CAPA consists of two separate elements: Corrective actions and preventative actions. It is a myth that preventative actions are merely the follow-up steps to corrective actions. Both aspects are distinct and key to identifying and mitigating nonconformances. Without sound CAPA, your company would not be able to pinpoint quality issues as early as possible during production.
Top challenges with CAPA
In short, you have three primary challenges with CAPA:
- CAPA is a time-consuming process
- CAPA scope and context
- Implementation of CAPA software
Certainly, you can count on encountering many more pain points along the way, but these are the problems that you will have to address immediately if you want to build robust quality processes.
Benefits of CAPA
Once you know the CAPA challenges you are likely to encounter, you can reap the benefits of reinvented quality processes. Overall, your company will benefit from retooling CAPA processes because:
- CAPA is key to continuous improvement processes
- CAPA can help lower cost of quality
- CAPA can improve compliance metrics with EQMS
In fact, by automating CAPA, you can increase the number of products in compliance from 96% to 99%, according to figures from the trusted experts at LNS Research.
How to automate CAPA
Automating CAPA entails:
- Auditing current software and quality systems
- Redefining nonconformance management
- Redefining CAPA workflows in a single system
The main idea to remember is that EQMS is the enabler of all three facets of CAPA automation.
Developing closed-loop CAPA processes
You should always remember that closed-loop CAPA entails bolstering quality processes with business processes from end to end. With integrated EQMS, it is possible to “close the loop” on CAPA as well as auditing, complaint handling and supplier management. Truly, you need the capability to manage CAPA in a single system.
Accuride: A CAPA success story
When you integrate all aspects of CAPA with EQMS, you can reveal substantial benefits — and novel approaches to quality like the automotive manufacturer and supplier Accuride. Accuride’s approach to quality is so unique that LNS Research dedicated an entire case study to showcasing Jd Marhevko, VP of quality and lean systems, and the effectiveness of her cost of poor execution (COPE) metric. COPE, a metric that includes unplanned losses due to poor execution of quality and operations, has opened new avenues for Accuride, especially with respect to CAPA. As you have read throughout this blog series, CAPA is key to continuous improvement. To that end, Accuride leverages data collection into actionable intelligence by approaching quality from a more holistic perspective, pioneered by Marhevko. To state the bottom line of the paper succinctly, “it is important to focus on only the data that is usable and relevant … an effective approach can be to define high loss areas and just start the measures. Redefine them as you go.”
Accuride’s success story highlights what is possible when you automate CAPA and all quality processes with EQMS. Indeed, without a holistic approach to quality, CAPA will fall short of the mark, which is why selecting an integrated EQMS is so critical.