Supplier Development Services.
Providing assessment and development support to help ensure your supplier is ready and qualified to support your business.
Managing suppliers can be a headache. As separate business entities, each supplier is choosing their own approach that may or may not benefit your business. However, the pain is very real when they fail. At the same time, manufacturers are increasingly depending on their suppliers due to increasing complexity and specialization in technology. Therefore, quality standards are increasing their focus on supplier qualification and monitoring.
But especially for a small or mid-size site or business, it is extremely difficult to justify permanent resources to address potential supply base issues. An effective solution would be using us as a flexible resource to address your supplier development needs. Below are the key services:
At the time I took over the supplier quality responsibility, the worst supplier had about 34 issues in 12 months. There were about 2 issues a day on average with weekend calls almost every week. 20 months later, we had improved by 60%. The worst supplier had 8 issues, no supplier had more than 3 issues other than the worst 3 (out of 150+ suppliers) in 12 months and we barely had 2 issues a week!
How did this happen? We had a near identical team in this 20-month period, but we took a very different approach. I identified that the approach was not data based and that the team was instead driven by comments and gut feelings. A direction was given by me of “no inspection, no action” and started changing the culture. Engineers started solving problems more effectively with the fact based approach.
This positive culture change spread down the supply chain quickly. We also added on A3 thinking as a part of this approach to our suppliers. The “data and fact” approach drove solid investigations on the root causes, and the repeated issues started disappearing. At the same time, I started a visual prioritization process to identify critical suppliers and establish focused improvement plans. I explained to my team that suppliers always want to do a better job if we can help them to understand the real problem. Our A3 thinking approach provided the exact expectations, then suppliers started to deliver an outstanding result.
In summary, our “data and fact” approach helped us to utilize our resources better and enabled our engineers to take on the leadership roles. They led their suppliers to identify the root causes of their issues, resulting in fundamental changes in performance. This type of mindset shift can lead to wanted culture changes, and we would love to help you establish that in your business.