Supply Chain Management & Quality Audits, Part 1

Product quality, reliability and customer satisfaction are just a few of several reasons why managing supplier quality can be crucial to keeping satisfied customers.  Although not every supplier will require an onsite quality audit, but those companies that do should be predetermined based upon the impact that their service, product or process potentially has upon your company’s ability to meet your customer commitments and expectations.  Customers want products/services that meet their expectations (quality), and they want the product delivered on the date stated in their purchase order (on time delivery).

Customers don’t want excuses, low/poor quality product or late deliveries. Unless your company is the only show in town, your customers will quickly move on and become customers of another company that will meet their needs.  Their needs, maybe I should say their customers’ needs, because that’s what supply chain management really gets down to isn’t it?  Your customer is depending on your company to provide a product that they require to meet their customer’s requirements. If your company can’t deliver, they can’t deliver, and so on down the line.

In today’s business environment, hardly any company can afford not to be proactively increasing their market share.  W. Edward Deming stated that “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them.”

To simply place a purchase order with a company, then hope for the best, or rely upon their reputation, is a mistake waiting to happen.  The more critical in nature their process, service or product, the more your company needs to ensure that your requirements are clearly defined and acceptance criteria are established.  Companies can’t absolve themselves of responsibility for the quality or performance of an outsourced product or service.  As a purchaser, it remains your company’s baby to ensure that your supplier is capable and qualified to meet customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.  An example is the 2010 BP oil disaster.  Due diligence is essential to protect your company from unnecessary risk exposure.

See our next blog for more about conducting supplier quality audits.       

ATCS, Q-Blog

Quality is 24/7/365

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