How well are your suppliers performing?

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In 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?

Ray Carter, director of DPSS Consultants, first outlined his Seven Cs of Supplier Evaluation in a 1995 article in “Purchasing and Supply Management.” He later added three new Cs to the model.

The 10 Cs are:

  • Competency
  • Capacity
  • Commitment
  • Control
  • Cash
  • Cost
  • Consistency
  • Culture
  • Clean
  • Communication

This article was published in ‘The Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management,’ Carter, R., ‘The Seven C’s of Supplier Evaluation,’ 44-46, © Elsevier (1995).

At Pro QC, one of our primary services is Supplier Development.  In this partnership, we assist clients by evaluating suppliers on-site and conducting assessments that vary based on industry and/or other requirements. For example, automotive audits generally follow the TS 16949 standard. We advocate third-party assessment here to gain the benefits of auditor experience and objectivity.

Experienced auditors provide detailed reports that can be used in the comprehensive evaluation process.  In addition, corrective action items are often noted and checked during follow-up or during a regularly scheduled assessment.

Pre-production, in-process and final pre-shipment quality inspections provide useful data for ongoing performance.  With inspection data, suppliers are evaluated based on defects noted, delays in shipments, etc.

Supplier rating systems are common. From a single quality rating to multiple variable, incorporating a rating system provides for objectivity and comparison. Variables might include on-time delivery, customer service, inspection data, total cost, etc.

Our original article about New Year’s goals can be found here. What are your quality goals for 2015?

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