Partnerships Improve Quality Service

Article

Kepner, Joseph L.; Aft, Lawrence S.   (1993, ASQC)   Pande Controls; Conyers, GA

Annual Quality Congress, Boston MA    Vol. 47    No. 0
QICID: 10023    May 1993    pp. 688-694
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Article Abstract

A new, team relationship between suppliers and their customers should be based not only on the cost of products and services but also on all other measures of quality. Customer supplier partnerships enrich all parties, and their success depends on the quality of products and services. For an industrial distributor, the partnership involves three parties: the manufacturer that supplies the product to the distributor, the distributor itself, and the customer that purchases the product. As in many quality endeavors, a team is formed, and it consists of individuals from all the parties. The tasks of the team are to: establish communication among the partners; develop standards and specifications for the products and services; identify methods to meet these specifications; and agree on a measurement process to evaluate the partnership. Benefits of the partnership include: consistent quality of materials and delivery; known agreed pricing; elimination of the bidding process; and consistent demand for the supplier's services and the manufacturer's product. There are limits to this relationship, especially in the resources available to the partners to sustain quality specifications and in the willingness of the partners to compromise on operations, requirements, and procedures. Success requires the commitment of management to meet customer expectations. A case study of an industrial distributor demonstrates how well the customer supplier partnership can work.

Keywords

Case study,Cultural change,Suppliers,Piping and Equipment Company,Procurement,Customer expectation


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