Planning for the unforeseeable through supplier evaluation

Having the flexibility to identify, contain, and adapt to foreseeable and unforeseeable issues is critical to a comprehensive response plan for quality nonconformances and product recalls. Proactive, responsible companies that implement comprehensive vendor/supplier/contract manufacturer evaluation programs and performance tracking systems as components of an overall quality management system (QMS) will boost preparedness and ensure smooth responses to otherwise devastating product recall scenarios.

Any business — large companies especially — should select contract manufacturers in the same way they select suppliers and other vendors: with thorough research, hand-on inspection and rigorous screening.

A good way to think of it is this: Treat suppliers, vendors and contract manufacturers as if they are your own facilities. Even if they are not providing you with an end-user product, if your company name is going to be on the final product, your customers will view you as responsible and you will be ultimately accountable for … Read more...

The advantage of web-based supplier management

While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:

Supplier management and evaluation

The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.

Risk management and continuous improvement

To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management … Read more...