Extending Six Sigma to the supplier base

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Extending Six Sigma to the supplier base

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    I would like some accounts of successful six sigma applications directed by corporations and applied to their suppliers.  Aside from meeting governing quality standards (ISO), I’m looking at specific opportunites that may exist in making SS process improvements with the supplier base whose benefits will ultimately roll to the company’s botom line.  Some of them would include lower product costs from streamlining, integration or extension of other products/services for efficient proven processes.  I’m particularly interested in the unique challenges that a BB may encounter when pursuing projects of the like.  
    Not a new concept, I’m sure, but one that has some leverage in this “outsourcing” business environment. 
    Thanks in advance.


    Ken Feldman

    At the last two organizations I have worked for, efforts were made to include suppliers in the SS effort.  High value suppliers are identified, projects are identified, training is offered, and BB/MBBs are assigned to help with the project.  This benefits the supplier as well as the customer company.  This allows a more practical approach to reduce costs and improve service from the supplier.  Works best when there is some leverage with the supplier otherwise they are likely to tell you to take a hike.  But, given the expansion of SS, there is less resistance to the idea.  Problems do appear when a few major customers start to pull in opposite directions and the supplier is unsure who to respond to.

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