BUMAX AB is a Swedish world-leading manufacturer, specializing in high-quality and high strength stainless steel fasteners that ensure reliability and safety for customer around the world. Their unique products are used for the most critical applications such as oil/gas, nuclear power, space industry, submarines, and the customers place extremely high demands on the product as well as certificate management. To secure an efficient quality document management and improve traceability the company chose ChainTraced to digitalize and automate the product certificate and document approval process.
Initial state, challenges & drivers
BUMAX used an older, customized web-based tool for creating product certificates and document approvals. With time consuming manual workarounds, and the dependence of an external consultant by system support and development, BUMAX wanted a more efficient way of working. From a quality perspective improved traceability was also an important driver. In addition, the number of outbound product certificates had increased, and with limited resources to manually create the quality documents, the need for a more automated certificate management was rising.
The quality standards that BUMAX requires from their suppliers are very high, and only very few passes the bar. Therefore, it is also important for Sourcing and Quality to be able to work closely together, and along with Sales in securing the quality and product documentation process for the high-quality fasteners that BUMAX deliver to customers around the world.
The cooperation with ChainTraced started as a pilot project already in 2020. The aim was to empower a more secure, efficient, and collaborative Quality Management, and mitigate the risks through automated validation of product certificates.
Since the start of the cooperation there has been a continuous development to form a new digital certificate management process and adapt the product requirements for BUMAX in the ChainTraced platform, with templates for internal processing and distribution.
Quality Manager Carina Tronelius has the overall responsibility for Quality at BUMAX. Together with the quality team, and Sourcing Manager Lars Åkerlund, she is also an important stakeholder in the cooperation with ChainTraced.
– In the ChainTraced system we have more search options than before, and the solution feels secure. It is also a solid bank of valuable information for us internally, meaning more people can benefit from the solution. It is easy for our technicians to check dimensions, length, type of material and other details, and it has become a valuable tool for them by customer support for example, as it provides them with both technology and quality data, Carina Tronelius says.
Another step to automate the process further along the supply chain, is to extend the process to include the digitalization of traceability data from suppliers, the inbound quality data. For BUMAX, the Swedish supplier Fagersta Stainless is the first supplier onboarded to ChainTraced, now sharing their quality data digitally through the traceability platform. It´s been a joint project where the team at ChainTraced has helped BUMAX to drive and secure a smooth supplier onboarding, and an efficient way of exchanging data along the metallic value chain for their products.
– It is great that Fagersta now is onboard in ChainTraced! It´s my responsibility to register the incoming supply data, and now this data is updated automatically in ChainTraced, and accessible for us directly in the system. This saves me time, and to certain extent even changes my task to be more of control and reconciliation. To get the information digitally from the original source is perfect, and works smooth from my point of view, says Lars Åkerlund.
BUMAX only collaborate with a few selected suppliers, besides Fagersta, and Lars means it would be great if all of them could be onboarded to use ChainTraced:
– That would mean even better efficiency, and I could focus my work on securing incoming supply data instead of manual registration.
Expectations & results
One of BUMAX´s main ambitions has been to improve traceability and reduce the manual administration by automation.
– Traceability is of great importance. I It is a core value for us when selling our products, and ChainTraced is an important enabler as the traceability platform has helped us to automate, easily get access to and share the right information digitally, says Carina Tronelius.
The traceability data is the main purpose for BUMAX to create the product certificates, and the information need to match the label of the product package.
– A digital product certificate is an extra stamp of quality in our customer deliveries, and a strong competitive advantage as we sell the product “together with” the certificate, automatically generated and distributed though ChainTraced directly by product quality proof testing.
Today most of BUMAX´s product certificates, and approval documents are managed automatically, displayed, and distributed to their customers via ChainTraced. Some product data still needs to be registered manually into ChainTraced as some product tests are executed by an external test lab. However, the plan is to align these exceptions further on to secure a coherent and automated process for all the quality documents in ChainTraced.
– The platform matches our product and customer requirements very well. We have a good dialogue with the team at ChainTraced regarding further progress and future development, to meet our needs as well as the needs of our customers and suppliers, says Carina Tronelius.
The new way of working has also resulted in a broader internal collaboration between Quality, Sourcing and Sales, with a common digital tool for us that provide more dynamic data, accessible to all assigned parties at the same time.