Lifetime Brands, Inc. has expanded its quality management initiatives with the development and launch of a proprietary, mobile software application, Lifetime QM, which offers a real-time digital inspection guide. Lifetime QM is a digitized, real-time, portable tool that standardizes factory and product inspections, providing inspectors with systemized directives, instant access to information and corrective actions.
The mobile application is designed to improve quality, reduce warehouse re-work costs and give retailers and consumers a better experience with Lifetime’s brands and products, according to the company.
Cliff Siegel, evp/global supply chain, Lifetime Brands, stated, “Quality assurance has always played a critical role in ensuring we deliver the best possible products to market. We are constantly challenging ourselves to find even better ways to manage quality, but found that nothing on the market could meet our desired requirements. Therefore, we developed a solution tailored to our needs, which culminated in the Lifetime QM application.”
Siegel continued, “We created Lifetime QM to run on iPads, which allows us to go mobile. We can now put a complete digital resource into the hands of our inspectors, guiding them through all steps in a standardized product inspection process from end to end…Lifetime QM empowers inspectors with a wealth of information to ensure our criteria is met at every step of the inspection process. It gives inspectors the documentation needed for performing each predefined step, and allows them to capture all relevant testing data.”
Lifetime QM captures data pertaining to product inspections, social compliance and factory compliance, the company asserted. This takes place prior to shipping and distribution, with emphasis on easy adoption, simple workflows and legibility, as well as speedy and accurate reporting, noted the company. Lifetime can oversee and manage quality control inspections, in real time, regardless of where factories, product lots or distribution points exist. Lifetime QM can generate up-to-the-minute reports to allow high-level analytics and immediate identification of potential issues, along with corrective action plans.
Lifetime designed the patent-pending user interface from scratch with custom-tailored features built directly into the application. The proprietary software measures performance, records results and identifies issues; industry and retailer standards for product and packaging are built in. Lifetime QM integrates seamlessly with the company’s existing SAP system, allowing inspectors to produce quantifiable quality reports on the product level that product managers can view by logging into SAP on their computers. Lifetime QM currently has inspection plans for over 16,000 items, reported the company.
Since Lifetime QM was rolled out earlier in the year, Lifetime has seen a decrease in quality issues for the products that are being inspected, the company stated. Issues are being identified before they enter the supply chain, reducing the number of defective products or materials being received and allowances paid to customers by providing proper quality measurement data. Lifetime QM is saving time and the cost to rework products after they arrive in Lifetime’s warehouse, and visibility into the inspection process has allowed the company to fine tune its inspections, contributing to an ongoing improvement process.