Continuous Improvement is the goal of every Quality Brand.
Products generally go through a 4 stage lifecycle that includes product development, technology transfer, manufacturing, and discontinuation. All stages of product lifecycle are controlled through the quality management system, and ensure final product quality is not compromised.
By understanding the 4 stage lifecycle of your product, you will better enable your organization to drive quality into the product from the start, and continuously improve product quality.
It starts with Product Development.
Product Development is the activity of designing the product and processes that lead to product realization. Product development focuses on ensure consistent product quality that meets the needs of patients and consumers, and should take into account all scientific research and process knowledge to make effective decisions.
Begin with the end in mind.
Technology Transfer follows product development, and aims to transfer product and process knowledge into the manufacturing environment and different sites of manufacturing while maintaining consistent product quality through product realization. Technology transfer establishes the foundation for manufacturing processes, manufacturing controls, manufacturing validation, and continuous improvement.
Manufacturing achieves product realization, or a readily deliverable product to patients or consumers. Manufacturing goals are to maintain a state of control and continuously improve product and processes. This ensures product quality specifications are met for every batch, key performance and process indicators are being maintained, appropriate controls based on risk analysis are used, and that products may be continuously be improved.
The end of the road.
No one likes to admit when it happens them, but not all products are successful with the market – interestingly, it is a category of continuous improvement. An organization will certainly get a better understanding of the market when a product fails to sell. That said, there need to be plans in place to control the products that are still on the market and ensure there is a “firewall” for to protect against claims of products not being safe for use.
Product Discontinuation ensures all records and samples of process and product are retained while discontinued products may still be circulating in the market, in reservation for recall events.
Action you can take:
Continuous Improvement is a buzz word in Quality Management Circles, but is often tough for organizations to deploy consistently. Because of the intricacies of the products, and the big picture nature of continuous improvement activities, we recommend getting all of your Quality Management Systems in place before undertaking the efforts of a Continuous Improvement program.
Quality Management Systems are the key to Continuous Improvement, and the use of those systems will inately get your organization on track for improving product quality. Use the systems, manage your process, and keep track of variation in all resources, and you will be on the right track. Just be sure to keep in mind the stage of product lifecycle, and keep and eye on the process variables.
If you have questions, contact us and we can give you the advice needed to keep on top of your Continuous Improvement.
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