Supplier performance has never been more crucial to business success than it is today. Suppliers performing well can help the organization to be more efficient, produce higher quality products, reduce costs, and most important, increase profits. On the other hand, suppliers performing badly can interrupt organization's operation and make the organization to fail in their commitment to provide high-quality products to customers. Also, effective supplier management is increasingly being seen as a competitive differential for businesses across many industries.
Organizations that adopt best-in-class supplier performance management practices are two to three times as likely to achieve supplier on-time delivery and first-time fill rates that are above the market average.
But managing supplier performance can be challenging at the best of times! How can you ensure that your supplier delivers the right goods, at the right time and the right quality?
The first line of defense could be incoming product inspection. Pre-existing quality defects in delivered primary products will influence every stage of the manufacturing process and impact on the overall quality of a finished product. The inspection of quality-relevant characteristics during the delivery process considerably reduces this risk. If the delivered product does not meet the required specifications, this immediately activates a supplier complaint.
Also, in order to ensure that your customers receive the required quality, the same methods and techniques used in the incoming goods inspection can be applied for the outgoing goods inspectionprocess. By performing these inspections only products that match the required customer specifications will be shipped.
Simply put, inspection is the process of measuring, examining, testing, or otherwise comparing the unit of product with the established requirements.
The inspection and measurement process helps your organization to:
Improve incoming material quality;
Reduce lead times;
Help achieve uninterrupted supply;
Enhance pricing competitiveness;
Improve customer service;
Strengthen and protect your brand image and reputation;
Improve the performance of your suppliers;
Drive continued improvement of your quality systems;
Protect sales revenue by helping to prevent late shipments, poor quality, wasted materials, rework, etc.
While measuring supplier goods and performance is very costly and time consuming, it certainly can be justified by the benefits of identifying and resolving inefficiencies and performance problems.
With decreasing product life cycle and time-to-market, the challenge to deliver quality products on-time increases. If a product is found not to meet the appropriate quality specifications for the marketplace - either after or late in the production stage - the results can be loss of product and revenues, delayed shipment or wasted materials, and the potential risk of a product recall.
The dynamic business environment today requires organizations to effectively use all available resources to remain competitive. The quality and cost of a product or service offered in the market is a function, not only of the capabilities of the organization, but also the supplier network providing inputs to the organization.
Ensuring that suppliers maintain high quality programs requires tracking and management of supplier qualifications, audits, nonconformance, corrective actions, and other processes. As organizations continue to rely on outsourcing as a crucial element of their supply chain, they are also realizing that incorporating supplier performance and material inspection tools into their overall quality management systems is a requirement for reducing risk and decreasing costs.
Certainly, supplier performance and material inspection should be monitored on a continuous basis to ensure the success of your suppliers, your organization, and most importantly your customers.
SE Inspection is a web-based tool designed for measuring supplier quality, delivery, service performance, as well as incoming/outgoing goods across your business enterprise. If your organization wants efficient, flexible, and state-of-the-art software for inspection planning, inspection data gathering, evaluation, and analysis, then SE Inspection is the tool of your choice. Whether for process-accompanying inspections, incoming or outgoing goods inspections use SE Inspection as the foundation for supplier performance evaluation.
From initial qualification to supplier corrective actions, SE Inspection provides a centralized tool for managing all supplier related quality data, issues and actions. SE Inspection enables your organization to reduce the cost of poor supplier quality and decrease efforts required to ensure your suppliers are meeting the standards that your organization has established.
Most importantly, SE Inspection enables organizations to improve quality, and reduce costs and risks associated with a growing number of regulatory compliance and corporate governance processes such as those related to the ISO 9000 Quality Guidelines, Sarbanes-Oxley, FDA 21CFR Part 11 Electronic Record Keeping, Good Manufacturing Practices, OSHA Regulations, and others.
SE Inspection can be tailored to your organization's unique data requirements and business processes. It operates on multiple platforms and heterogeneous operating systems.
Provides the capability to plan the inspection of incoming materials and outgoing products. It determines the level of inspection based on the past inspection results.
Sampling plans can be categorized across several dimensions such as sampling by attributes vs. sampling by variables, incoming vs. outgoing inspection, rectifying vs. non-rectifying sampling plans, and single, double, and multiple sampling plans.
Supports standardized sampling plans compliant with ISO 2859 (for attributive inspection) and ISO 3951 (for variable inspection), user-defined sampling procedures, and dynamic modification of the sample size and skip-lot. Switching rules in compliance with ISO 2859-1 (normal - tightened - reduced inspection) is also supported.
The receiving inspection system - through skip lot inspection capabilities and based on part inspection results - allows you to prevent out-of-spec supplied materials from entering your production environment.
Incoming materials are logged and tracked.
Inspection records can be created when materials are received to ensure appropriate tracking of all inspection activities.
Monitors trend versus goal to ensure you're on track with supplier development programs.
Deeply qualify suppliers to uncover hidden opportunities and mitigate risks.
Manages audits based on the risk level, audit frequency, and the supplier rating or score established in a supplier's profile.
Pre-defined and standard compliant inspection plans for incoming/outgoing goods and skip lot.
Through a closed-loop CAPA process, SE Inspection helps reduce the cost of supplier errors including late deliveries and defective raw materials, by identifying and tracking supplier CAPA status.
Assess the root cause of a supplier performance problem.
Enables your organization to track all supplier corrective and preventive actions through completion.
NCMRs are generated directly from the inspection record or independently in the case that materials are below quality control standards. SE Inspection ensures that the supplier investigations and root cause analysis are tracked through completion.
Allows you to control all documentation related to suppliers and goods inspections such as quality certificates, product spec sheets and CAD drawings so you know you're always using the latest revision of any documentation.
Allows you to rate suppliers based on your target metrics.
Scorecards can be easily created so you can measure the supplier's overall performance.
Provides the supplier's performance to the customer's key metrics for cost, quality, delivery, and service. These key performance indicators (KPI) measure the supplier's performance and provide a direct way of reviewing the value of the relationship between the organization and suppliers.
On-time delivery and quality performance is continually monitored and reported to each supplier.
Suppliers also can have access to their own performance data so they can assess how well they are doing. These capabilities result in a significant reduction in defects and their related costs.
Supplier performance can also be analyzed through SE BI, where all data is collected and presented in various reports and charts.
Effectively track and manage performance over time to drive continuous improvement.
Allows you to share performance data with suppliers facilitating issues management and assisting with the resolution of issues.
Allows you to control instruments that are used for performing inspection measurements so you know you're not using an instrument with expired calibration.
Provides seamless and smooth integration into existing systems so relevant data can be automatically imported/exported thus eliminating the cost of storing and managing redundant data and reducing the cost of manual data reentry and report generation. Integration also allows you to control and simplify business processes via workflow.
Provides means for recording all instrument maintenance and usage records for instant scheduling of maintenance events.
Provides powerful search capabilities which allows users to instantly list and link to suppliers and inspection data by supplier type, product type, inspection results, work order number, attributes, and many other fields.
Offers a large variety of standard reports, including tables and charts.
Maintains an extensive audit trail of all activities performed in the system, which is essential for regulatory compliance.
All historical information on each supplier is made available on-line. This provides management with instant visibility into critical issues such as supplier quality trends. The data can also be used to calculate supplier selection criteria and weightings.