Supply Chain Quality is a very important area as companies cannot only rely on simple Audit, Incoming Quality Control, etc. to manage suppliers. Supplier visits / audits are all well and good, but do they truly bring sustainable quality improvement?
As companies strive for ongoing cost reduction a much more detailed and ‘real-life’ awareness of supplier capability is imperative to minimise risk of changing suppliers or making major changes with existing ones. The key to improving Supplier Quality is developing a sequential set of detailed activities that clearly ‘reveal’ supplier’s true capability and provide suitable process reporting that clearly demonstrates a supplier’s ability to produce consistently high quality components / sub-assemblies / products.
Setting up a new supplier or even changing management approach to existing suppliers requires the supplier QE to have a ‘toolkit’ to lead them through a proven and efficient method of maximising supplier quality and providing long term assurance via ‘virtual’ reporting.
Reliability Solutions have developed a very effective ‘6 Step Supplier Process’ which has been used widely across many clients, leading to major reduction in supplier failure levels in all stages of the client’s manufacturing process and in the early life stage of end customer usage.
Step 1 Complete the Reliability Solutions Quality Questionnaire from which the SQE will score response to decide if supplier is even worthy of a visit.
Step 2 – Supplier provides requested specific information / data in advance of site visit following Step 1 approval in line with Questions asked.
Step 3 – Review Supplier process in detail and apply the Reliability Solutions Audit procedure with scorings applied and grading of supplier on completion, perform the Reliability Solutions ‘SMART’ scoring of supplier.
Step 4 – Perform the Reliability Solutions Supplier Reliability Maturity Index rating which focuses on Engineering related capability and Reliability focus which will highlight risks in longer term reliability and ultimately warranty performance.
Step 5 – If steps 1,2,3,4 completed successfully, supplier will provide samples for Customer review and testing which will include a range of robustness, durability, function and reliability stress tests (mostly for electronics) will take place.
Step 6 – Supplier now ready to start production. At this point the Reliability Solutions 6UP management reporting (discussed with supplier in step 2),will be implemented at supplier for ongoing reporting direct to the supplier QE.
In each of the above steps, many years of experience has been used to develop the 6 step approach that provides measurable outputs the supplier QE uses to benchmark suppliers and also drive continual improvement at existing ones.
Within each step there are a number of requirements to be completed which provide the SQE with all the necessary knowledge to truly understand the supplier GAP’s , whether it is an existing supplier to be improved or selection of a new supplier. These will include;
- Detailed Process Mapping and review of where testing should be added to ensure supplier has maximum in process defect detection capability
- PFMEA and definition of detailed process control plan to address all possible process risks
- Gauge R&R of process test equipment
- Defining process measurement methods to select for appropriate points in process (% yield, ppm, DPPM, Ave no, defects per unit, etc
- Setting up the most efficient and effective Early Life reliability stress test to prove supplier process reliability levels
All of the necessary requirements as above and techniques are covered in the 2 day training leading up to bringing all the measures into an ‘Holistic’ summary with a scoring approach to provide a TOTAL scored evaluation of the supplier in a totally different manner to traditional methodology. This is known as the ‘NPI Transition Matrix’ which can be altered for any process to provide an output score for excellent supplier benchmarking and acts as part of supplier continual improvement to reach higher score
A scored NPI Matrix could look like the example below;
Let Reliability Solutions show you how companies have adopted the 6 step model approach to get quantifiable improvements that were never thought feasible.
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