Supplier Certification - A Positive Response to JIT


Maass, Richard A.   (1988, ASQC)   Abbott Laboratories, North Chicago, IL

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3439    May 1988    pp. 303-312
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Article Abstract

The most significant recent innovation in the Customer/Supplier Interface is a program called "Certification of Suppliers." Basically, a certified supplier is a source that through prior experience and qualification can provide material of such quality that it needs little if any receiving inspection or test before going into approved stock or into the product process. The concept has rapidly spread through many industries and is currently occupying the attention of many ASQC members. However, like many new and different programs, Supplier Certification has grown up with some confusion. This presentation will follow the steps to implementation of certification -- not so much of the theory, but the nuts and bolts approach.

The material presented will represent the best thinking of the Vendor-Vendee Technical Committee, who gathered at a special meeting to explore the subject. While authored by the Moderator, several speakers will present parts of the total program, such as:

  • What are the differences between an Approved Supplier and a Certified Supplier? What are the characteristics of a certifiable supplier?
  • What are the criteria for certification? Many subscribe to the idea of certification, but agreement on prior attainments by the source can become a long debate. We will discuss such things as incoming inspection history, on-line performance, specification agreements, system documentation, and on-site evaluation results.
  • Proof for a Process Industry source. Bulk materials present unique problems for certification. The number of lots are few, but each may be huge, and the value high. Methods such as correlation between laboratories are one possibility, among others, that will be illuminated.
  • Proof for a Product Industry source. Today's A.Q.L.'s of 1%, 2%, etc. must be changed to Acceptable Quality Levels stated in Defects per Million Units. Demonstrating process capability and stability through Statistical Process Control technology then leads to certification.
  • Administration of a Certified Supplier Program requires planning and long-term attention. It starts with a good commitment meeting. But what if the Certified Supplier stumbles? A multi-level sample plan will be discussed that allows the supplier to "earn" his way back to certified status. It is also necessary to create post-certification program to keep the progress on-going.
  • The Certification program's relationship to the latest manufacturing systems such as J.I.T. and Ship to Stock. To complete the circle, discussion of where the Certified Supplier program fits into some innovative manufacturing systems.
The presentation will be followed by a panel of actual practioners - those who presently have installed supplier certification programs as customers or are involved with such programs as suppliers - who will discuss variations and answer questions.


Customer supplier relationships

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