Quality control issues come up on the surface at various stages of the supply chain; it is significant to deal with them as early as possible to decrease the risk factor and cost. Unoptimized SCQM would result in the form of high production and distribution costs, it would decrease revenue and profitability due to disruptions, delays, and unplanned downtime. Today, we’ll discuss supply chain quality management; its step-by-step implementation, advantages, and disadvantages.
What is Supply Chain Quality Management?
Supply chain quality management is the method of managing, evaluating, and analyzing the quality of processes and products in the supply chain. SCQM allows businesses and companies to gain a competitive edge by decreasing costs, growing their business, and amplifying continuous improvement. You can employ SCQM to achieve the following;
- Consistent SC
- Timely delivery
- Limited lead time
- Decreased cycle
Efficient SCQM allows businesses and companies to recognize and manage problems and issues with products and processes before they could disrupt the supply chain; loss of revenue, and drug shortage.
Strategies and Practices for SCQM
Some of the top strategies and practices for effective and efficient supply chain quality management are as follows;
- Employing digital technology and tools to amplify the SCQM process
- Outlining supplier quality agreements while conducting supplier audits to discuss the accountability of suppliers
- Ranking suppliers based on the scorecard and their existing and previous performance
- Auditing suppliers regularly to analyze their performance; recognize problematic trends and patterns, and take corrective actions when they come up
- Defining quality requirements to maintain performance across SC processes
- Establishing risk management strategies to analyze SC partners
Implementing Supply Chain Quality Management
Some of the main steps in implementing a supply chain quality management strategy are as follows;
Setting up PPAP
Manufacturers and producers depend on the functionality of various elements of the SC processes; it is significant to analyze all the subsystems and elements received from various suppliers. You should have clear design specifications to comply with standards. An effective and efficient PPAP (product parts approval process) would help you to deal with changes in the production and manufacturing processes and analyze future suppliers.
Establishing Receiving & Inspection Process
It is necessary to combine the material-receiving process from a supplier and establish an evaluation schedule on the supplier’s performance capabilities. At least you should execute the skip-lot-sampling process. Such processes would help you in the following ways;
- Analyze and track goods quality in real-time
- Making sure inspections consistently
- Decreasing defects in finished products
SCARs (supplier corrective action requests) are significant for infractions, customer complaints, delayed or missed deliveries, and non-conforming material. The objective is to achieve transparency for anything that is out of order or specification. However, it comprises of taking the following measures;
- Risk analysis
- Corrective planning analysis
- Root cause analysis
Suppliers & Material
While dealing with the approved supplier list, you should measure the performance of the material and supplier in real-time. The approval and review of workflow offer you control and transparency over the qualification processes.
Gathering Supplier Rating
It is significant to have centralized transparency and visibility into the performance of suppliers with the assistance of qualitative and quantitative rating insight in various areas of supplier relationships.
You should amplify the role of supplier quality manager from the quality team to every stakeholder that has a connection and relationship with the supplier. The procurement and purchasing team has got a strong relationship in making sure the quality of suppliers.
Your suppliers and vendors should be a part of your quality system. It is the supplier’s responsibility to deal with quality issues whenever they come up. You should include suppliers in the workflow and QMS (quality management system) as the responsible person for developing the solution. However, you should integrate the system in such a way that it bridges the technological gap and established a consistent flow of communication across various systems.
Advantages of SCQM
Some of the main benefits and advantages of supply chain quality management are as follows;
- Improving operational performance by decreasing legal, reputational, financial, strategic, and regulatory risk factors
- Recognizing and resolving potential risk and quality issues in the early stages with process or product oversight
- Allows production and manufacturing companies to make sure building quality in various production and distribution processes at every step of every product
- Holding 3rd party SC partners accountable for the quality and compelling them to ensure the integrity of their brand and amplify profitability
- Assists companies to develop consistent SC processes
- Improving delivery time
- Decreasing lead time and cycle
Disadvantages of SCQM
Some of the main disadvantages and challenges to the SCQM are as follows;
- Shortage of quality suppliers of raw supplies would cause quality issues in the SC processes
- A long SC network would make it nearly impossible to recognize or isolate any problem in the product
- Different regulatory requirements and inconsistent operating procedures and policies in different countries make it difficult to achieve quality
- Difficult to recognize resources and talent for suppliers and manufacturers to deal with the problem
Conclusion: Supply Chain Quality Management
After an in-depth study of supply chain quality management; we have realized quality measures are highly significant to make sure quality of the SC processes. If you are learning about the SCQM, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned strategies, implementation steps, advantages, and disadvantages.
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