Annual Report 2019

2.3 Ensuring safe and high-quality products

Our strategic priority is to reach more and more people around the world and turn customers into fans. To do this, we offer contemporary and functional product designs, along with high-quality material and safety features.

Since frames are medical devices, we make sure they meet strict safety regulations to fulfil the most important customer and market expectations. We collaborate with cross-departmental representatives of our local retail brands and Regional Fulfilment Hubs to assess relevant quality requirements and related risks.

We perform product tests for ISO standards 12870 (frames) and 12312-1 (sunglasses) in internationally-accredited laboratories. This is to confirm our products are safe and effective, as prescribed by applicable regulations. We also work closely with suppliers to resolve potential quality issues at the start of the manufacturing process by holding in-house quality checks on prototype products. Then, we perform a final inspection on finished products to guarantee stringent control on finished products and increases operational flexibility.

2019 accomplishments and future goals

Our biggest project in 2019 was finalizing our Medical Device Regulation (MDR) compliance and ISO 13485 certification plan for all global and local operations and preparing for a 2020 roll-out. The MDR will be the key driver in the medical device industry for quality and regulatory matters, and GrandVision is on-track to meet these objectives and compliance regulations.

In 2020, our Quality & Regulatory (QARA) team will further improve our quality and regulatory compliance, including ISO 13485 certification, new product quality requirements and improved compliance processes.

Incorporating customer feedback

Our global complaints handling tool lets us learn and address our customers’ product-related feedback and complaints. This is overseen by our risk management board, which includes product, process and clinical experts who assess the issues to determine the actions to resolve them. This process is key in updating our products to ensure safety for our customers.

Working with our suppliers improves quality

Our QARA team builds long-lasting relationships with suppliers to ensure the quality and safety of our products. This includes keeping them informed about the latest product quality, regulatory and safety requirements with regular communications, meetings and seminars. The team's work ensures that the products we manufacture and distribute comply with the applicable regulatory requirements. For example, our contact lens suppliers must comply with EU MDR and the quality management system requirements set within the MDR. This new EU 2017/745 regulation will become mandatory in May 2020.

We need to ensure all Exclusive Brand frames and sunglass suppliers are ISO 9001-certified. And as a member of the ISO standards committees for eyewear products, our QARA team helps shape future eyewear safety and effectiveness standards.

We also developed a ‘Continuous Improvement’ program based on our findings from supplier factory audits. We embedded this concept in our Exclusive Brand suppliers’ manufacturing processes by introducing controls and optimization skills through regular supplier education.