- Quality Progress
- August 2016
- Volume 49 Issue 8
- pp. 14-20
- Collins, David; Anjoran, Renaud;
- China Manufacturing Consultants, Shenzhen, China
For a company to have a handle on manufacturing flow, it must know all its suppliers and their locations. Risk for the manufacturer increases with the complexity of the supply chain, which may include subsuppliers and unknown subcontractors, and the distance from suppliers. Quality problems may go unnoticed, timing through the chain is more vulnerable to disruption, and implementing any required changes is more complicated and costly. Risks can be lowered by using a proven approval process, fully understanding suppliers' capabilities, using lean and statistical process control, and building in contingencies. Close partnering with single-source suppliers, strong communications, and access to real-time data are critical. A case study illustrates supply chain missteps.