ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition — November 2002

In this issue...
Case Study and Commentary: Supply Chain Redesign
Sharing Information in Customer-Supplier Relationships
Our Readers Say...
Protecting Your Trade Secrets
Chapter News
Your Opinion: Books in Review
Features...
Book Nook
Editorial: From Our Perspective
What’s Up?
November 2002 News for a Change Homepage

NFC Index

AQP Home

Suppliers Share Their View of the Project

“Communication and training streamlined the successful redesign of buyer-supplier ties with ASP,” commented Mike Ellis, president of Coast Electronics, which provides pneumatic valving for ASP’s products. “ASP and KTG staff members came to our facility and made insightful suggestions that helped us make a change from pushing the product through to a pull system. They provided help with just-in-time, kanban, and other changes that helped us not only in working with ASP but also with other customers. We appreciated the supplier assessment feedback. It helped identify areas for improvement that will make us a better supplier.”

“We are a registered ISO 9002 company,” Ellis stated. “They sent in another team to see if the changes would be a good fit with our operations. We gained ideas about doing things more efficiently. Most glaring was the detail of ASP’s quality portion of its workmanship quality standards. Now, in our quality manual we have interwoven their workmanship manual.”

ASP sponsored a lean business simulation workshop for suppliers on pull systems. Supplier representatives used a practical simulation designed by KTG to learn the advantages of that approach over traditional push systems. They made “sticklebricks” using the normal manufacturing and inventory-control processes. After four hours without success, they switched to a pull system and were able to move the same quantity through in less than 30 seconds.

“This approach is absolutely phenomenal,” according to Ellis. “We’ve been able to reduce the manpower on products we distribute from three to one, and we are making other improvements in order cycle time and other areas.”

Similar comments were made by Mano Bakh, president of Cal Quality Electronics, which supplies electromechanical, electronic, and box-build products. “Whenever you can reduce time for manufacturing, you are a winner. We have created something called fast-track manufacturing, which allows us to decrease the days for manufacturing to hours.”

“Costs are less as the elements of manufacturing become smaller and smaller,” said Bakh. “Our relationship with ASP has been hands-on. They have a vision for applying lean manufacturing and Six Sigma, and we are part of this process. It’s about having a good product at the right time and right place.”

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