Cisco Blogs

Getting Quality Control Right

March 17, 2016 - 4 Comments

Controlling quality in a complex manufacturing environment moving at light speed is not easy, but it needs to be done. Any time there’s a recall, it affects your brand and the trust your customers have with your products. True quality control is fixing problems inside of your 4 walls.

Imagine you have been alerted that a key component you are sourcing from another company has a recall issue.

You have several suppliers for this component to your plant and now you have to figure out which of your products are affected. If you are able to identify where the components are, then you can deliver a controlled recall specifically to your customers.

If not, your customers could be disappointed watching a national recall on the evening news and your brand takes a hit. Worse yet, you may have a customer that was buying your product and you just chased them to the competitor….and they might never come back.

If you cannot isolate where the quality problem exists in your plant, the cost of controlling that becomes exponentially higher. You need to prevent the problem before it leaves the plant and affects customers.

That’s where Cisco comes in.

Cisco provides traceability across the network to collect and track production data. The data can be analyzed in real-time and alert operations that there’s a problem.

Here’s where we’ve done it:

We’ve helped Barilla track pasta across the entire supply chain. Customers can know the farms where the wheat was grown, the co-ops and factories where it was processed, and how much water and carbon dioxide were involved in production.


We’ve partnered with Bosch to help workers on the assembly line use their wireless torque wrenches for consistent quality. For example, the wrenches can catch a problem and alert the worker that a bolt wasn’t tight enough. Our systems monitor thousands of torque recordings and help ensure the components are put on correctly every time.


What it took to get you here will not be enough to keep you here. Only by digitizing processes can you have first time, every time quality.

Are you meeting your own quality expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you are interested in receiving our weekly blog posts, click the “Subscribe” button at the top right corner of this page.

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  1. Nice article Steve.
    Where do we call to get some collaboration from Cisco in this regard?
    Do you have contact information?

    • Sam:

      Thanks for the note, and sorry for the delayed response!!

      You can reach out to me directly and I can help you connect with the right resources within Cisco for sure.

      My email is

      Thanks Sam!!!

  2. Excellent blog Steve! I think manufacturers know that quality is a big part of brand goodwill and perception so it requires a focus and strategy. Interesting real life story we helped on with Stanley Black and Decker reducing their DPMO rate in their Reynosa factory:

    • Thanks Celine….it is an interesting philosophical question on whether companies today are playing offense or defense….