Supplier Quality Management
A systematic way to ease and validate supplier quality.
Gains Driven by Solumina SQM
What Are the Key Features of Solumina SQM?
Solumina SQM employs dynamic state switching for inspections. Based on real-time supplier KPIs, it scales testing frequency according to supplier performance. As a supplier’s quality performance improves, lot sizes lower and quality procedures become less stringent. If performance declines, SQM tightens inspection procedures and increase lot sizes. This ensures adequate testing to maintain quality without extraneous QA. It also introduces competition into the market for an improved value chain.
Solumina SQM can improve visibility into compliance by providing the capability to query real-time supplier status, constraints, and history records for all related processes and activities. This includes processes such as online verifications and characteristic data collection for inspection orders. SQM is a key tool for dealing with modern compliance regulations.
Non-Conforming Material Report (NCMR)
NCMRs are used to document material issues so that the party responsible for the material disposition is notified of the problem. Users can then rework, repair, or scrap the materials as needed. With Solumina SQM, manufacturers can access any supplier’s history of NCMRs and use that information to assess overall supplier quality.
Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA)
Once a material issue has been identified, the next step is Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPA). The Solumina closed-loop CAPA process helps reduce issues by more accurately isolating the root cause and providing the integration needed for a cross-functional team to resolve them. For manufacturers required by the FDA to document all CAPA processes, Solumina SQM creates historical records for every CAPA process that occurs during production.
Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)
APQP helps manufacturers keep up with today’s stringent quality standards by providing a framework for focusing on product quality early in the design process. For any manufacturer with an Industry 4.0 initiative, APQP is a key source of data. It identifies potential areas of failure and uses that information to plan quality to support any weaknesses. APQP empowers the manufacturer to implement successful new product introductions and take a proactive approach to quality.
Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)
PPAP ensures part compliance and associated changes throughout the value chain. It first focuses on the verification of the design and production processes used to produce the part. It then begins a trial run where the production control plan is released and monitored. Final quality process control plans are then implemented, and production can commence. Together, APQP and PPAP create a proactive approach to product quality by bringing it into the initial design process.
Measurement System Analysis (MSA)
MSA is a key tool to analyze variations in inspections, measurement, and test equipment. Solumina SQM software ensures that the variation in inspections is minimal. During the measuring phase, it collects data accurately, using the same measurements to provide contextualized data. Accurate measurement data is a top priority because it will influence decisions regarding the business or production process. Solumina SQM ensures that all measurement systems are accurate and consistent.
Statistical Process Control (SPC)
SPC can be used to monitor internal processes and eliminate any issues. It provides important statistical information to be used during process improvements. Solumina SQM employs contextualized data collection to control and optimize any business process using statistical analysis.
“SQM provides a complete paperless system for defining, managing, communicating and verifying product specifications and requirements with suppliers.”
Lay Out Your Supplier Strategy
When choosing a supplier, there is more to consider than just cost. Factors like compliance, on-time delivery, and customer service contribute to the overall value. The supplier that is cheaper upfront might be more expensive in the long run, if the overall value is low. Manufacturers should determine factors like a supplier’s reliability and quality consistency, in addition to any specific factors for their unique situation.
Compare The Suppliers
Once you have laid out your supplier strategy, you can compare quotations and samples from suppliers. It is just as important to compare quality samples as it is to compare price quotes. Lower prices might denote lower-quality products, which will cost more money in the long run than it saves in the short term.
Look For Strong Partners
Suppliers are an extension of your enterprise and value chain. Besides strong quality and on-time delivery, suppliers need to be communicative and accessible. Take the time to find supply chain partners that you can build a lasting business relationship with.
Make Backup Plans
It’s important to find the perfect supplier, but it’s also important to have alternatives ready. Especially during periods like the coronavirus pandemic, volatility can cause suppliers to suddenly shut down or run out of materials.
Understand Supplier Quality Certifications
In addition to the above general tips, there are some specific quality certifications that manufacturers should seek from their suppliers. The ASQ provides a series of certifications that range from specialized, highly experienced quality professionals to part-time beginner quality analysts.
Align Business Goals With Your Suppliers
Having a clear performance goal for your own business makes it easier to apply the same logic to business partners. One of the best ways to achieve success with continuous improvement is to choose suppliers that are aligned in using methodologies such as Six Sigma or lean manufacturing. Solumina SQM provides a systematic approach to ensuring supplier alignment.
Enact A Real-Time Data Collection System
Solumina SQM allows paperless tracking of supplier performance. Instead of waiting for paper questionnaires or site visits, manufacturers can access real-time information on defective parts, late deliveries, or any other issue impacting supplier performance. They can also track positive results, like on-time deliveries and consistent quality performance. With all this data easily accessible, manufacturers can optimize the group of suppliers they work with.
Design A Performance Assessment System Specific To Your Business
In complex manufacturing, no two business processes are the same. That means it is important to layout measurement strategies using an in-depth knowledge of the specific situation. Correctly measuring performance in complex manufacturing is not one-size-fits-all.
Strengthen The Communication And Information Flow
Supplier performance improvement is a two-way operation. Manufacturers need to be clear and specific about their expectations, and suppliers need to give the information needed to measure their performance. With Solumina SQM, the real-time feedback flow and streamlined communications speed up the process of sharing information between manufacturer and supplier.
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