Our Tampa office worked with the local ASQ section and Hillsborough Community College’s Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education and coordinated and instructed a series of webinars that will run through this month. The webinar scheduled for today discusses Supply Chain Management, which many in our industry recognize is a broad topic. As a brief introduction, the following components are discussed: Supplier Selection Conduct a needs analysis (brainstorm and consider long-term growth expectations). Conduct preliminary interviews and/or surveys. Evaluate samples. Perform on-site audits (general quality systems management, ISO based, social responsibility, security, etc.). Use a grid analysis for objective decision making. Supplier Evaluation (Performance) Conduct pre-production, in-process and final pre-shipment inspections. Trend the data and incentivize based on performance. Perform regular audits. Develop a rating system. Examples include no rating, quality rating only, quality & delivery rating (graphic method), quality & delivery method (cost index method) and a comprehensive method . Supplier Partnerships Share information – Communication and transparency are key. Know and understand goals, vision and capabilities. Incorporate training. Develop supplier rewards associated with specific criteria. Supplier Improvement (Corrective Action) Define, evaluate, implement, document and review results. Seeks to eliminate the causes of nonconformities in order to prevent recurrence – Resolves product manufacturing issues. Incorporates corrective action investigation, corrective action planning and corrective action verification.