to do periodic internal audits to verify the effectiveness of your QMS. Regardless of how competent your implemented QMS is, a quality audit helps in reassuring its capabilities and avoiding any further quality issues in your products. Following an audit checklist for a manufacturing company is helpful to carry out the internal audits effectively.
Auditing is also necessary for manufacturing firms because they face many industrial regulations and need to achieve compliance with them to stay in the industry. The process of auditing can be tiresome, especially if you have vast manufacturing processes, quality control procedures, and complex products. However, you can simplify your audit process by separating the reviewing of products, processes, and quality control procedures. The audit checklist is prepared considering all these separately. Here is a guide to preparing the checklist.
5 Things to Incorporate in the Audit Checklist for Your Manufacturing Company
While creating a checklist for your audit process, you should include these items to make sure all crucial aspects for quality assurance are covered.
Engineering and Designing Processes
The first point of your checklist must include the processes of engineering, conceptualization, and designing of the products. The point should include your capabilities for research, design, and development of products. It hence means reviewing the patents that your firm holds, engineering documents, equipment and tools used in designing, and work instructions that the workers dedicatedly follow to manufacture the products.
Your auditors may also review some product samples after they are designed to check whether they encompass the requirements of the customers.
Manufacturing Environment, Infrastructure, and Maintenance Processes
Another crucial part of the audit must include touring and evaluating your entire manufacturing facility, which includes the infrastructure, production processes, work environment, storage conditions, routine equipment/machinery maintenance processes, and testing or calibration equipment. Even the lights, ventilation, water supply, and hygiene of the manufacturing environment must be checked. Any type of quality issue can arise if there are challenges in the production conditions or there is a substandard manufacturing environment. Therefore, the audit checklist must include a thorough review of all internal production areas and equipment to identify any issues and resolve them.
Input Materials and Components
The inputs or raw materials have a direct impact on the quality of final manufactured products. Therefore, you should include quality inspection of input materials and components in your audit to prevent any defects or inconsistency in the final products. Quality issues in the inputs can affect your entire line of production. Therefore, it can either cause difficult reworks if the problem gets identified after the products are manufactured, or it can result in the delivery of flawed products to the customers. This part of the audit process may also include checking the suppliers’ control processes. For that, you need to ask for information or documents regarding their quality assurance practices. The information can give you proper insights into their quality checks and quality standards. Hence, if you identify any discrepancies in their processes or nonconformance to your quality guidelines, you can ask the suppliers to rectify them.
QMS and Quality Control Procedures
A quality audit checklist must include the evaluation of the QMS and quality control procedures supported by it to ensure the production and delivery of flawless products. This part of the checklist is about examining the capability of your manufacturing processes in meeting the customer as well as compliance requirements. The QMS is a broad system that the auditors should check meticulously to ensure its scope and functions are in the context of your manufacturing products. Second, they should also ensure that everything in the QMS is in line with the documented quality policy and objectives of your business.
The auditing of quality control procedures is required to identify whether there is any need for improvements in any procedures. Other crucial checks in this point include reviewing the role of the management team in operating the QMS, compliance with ISO 9001 or other such certification, and performance of the quality management personnel.
Inspection of the Conditions of Finished Goods
The last element of the checklist is about inspection of the finished products, i.e. their condition after they are produced and before they are dispatched for delivery. This part of the audit thus includes identifying any manufacturing defects or quality issues in the products that were overlooked. They must be identified before the packaging process starts. The finished goods inspection can be conducted by an external party for more accurate results. Tests or checking of the finished products mainly include evaluating their appearance, features, function or performance, and packaging conditions. After assuring all these, the auditors must also check the storage conditions to ensure that all finished and packaged products are kept in a safe environment.
Including all these in the audit checklist for a manufacturing company is very crucial to establish that its quality management program is effective at preventing risks or issues in the processes and products. A comprehensive and precise checklist helps in the thorough evaluation of areas and to remediate any issues as early as possible. A successful quality audit also helps you in preparing for the external audit which is required for achieving a quality certification. It hence acts as the roadmap for your certification success.
Need help for the quality audit process of your manufacturing firm? We at Compliancehelp Consulting LLC are a team of quality assurance experts offering certification consultation and internal audit services to businesses of all types. We can assist you in carrying out your audit by preparing an appropriate checklist. Get in touch with our experts today.
Liked the blog? Keep following this section for more information or updates on certifications and quality assurance processes.