Tag: factory

Supplier Selection & Management: What You Need To Know

Our latest quarterly newsletter Feature Article discussed strategic supplier selection. Due to the response we’ve had, we wanted to follow-up on our blog.

We were surprised to discover many of our newsletter subscribers didn’t know a variety of options existed for gaining additional assurances when going through the supplier selection process.

Determining which option you leverage involves the level of risk you’re willing to take in the process.

What are the options?

Legal Verification

The most basic information that you will want to have verified by an external source includes legal verification. Is the supplier legally able to partner and produce products for you? It becomes less clear how to do that when you’re looking at potential suppliers abroad. Using a 3rd party with local access is often preferred due to the cost and time required to execute internally.

Credit Standing

Another indicator of performance is generally an organization’s credit rating.

How well are your suppliers performing?

03b46b56-b77c-4008-9e90-9ad4cfd1f3cfIn a recent post, we discussed several New Year’s goals that we frequently hear from clients and prospects around this time of year.  One of the most common is evaluating and improving supplier performance.

We know that suppliers may appear qualified at first and then fail to deliver the required quality after time and money have been invested in project development. Other suppliers have many of the desired capabilities for your projects but are inconsistent in quality and performance. Supplier switching costs can be very high and risks to quality and delivery unacceptable.

Juran describes the process of supplier evaluation as:

  • The evaluation of product samples
  • The evaluation of the supplier’s manufacturing process

So, how well are your suppliers performing?

New Year, New Goals… 2015 Quality Goals

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As 2014 comes to a close, we are considering the quality goals and objectives we’ve discussed with our clients and partners regarding ongoing improvement in the coming year.  Some examples shared with us include:

  • Establish and/or improve a supplier performance evaluation process
  • Develop and implement corrective action based on factory and inspection data analysis
  • More effectively communicate support for quality throughout the organization
  • Review and/or develop detailed product specification information to reduce discrepancies or other issues
  • Avoid delays in shipments
  • Review and analyze processes to identify bottlenecks and/or develop documentation

What are your quality goals for 2015?  

At Pro QC, we help our clients meet their quality goals and objectives. Contact us for additional information regarding how we reduce quality risks and cost.

What are our quality engineers doing on-site during inspections?

QualityInspectionWordCloudWe receive questions relating to quality inspections and the inspection process quite often.

One of the most common questions we receive concerns the benefits of inspecting product for quality prior to shipment.  The short answer is that inspections reduce overall quality risks and cost!

Another question we receive often relates to what happens during a product inspection? What do our quality engineers do on-site?

For us, each product is treated differently depending on specifications and/or other client requirements.  We work closely with our clients to develop the specifications that help guide our inspectors on-site.  However, there are a few consistent components that include:

Quantity Verification

  • Is everything packaged? Our general rule is 100% produced and 80% packaged for a pre-shipment, final inspection.
  • Failure to meet expectations for quantity can result in a “missed” inspection result.

For more information regarding the difference between first-article, in-process and pre-shipment inspections, read our article here.

Tips on quality from Bentley

We recently discovered a video discussing quality control at a Bentley Mulsanne factory.  As a 3rd party quality assurance and engineering firm, we do a significant amount of work in the automotive industry.  From TS 16949 audits to product inspections, it’s an industry we know places value on quality.

Of course, Bentley is synonymous with quality, representing to many the highest of automotive luxury. For Bentley, “the attention to detail is what defines a valued, quality product.”

“Spec check”

When the cars in this video come off the line, they make sure everything matches the specification.  Non-conformances are flagged and logged.  This can take up to an hour and half.  During another process check, anything flagged is taken care of.

From a previous post:

Inspection Plan Development
A good plan is only as good as its foundation, so a comprehensive and detailed product specification is critical to the success of the overall strategy.  Pro QC often assists clients with this documentation creation and also uses it internally to direct engineers on-site.  A good plan incorporates anything that will affect the salability and performance of the product.