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What is supplier quality?

What does Supplier Quality mean to me?

A great question…Supplier Quality revolves around a transparent and collaborative relationship between a customer and a supplier. A strong relationship which helps to ensure a particular product or service is fit for purpose, and compliant to all specifications and standards stated in the first stages of the supply chain process.

Starting at the initial selection stages, a suitable assessment of a potential supplier should be carried out, this will help identify key capabilities such as;

  • available capacity
  • implemented processes
  • competency elements of the supplier.

Furthermore, quality will help to determine a competent supplier and also highlight any areas of improvement, which can be actioned to make their system more mature and align to the needs of their customers.

Supplier quality throughout

Supplier Quality is not only maintained and called upon when something goes wrong, or when a finger needs to be pointed, it is needed throughout for transparency within the supply chain stages. From the point where a supplier is selected, quality is then called upon during many stages during a service being delivered to a customer. Quality plays a big role in ensuring specifications are correctly incorporated, and manufacturing processes align to that which is asked by the customer. It helps define the necessary requirements and if their are strong relationship with the suppliers, it help monitors inspection and production processes.

You would be right to think that Quality departments are always heavily involved when something goes wrong, but it is not about picking a supplier to pieces, it is about working with them to help rectify issues. Whether this is through robust 8D or 5 Whys analysis (both methods used to identify root cause), or with the implementation of assertive preventative and corrective actions. Picking up a non- conforming product will always highlight issues, but it is how you go about rectifying the issue that will be the most successful part of it.

Another key aspect of ensuring a supplier is meeting the quality standards your company requires, is by carrying out periodic audits. Not only will this build trust and give you a more practical view of how your supplier works, but it will help you learn and understand their processes, and how they align to production of the service they are supplying.

During auditing stages;

  • you are not just looking for issues
  • you are looking into where your supplier can improve
  • and highlighting areas in which they excel expectations

This type of feedback can only be positive, if it is delivered correctly and for the right reasons.

Supplier Quality at Nomad Digital

At Nomad Digital we like to work with our suppliers to help improve constantly, this is done through a number of different channels such as, Procurement and QHSE.

Our supply chain processes define how we select and monitor our suppliers as well as, how we go around the day-to-day activities such as, purchasing and raising new supplier request forms through our online services. Each potential supplier is recognised, and a number of internal checks are followed through to help decide a ‘go’ or ‘no go’ supplier, certain streams such as financial checks and quality questionnaires are communicated to help support the reasoning behind a selection.

This is beneficial to the organisation as it provides an outline of what is expected and how we go about working with a new supplier to help provide the best possible product or service to our end customers.

 

 

As well as the above...

We operate a live and ever-growing Approved Supplier List, which gives our people the ease of selecting suppliers through our procurement processes.This is reviewed periodically with the relevant teams coming together to make decisions on additions or removals, with decisive information on cost, delivery and quality.

Like any business we are looking to improve our processes and how we align them with our supply chain. Recent discussions and decisions have been made to define the tiering of our approved suppliers, dependant on the information discussed previously. This will provide our strategic plan, to implement controls for our Tier one suppliers including, a monthly scorecard which will monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) set out by the organisation.

Moreover, this will help with our annual business audit plan, which will look at focus audits on our key suppliers, to help identify any areas of improvement. Not only this, it will help build those all-important relationships moving forward.

A large proportion of what we do here at Nomad is ensuring that our installation processes are defined and followed by 3rd party and internal installation teams, this again is another area in which we hoping to expand, moving forward into 2020.

With this and our other key focuses and objectives, we are looking forward to creating and building upon our all-important relationships with customers, and helping Nomad to maintain it’s share of the market with the implementation of improvements across the supply chain.

Final verdict

Supplier Quality should be seen as a necessity within any organisation that uses a central supply base, to provide their end customers with a product service. Defining and maintaining key relationships adds value not only to your own organisation, but also to your supply chain.