Author: jennifer

Managing Supplier Compliance Requirements

A recent article posted to Supply Chain Digital “raises the point that all companies need to see evidence of suppliers’ own manufacturing and sourcing practices, particularly in health and safety, quality assurance and ethics.”

Due to the risks involved, retailers, associations and others are increasingly refining supplier requirements. Organizations wanting to sell products to these companies must ensure their suppliers meet code of conduct or other specific standards. Walmart is certainly one of the largest companies that comes to mind here and has changed the landscape of supplier compliance in many ways.  When qualifying suppliers to Walmart sourcing standards, audits are performed that address global security, social responsibility and general quality management systems. An example preparation audit report performed for a potential Walmart supplier can be found here.

Focus on Quality: Resources & Recommendations for World Quality Month

Inc. posted an article a few weeks ago that identified tips for becoming a billionaire.  And, it’s no surprise to us that each recommendation is either directly or indirectly related to quality.

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The following were cited as “insider success secrets:”

  • Live well below your means.
  • Focus on quality above everything.
  • Think about sustainability.
  • Constantly seek out people smarter than you.
  • Learn how to lead different personalities
  • Be a flexible planner.
  • Being understood is overrated.

The article is timely… Each November, World Quality Month is observed. And, quality professionals throughout the global community participate in spreading the word.

Support Manufacturing Education & Awareness on October 7th

“Manufacturing is more than just putting parts together. It’s coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting the engineering, as well as final assembly.” ~James Dyson

We post this quote predictably each year as Manufacturing Day approaches.  This year, Manufacturing Day will be observed on October 7th.

What is Manufacturing Day? 

“Manufacturing Day℠ is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.”

Why is it important?

Research reveals the theory behind Manufacturing Day works. For the first time, participants were polled about their experience. A new Deloitte perception survey developed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute was distributed to the more than 2,500 manufacturing hosts to gather data from attendees. The results are dramatic:

Confirmed: Perceived Quality Affects Customer Advocacy More Than Any Other Element

The September issue of Harvard Business Review  includes an article related to The Elements of Value. In the article, a study highlights what customers value in products varies by industry.

1472758161An included table summarizes the top 10 elements of value that various industries find influence loyalty. (Left)

The 10 types of businesses evaluated include:

Apparel/Retail
TV Service Providers
Discount Retail
Consumer Banking
Grocery
Brokerage
Food and Beverages
Auto Insurance
Smartphones
Credit Cards

 

See anything in common? For all industries noted, “Quality” is referenced at the top of the list.

“Some elements do matter more than others. Across all industries studied, perceived quality affects customer advocacy more than any other element. Products and services must attain a certain minimum level, and no other elements can make up for a significant shortfall on this one.”

“A rigorous model of consumer value allows a company to come up with new combinations of value that its products and services could deliver. The right combinations, pays off in stronger customer loyalty, greater customer willingness to try a particular brand, and sustained revenue growth.”

Avoiding Product Recalls

downloadOver the years, we’ve had our share of inquiries related to organizations seeking to resolve a recall situation.  While many of these calls are reactive, a proactive approach is recommended to avoid the cost and overall impact to stakeholders.

How can you avoid product recalls? 

Know Product Safety Requirements –  Avoiding recalls generally starts with product design and specification development. Due diligence is required to determine if any applicable testing is required depending on the market in which it will be sold. Contacting a testing lab for a general inquiry is worth the time and effort. Researching ANSI and ASTM standards is also advised.  A third party’s expertise can also be leveraged here and specifications development/testing can be outsourced.

Know Your Suppliers – Supplier selection is a critical component in the quality process. Verifying suppliers and performing an on-site evaluation adds an additional level of assurance. Considerations include: