How to Maintain Quality Standards Throughout Your Supply Chain So You Thrive in a Tough Market

Dec. 16, 2016
Inteva Products was facing this challenge when it separated from its parent company. Knowing that delivering quality products on-time is critical to satisfying their OEM customers

Let’s say your company manufactures products for the automotive industry. Your challenge is to deliver high-quality products on time at the lowest price possible. Sounds simple enough but when you rely on a network of over 300 suppliers, maintaining your quality standards becomes one of the most difficult challenges you’ll grapple with on a daily basis.

Inteva Products, LLC, a tier-one, global manufacturer of automotive parts, was facing this challenge when it separated from its parent company in 2008. Knowing that delivering quality products on-time is critical to satisfying their OEM customers—and earning more business—Inteva sought out a system that would help it reduce defects, variation, and waste throughout its supply chain.

Measuring Suppliers on Standards and Performance

Manufacturing cloud ERP enables Inteva to notify suppliers of quality requirements and provides them with the latest versions of the company’s standards, policies, and procedures. The ERP system also enables the company to communicate with suppliers regarding any non-conformances, and to document the associated sorting, scrap, freight and downtime costs.

Inteva uses a supplier scorecard feature to grade suppliers based on their capabilities and on-time delivery performance so the company can develop relationships with suppliers that meet Inteva’s quality standards. This scorecard enables Inteva to look at the number of complaints each supplier has received, parts-per-million of quality opportunities rejected, any major production disruptions, and controlled shipping statuses for a complete picture of how the supplier is performing.

Pinpointing Supplier Problems

Identifying problems early is the key to finding solutions quickly and collaborating more effectively in a complex supply network. It’s difficult to do this without extensive visibility into supplier operations and consistent collaboration tools. Inteva’s cloud ERP handles that by allowing the company to pinpoint and isolate problems, then work with suppliers to minimize the impact on overall product cost and quality. When a problem is identified anywhere within the automotive supply chain, the supplier and an Inteva representative receive an automatic notification that action is required. A “problem case” is identified and automatically created, and supplier responses to problem cases and associated cost recoveries can be reviewed and approved or rejected.

Improving Supplier Communications

Problem identification and resolution used to be a time-consuming, manual process that included sending hundreds of emails back and forth but is now automated and has improved supply chain collaboration. Inteva and its suppliers communicate in one central location and users can quickly view in real time any issues by plant, by supplier, repeat non-conformances as well as a perpetual digital paper trail of the interactions for future reference. All of this helps them all work together to reduce and better manage non-conformances in the future.

Want to infuse more quality in your supply chain? Download the white paper: The Effective Supply Chain: Maximizing Performance.

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