Strategic Supplier Selection


The 2016 Year of the Monkey also marks the tenth year of our quarterly newsletters. What started as an idea to add client value has evolved into a quarterly quality news resource read by thousands of dedicated subscribers. In looking through our previous articles and updates, a clear pattern emerges. Our focus is consistent in that we continue to discuss relevant topics applicable as quality solutions throughout the sourcing process. One specific topic we haven't discussed in some time continues to be relevant. Investing in supplier selection resources reduces the costs associated with selecting suppliers that later present as delayed shipments, poor quality, etc. What can you do to ensure you're selecting the right suppliers to meet your needs? --Planning-- What are your requirements? Think about short and long-term needs and wants when considering supplier characteristics. Incorporate multiple departments for cross-functional feedback. Examples of considerations include: Capacity Location Management Corporate Culture Existing Clients Certification Equipment - Tooling Requirements --Verification & Evaluation-- At the most basic level, you want to know that the supplier exists. Many times, communications are initiated electronically only. Local representation can confirm the existence of the supplier and basic details with little investment. Credit checks can often be executed and collection of documentation provides a foundation of assurance. There are multiple options available when planning for an on-site evaluation. Organizations with internal resources may organize site visits as a final round of decision-making. This is often done with the assistance of a third-party to assist with translation and/or logistics. Other organizations opt to reduce the costs associated with sending internal resources and rely on the third-party quality provider to be the partner representing their interests on-site. While on-site, auditors perform an Initial Supplier Evaluation with primary areas of focus including: Management Engineering Quality Control & Assurance Incoming Receiving Inspection Manufacturing Packaging Non-Conforming Materials Corrective Action Inspection & Test Equipment More detailed audits, such as those that are industry driven like ISO 13485 for medical devices or vendor driven like Wal-Mart's SR / FCCA / GSV audits, can be more costly due to the additional time and resources required, but also offer extensive insight into whether a supplier is likely to meet your expectations or not. An audit score provides a percent-based comparison of items that comply with requirements, areas that require improvement and non-conformances. Each evaluation includes an auditor's recommendation as to whether to use the supplier, suggest corrective actions, or disqualify. An example Initial Supplier Evaluation report can be found here: Additional example audits are here: --Selection-- The final selection process is easier when there's comparable data available. A previous post has also incorporated the use of a grid analysis for this process. For more information, read the article here: Pro QC assists clients throughout the world with strategic supplier selection and development tools. Our experienced auditors have the knowledge and local expertise necessary to help you make a non-biased assessment that serves as an invaluable tool for final determination. For more information, contact us:

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