Quality leaders among manufacturing companies leverage quality management as a core organizational and competitive strategy toward measuring, monitoring, and improving supplier performance. They also use quality as a way to lead their supply chain development programs and stimulate collaborative opportunities with their suppliers. These key points were made by Aberdeen Group in newly released research.
Aberdeen Group’s study on quality management queried 109 manufacturing organizations about their quality efforts toward improving supplier performance in March, based on four criteria. The consultancy characterized “Leaders” as the top 30 percent bracket of the 109 respondents, and the remaining 70 percent of the field as “Followers.”
Among leaders, 59 percent have supplier performance monitoring and audits in place, compared with 39 percent among followers. Among leading companies, there is likely a greater awareness that suppliers are factors in risk and quality, according to Aberdeen Group. Leading organizations are 16 percent more likely to include supply chain development programs in their risk mitigation and continuous improvement programs.
However, “both leaders and followers consistently see the ability to collaborate with suppliers on quality as a strategic capability,” according to Aberdeen Group, focusing on “examining the business impact of supply chain interruption,” among other collaborative efforts. Supply chain development programs also reveal misalignment between a manufacturing company’s operational processes and its suppliers, allowing collaborative approaches to raise quality, introduce new product features, and overall product development.
Aberdeen Group writes, “While collaboration is an effective approach to supply chain management, not all suppliers are created equal. Suppliers come with strengths (and weaknesses). The key is to identify early where collaborative initiatives fit best and which partnership would bring the best payback.”
It adds, “Companies helping suppliers comply with the ISO family of standards share enterprise systems architecture and other quality management methodologies… Simplified product and supplier processes can result from having cost and yields measured the same way from raw materials to subassemblies and integrated systems. Supplier corrective and preventive actions that follow equivalent standards ensure continuity and good results.”
For more on the Aberdeen Group research, see here.