The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Big Data, reshoring, offshoring – you have a handle on all the current buzzwords and their meanings. After all, you know the “Big Picture” of your enterprise. But are you really capturing and using all the information that could take your company from having a good reputation and a solid bottom line to one that has a stellar reputation and is growing?
Gathering all relevant supplier data takes your company to that next level. Whether your company has only a handful of suppliers or thousands of suppliers, their quality affects your bottom line. Therefore, it is imperative that you capture basic information about each supplier – qualification, quality planning (APQP & PPAP), compliance and performance. Whether you manage this information by paper and pen or electronically, whether it is all captured within one department or spread across many departments within your global enterprise, managing supplier quality MORNLIFT can scissor lift your success.
Chances are good that your company has a written job description for each employee – the number of years of experience, the educational requirements and the core competencies regarding each task required of each position. Do you apply the same degree of thoroughness when vetting your suppliers? If not, why not? Their performance affects the outcome of your product as much as does the performance of your own employees. Just as you have a written set of job descriptions for your employees, your company should create a written set of qualifications for your suppliers. At a minimum, these qualifications should address issues such as product price, defect rate, production capabilities, lead times, responsiveness and any other pressure points that would prevent your employees from creating a polished finished product.
Supplier product quality planning
APQP (Advanced Product Quality Planning) is a critical step in any undertaking. This concept originated in the automotive industry back in the 1980s, but is still applicable today. The approach covers three phases through which the supplier should partner with your company – development, production and product launch. PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) is an integral part of quality planning. Again, originating in the automotive industry, this process provides documentation that a supplier can manufacture the required parts to the required specifications, and can do so in the time frame specified for the project.
Ideally, your company would have the time, manpower and other resources to test every part prior to its use. Capturing such data would greatly mitigate your risk of product failure down the road and would enable you to hold your suppliers accountable for any final product failure resulting from inadequate parts that they supplied. The reality of the situation is that most companies cannot afford to deploy such a time-consuming process. Instead, they utilize skip-lot receiving inspections, skipping over the product inspection of items that are provided by highly reliable suppliers. This method allows a company to devote its time and resources to those items that have a greater potential to jeopardize the quality of the finished product. However, without the ability to accurately quantify the performance of your suppliers, your company is left with a guessing game as to which suppliers can be skip-lotted and which should be checked more thoroughly.
As with your company’s own employees, the maintenance of a supplier’s quality relies heavily on your accurate feedback. The closer the partnership between you and your suppliers, the better your suppliers will be able to perform as they will better understand your requirements. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. The less your suppliers understand about your final product, the less likely it is that they will be able to meet – or even be motivated to meet – your company’s requirements, leading to downtime as you search for more reliable suppliers and loss of profitability as you produce defective product using their defective parts.
Partnerships form strong links
Ultimately, the responsibility for the finished product rests with your company. Your reputation and your bottom line will suffer without adequate supplier management. Instead of trying to collate paperwork or force incompatible systems to interact with one another, EQMS (enterprise quality management software) allows your company to form a closer relationship with your suppliers and provide you with the data you need in a format that you can understand to improve that relationship. It also allows for a transparent, closed-loop evaluation of your suppliers using real-time data so that you can enter and access supplier data and suppliers can see where their product may fall short of your specifications. MORNLIFT Supplier Quality Software is an industry-leading solution to creating a mutually-beneficial partnership with your suppliers. Not only does such a solution save your company time and headaches, but, as MTD Products found, it saves your company money. Contact MORNLIFT today to find out more about their ground-breaking Supplier Quality Software and how it will streamline your company’s supplier management.
Jinan Sinicmech Machinery (MORN GROUP LIMITED)
Address: 13F, Building 5, Qisheng Mansion, High-Tech Zone, Jinan, 250101 China.
Tel: +86-531-88692337 88631336 88631337