Tag: sourcing

What is Responsible Sourcing & How Do You Manage It Effectively?

Our latest video discusses a topic increasing in relevancy. Responsible Sourcing is also a topic we’ll be discussing next week at ASQ’s annual World Conference on Quality & Improvement.  Visit us in Booth 607, or attend one or both of our sessions on Monday, May 1st.

3pm – 4pm

M26: Managing Supplier Social Responsibility: On-Site Audits

5:30pm – 6:45pm

AF04: Incorporating SR Into Daily Life

Resolving issues w/ QC in the textile/garment industry

The International Journal of Information, Business and Management recently reported on the garment industry and the impact on quality in the current environment.

Garment factories in Bangladesh have been the site of rights abuses and fatal accidents. The industry also faces its share of traditional business challenges, including mounting international competition and a lack of formal quality management systems, researcher Hasanuzzaman writes. Common challenges to adopting quality management systems – such as Six Sigma – include a lack of financial resources, infrastructure, and education, according to the author’s interviews with factory managers. Those who had implemented quality management, however, reported better customer and employee satisfaction, better waste management, and faster delivery.

CGMA Magazine highlights the ongoing issues noted in the textile/garment supply chain despite attempts to implement corrective actions via quality management:

The industry is also struggling to confront unsafe conditions in its supply chain. In 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, which housed factories making garments for global brands, collapsed. More than 1,100 people were killed, and thousands more were injured. Since then, driven partly by media and consumer pressure, the industry has attempted to prevent and remedy the dangers to its workforce. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was drawn up with much fanfare and signed by more than 200 clothing brands. Factories were inspected, and corrective action plans were put in place. However, 1,401 of the 1,646 factories covered by the accord are behind schedule on these tasks, according to the Accord’s quarterly report dated July 2016.

As an industry faced with these issues, ensuring product quality control and a stable quality management system can be especially challenging.

Recommendations to improve quality in both the short and long-term include:

Focus on supplier selection

  • Consider various regions and their reputation for quality and overall sustainability/social responsbility .
  • Verify potential supplier’s capabilities and environment with an on-site assessment. View an example SR report and an Initial Supplier Evaluation.
  • Contact other clients working with the supplier.

Conduct ongoing inspections & data analysis

  • Depending on how comfortable you are with the supplier, first-article, in-process and pre-shipment inspections can be employed.  A previous blog post reported on common issues we note during textile/garment inspections.
  • Evaluate inspection data on a periodic basis to drive continuous improvement efforts. Consider the 80/20 rule for monthly management.

For additional information, a comprehensive article discussing all aspects of textile/garment quality can be be found here. Akter HossainDepartment of Textile Engineering at Daffodil International University offers several insights and recommendations.

For more information regarding how Pro QC can assist with supplier selection and on-site quality control, contact us or visit our website at here.

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:

  • Management
    • Is there a quality manual, and how are people trained?
  • Engineering
    • Are there control systems and a formal system of using updated drawings/specs?
  • Quality Control
    • Is there a quality department, and how much ultimate repsonsiblity do they have?
  • Incoming QC
    • Are raw materials inspected, and is inspection equipment calibrated?
  • Packaging
    • Are they packaged to prevent damaged and properly labeled?
  • Non-Conforming Materials
    • Is there a specific area for non-conforming materials and applicable training for handling/reporting?
  • Corrective Action
    • Is corrective action properly communicated, documented and follow-up on?
  • Manufacturing
    • Is there documentation, a maintenance program, etc.?

View an example Initial Supplier Evaluation report here to get a better idea of the basics when considering a potential partner.

Don’t Skip Inspections – Even the most highly rated suppliers have been known to release a shipment or two with quality issues that somehow went unseen. Some of these quality concerns can end up being safety issues that can easily result in recalls or other rework/warranty situations.  For an added level of assurance, incorporate pre-shipment inspections. These happen when the shipment is 100% produced and 80% packaged. So, you’re able to confirm visual/workmanship issues, functionality and packaging integrity issues.

View example QC inspection reports here to get a better idea of what’s included in the final evaluation of product.

For additional information regarding avoiding recalls and ensuring quality, contact us.

Recent recalls are listed on the CPSC site here.  “The CPSC fulfills its mission by banning dangerous consumer products, establishing safety requirements for other consumer products, issuing recalls of products already on the market, and researching potential hazards associated with consumer products.

A global site is also available here.  “The GlobalRecalls portal brings together information on product recalls being issued around the world, on a regular basis, together in one place – on an OECD platform.”

Quality: It’s What’s Driving the Global Automotive Industry

A report issued by McKinsey & Company predicting trends up through 2020 in the global automotive industry identifies four challenges that will affect the industry’s growth.  With these four challenges in mind, we offer quality solutions that effectively hedge or otherwise prepare those working within the industry.

  • Complexity and cost pressure
  • Diverging markets
  • Digital demands
  • Shifting industry landscape

“To capture future growth and find profit from these challenges – and to mitigate their risks – OEMs cannot simply turn to their traditional toolbox. They need to review and adjust their strategic priorities, deploy the appropriate investments and resources, and develop new skills to execute these strategic objectives.”

The automotive aftermarket faces it’s own challenges as well, discussed in detail within the Aftermarket Outlook 2020 report.  According to the report, challenges include:

Challenges_Aftermarket

Quality solutions continue to offer a competitive advantage that ensures long-term sustainability while effectively addressing challenges identified by the industry.  Solutions offered include:

  • Supplier Selection (Verification and on-site initial evaluations)
  • Product Development (Testing, PPAP, etc.)
  • Production (In-process QC inspections, order monitoring, corrective action, etc.)
  • Supplier Management (TS/ISO 16949 audits, process audits, ISO 14001 environmental/sustainability audits, SA8000 social audits, C-TPAT security audits, etc.)
  • Shipping – Logistics (Container loading supervision, pre-shipment QC inspections)

Over the last three decades, Pro QC has assisted a significant number of OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers in reducing their associated risks and cost. View our example service reports here

Will you be one of over 44,000+ attendees at AAPEX this year? If so, visit us in Booth 1874 to learn more about how we help reduce quality risk and cost in the industry! If you are unable to attend, contact us anytime at one of our worldwide office locations.