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Tips for
Quality Managers

As a quality manager, you are not only responsible for the initial acceptance and certification of your products.

You should also ensure the consistent quality and permanent conformity of the products with the applicable guidelines, laws and requirements.
Unfortunately, this complex task often does not receive the necessary attention in the hectic day-to-day business and you are constantly running after necessary information. Typical situations are
  • You are informed about new products quite late by Purchasing or Product Management
  • Product compliance and the necessary documentation is not a top priority for purchasing and suppliers
  • You and the supplier's quality management team must invest a lot of time in researching all product-specific requirements and their changes - this applies in particular to new products, new technologies and new product ranges
  • You receive incomplete or even incorrect information about the purchased products (bill of materials, certificates of identity, test reports, packaging information, etc.)
  • For some products or specialty areas, you do not have the necessary time to check and evaluate all of the supplier's documents
  • You do not find out whether and to what extent the supplier has changed components
  • You do not have enough resources and tools to cope with the complex task
  • The processes in your company and at the supplier are not suitable to fulfill the product compliance regulations of your products in an efficient manner
  • ...
Perhaps these 8 tips will help you to better manage your complex area of responsibility and make the topic of product compliance more important in purchasing, product management and general management.

8 Produkt Compliance Tipps für Qualitätsmanager*innen

  • Try to raise the importance of product compliance management to a higher level in management, purchasing, product management and research & development. Processes can only be redesigned and optimized if those responsible are aware of potential risks and dangers for the company as a whole
  • Use a product compliance management system to efficiently determine the legal requirements of various products and, above all, track changes to them. This saves you time-consuming in-house research and means you are always able to provide information, especially if you have a large product range.
  • Conduct regular training sessions on the legal requirements and the risks that arise from non-compliance. Young junior employees from purchasing, product management and research & development in particular learn about the importance of product compliance management and can take this into account in their work
  • Make an effort to be involved in product development or the purchasing of products at an early stage. The earlier you can point out the legal requirements of the various products and their fulfillment, the better product development can adapt to them and purchasing can take these requirements into account when negotiating with suppliers
  • Proactively create requirements lists for different product groups and make them available to product development, product management and purchasing. Even if these requirement lists do not correspond exactly to the future product or are not up to date, purchasing, R&D and product management have an insight into the core requirements and can take them into account.
  • Create approximate cost estimates for different product and laboratory tests to demonstrate compliance of different products in different countries. Product management and purchasing should be able to include these tests in their calculations and negotiations with suppliers at an early stage
  • Ensure that purchasing and product management regard the technical documentation of the products (declaration of conformity, test reports, certificates, risk analyses, chemical analyses, ...) as an indispensable part of the product. Complete technical documentation is required by almost all CE directives or regulations (Low Voltage Directive, EMC Directive, Toys Directive, ...) and is often the central starting point for market surveillance authorities during inspections.
  • Educate your core suppliers about the product compliance requirements in your core markets. If your suppliers understand the legal regulations and your company-specific requirements, you will be able to design the products, production, necessary tests and the corresponding documentation accordingly.

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