A Buyer's Integrated Quality Assurance Program

Article

Dix Jr., J.; Marabello, M.L.; McHugh, J.K.   (1987, ASQC)   Bell Communications Research Inc., Piscataway, NJ

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3371    May 1987    pp. 710-717
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Article Abstract

Modern quality theories indicate that the most important avenue to effective Quality Assurance for the buyer is through an involvement of Quality Assurance in the supplier quality process from the design stage on. This involvement is intended to focus the supplier's attention on the processes that strongly impact production, overall quality, and reliability.The Bellcore Quality Assurance organization has been examining the traditional methods of operating in an effort to "work smarter" as a means of assuring higher quality of products being purchased by Bellcore's clients, and at the same time remaining efficient, and cost effective. The result of this effort is that product audit, the traditional quality assurance approach, is currently undergoing an evolution in application and philosophy at Bellcore.This approach led to the development of the "Bellcore Quality Assurance Surveillance" (BQAS) program. This program seeks to maximize supplier quality improvement, and the efficiency of the buyer's quality assurance effort by; (1) moving "up-stream" in the supplier's quality process; and (2) making use of the supplier's own quality data. The emphasis of the program is that quality must be "built into" the product. The intent is to assure that the supplier is upholding this responsibility by continuously examining its own quality system and its implementation.The BQAS program is a comprehensive plan that utilizes a number of Quality Assurance tools to effectively and efficiently measure and assure the quality of products procured by Bellcore's clients. The plan consists of three major, interrelated elements; Product Audit, Process Quality Audit and Supplier Data, all working together to emphasize defect prevention rather than detection and correction. Three major objectives of the plan are; to monitor the processes by which the supplier controls the quality of the product, to obtain accurate estimates of the quality of documented procedures, whether disclosed by the BQAS program or the supplier's own system, are taken to assure that shipped product continues to meet the buyer's requirements.

Keywords

Customer supplier relationships


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