Interview with Fernando Moncayo, Co-Founder & Managing Director at Inspectorio
“We are living in a transition. What COVID has done is accelerate this transition. I believe the time we’re living through is really unique; you only get to live through this type of transformation once.”
Fernando Moncayo has spent his career helping to reimagine and reinvent the workings of the global supply chain. As a partner to many of the world’s largest brands and retailers, Inspectorio has granted him a unique perspective on the industry’s historical arc.
Fernando Moncayo shares with us his insights on the evolution of the quality control industry — an evolution decades in the making that is currently experiencing an explosion of growth.
Traditional methods of quality control — pen and paper, faxes, emails, spreadsheets — are quickly being replaced by streamlined, collaborative digital solutions that bring all stakeholders onto the same platform. The new technology has proven to increase efficiency, accuracy, and decision-making for all parties.
“This is a huge opportunity for the whole industry to do things in a new way. I believe this is the tipping point — we are moving to a growth stage.”
The Pitfalls of Traditional Quality Control
The “policing” approach to quality control came into being around 1989, when massive privatization in China opened factories up for global business. Many of the problems associated with this approach still haunt the industry today
- Inefficient, ineffective, and/or inaccurate inspections
- Delays in receiving inspection reports
- Audit fatigue
- A reactive instead of proactive approach to product defects
- Non-standardized inspection reports, making them difficult to analyze
- Resource-intensive and slow data analysis
- Long email threads and lost communication
Despite the industry’s best efforts, traditional quality control was and continues to be associated with a higher risk of unexpected defects and ineffective audits.
The introduction of new technologies in the 1990s and early 2000s led to a shift in mindset from quality control to one of quality assurance. Today, however, a new transformation is underway: one of empowerment and accountability.
“More and more, you need technology to have better monitoring, better access to real-time information, and the ability to make better business decisions based on objective data and objective analysis of risk.”
A far cry from the traditional policing dynamic, brands and retailers can now form productive relationships with their supply chain partners, operating within a framework of continuous growth and improvement.
The Benefits of Digitizing Quality Assurance
Adopting a digital solution like Inspectorio benefits all stakeholders in a company’s supply chain, from brands and retailers to vendors and factories.
Benefits for Brands and Retailers
A digital quality assurance platform “allows companies to capture data in real time and to validate that the data is accurate and real,” Moncayo says. At any point during the collection of that data, “you just literally click a button and the report is ready. This brings a whole new set of efficiencies into the market, liberating a lot of time and resources that can be used for other inspections.”
He notes that this allows companies to turn data into analytics, analytics into knowledge, and knowledge into decisions. “That’s something that wasn’t possible before — or at least it required a lot of people and a lot of time.”
Now brands and retailers know instantly whether an inspection has resulted in a pass or fail, with access to real-time CAPAs in the event of failure.
“With everyone connected on the same platform, the same system, the same language, you can address the issue while the inspector is still there on the factory floor.”
The capability to dramatically increase efficiency and reduce inertia offers a strong competitive advantage to whatever brand or retailer has adopted such a system.
Benefits for Vendors and Factories
Adopting a digital quality assurance platform offers an orders-of-magnitude improvement for vendors and factories.
“It’s a huge opportunity not only to jump into digitization of their inspections — and move away from tools like pen and paper, digital camera, and excel — but also simply to take their production to a new level
A network platform like Inspectorio allows you to differentiate yourself from others.
By showing clients information on your quality and your ability to address any type of problem in real time, you are proving that you’re worthy of their business. “The more transparent you are, the more the industry sees you as one of the best,” says Moncayo.
Advice for Those Considering Digitizing
Moncayo offers the following advice for those navigating digitization:
Put your best foot forward.
With a digital solution, the data speaks for you — historical data is proof of your abilities. “That’s something that brands and retailers want,” Moncayo explains. “They want to collaborate with responsible, productive, and innovative partners. As a vendor or factory, if you are good, that’s something you want to show the world.”
Embrace machine learning.
“Real development happens when everyone is together in one place,” says Moncayo. “The same thing has happened with machine learning in our industry, with different factories, vendors, brands, and retailers in one place, interacting and gathering more intelligence using data and facts. With this collective knowledge of both the good and the bad — this ability to learn from successes and failures — imagine the efficiency that’s possible.”
Think long-term when deciding which platform to adopt.
“Because the changes are coming so fast, you have to be able to innovate and assimilate as fast as you can. Generally, you have to have the culture, the capabilities, and the mode of thinking to be able to realize your ideas. The technology is here, it’s going to transform the whole world, and it’s affecting you in many ways (some of which you don’t realize yet) — but right now, it’s especially transforming quality inspections.”
Thousands of organizations are adopting these technologies. Though they are changing the way quality assurance is done, they are nothing to be afraid of; they represent the ability to make your production simpler, better, and more efficient.