improve supplier quality

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General improve supplier quality

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #44794


    how can i improve the supplier quality by using sigma principles –
    I mean – is there any tool or technique in 6 sigma to do so






    Very easy. Become supplier’s sixsigma consultant and deploy it. If supplier not improve, change supplier and get new contract as consultants.



    our supplier has the old fashion of quality – and they don’t submit any CA or PA report. my problem is that we can not change the supplier because they offer a very low price comparing to others.
    my mission here is to improve their culture and let them appreciate the new way of quality
    when i analyzed their performance and the organization chart i noted that they do not have a technical manager analysis the technical issues
    i really want to improve their quality because i feel this is a big challenge for me this year
    my question here what i can do so i can change this culture



    Do you collect data on your supplier’s quality issues?
    If you do then you could present this to the supplier and challenge them to improve on it.  If you don’t think they have the capability to improve on their own then offer your services in the form of coaching with problem solving or other tools.  If you can show them a win win situation then I don’t think you can lose.  Maybe you can get better quality and they can get reduced costs, but start with the data and see what it shows you.



    thanks Jules
    I presented to them the following:

    rejection in ppm for the last two years
    our waste analysis report -during production
    time we and them spent to solve issues
    costumers complaint
    any other data i can present that helps the supplier to understand my idea..?
    what if i mention that if you keep deliver a low quality components this will lower the price based on the presented waste report? 
    your help appreciated



    Ejaz: Your ideas and intentions are good. How do we achieve it systematically? A simple analogy to throw in some ideas to achieve your intentions.
    (Destination) – You want your suppliers to improve their quality: your intentions.
    (Map) – You want to know what tools and techniques to use; how to get from where you are to where you want to get – destination.
    (Compass) You need to know where you are. Check and balance or in another word to know where your suppliers are. What is their QUALITY level ?
    In your case, destination is clear, tools and techniques – you have some ideas and lastly the current level of their quality is what is bothering you. You need to have some evidence of quality – statistically/data. You can add, time taken for delivery from time of order to your list.
    2 points coming to my mind:
    1. The concept of selecting or mainting a supplier based on the low costs alone is not a good idea. Quality should go along with costs. What matters is NOT the initial costs BUT the total costs ! (rework, rejects, waste, delays etc….customer complaint ?). Think about it.
    2. Use the Compass (statistics/data) to know what are the quality issues and then identify the appropriate tool to fix the problem. Maybe there are other tools you can start using or consider before looking at SS.
    If you start using problem solving, Kaizen, CI and 5S type of tools and techniques where there is not much of capital investment on the suppliers, it would be easier to win them over. These would also be helpful to create the culture you are thinking of. Once they see the improvements (visually) themselves then you can proceed for SS. Why fix SS as the solution?
    I am sure you can bring related issues to this forum and get the support to move forward.
    PS. If their TOTAL costs is higher compared to another supplier then, it is time for you to change supplier ! Remember – Quality begins with you!
    Cheers ! Dominic


    Charles H

    I think you need to take a look at your own organization’s culture as well.  When I hear things like “we can not change the supplier because they offer a very low price comparing to others” it tells me that your own organization needs to learn an appreciation for quality.  It’s the total life cycle costs that matter, as others have said.
    The amount of leverage you posses relative to your supplier is dependent upon several factors, among them are how much of your supplier’s sales is tied to your contract and how easy it would be for them to replace you as a customer – basically, the bottom line impact of keeping you versus losing you as a customer.  If you are easy to replace and represent a small portion of their revevnues – good luck!



    First and foremost thing that you need to sort out is ‘ What is in it for the supplier to adopt six-sigma tools?’.
    Remember that for any six-sigma programme to be successful, you have to get the top management support. So if you want to initiate six-sigma program at your supplier end, that needs to be first discussed with the supplier and that will form a part of your supplier’s SLAs (Service Level Agreement). In that you may have to specify the cost involved in the initiaton of the program, on-going cost, potential benefits and breakeven period.
    So before you even start discussing on how to proceed, first sort out the support from the supplier end. If you alreayd have that in place, how you proceed will depend on your service level agreements.



    One of the ways I did it in my role – I sat down with supplier and had a breif session with 6S – only two hrs, just an overview of what we are trying to do. Then in one of the GB training that I did, I invited one participant each from 2 different supplier with a defined project. They came, we taught them GB course and they work with our purchasing folks (who are also trained as GB) to take up 2 critical project related to us.
    It’s a win-win deal for both of us. We have access to their facility, process, data, etc (of course signed an agreement) and they came to us and realized our late delivery for example affect our process badly.
    We will be doing this more with various suppliers next year. But as other people on post said, you need absolute commitement from Top mgmt on this. Six Sigma is a Top-Down approach.
    All the best,


    Mike Carnell

    First read Charles H. post he has some good stuff in there.
    Second there is no business value to “changing their culture.” If you are speaking to a supplier in that language they will pull out the bean bags when you show up and have lots of group hugs and herbal tea and go back to the way they were when you leave. That comment doesn’t change many minds in a business environment.
    Six Sigma for the sake of Six Sigma is a weak argument on a really good day.
    It is business so you treat it like business. Taking off on what Charles said – you can’t change because they are lowest cost – how enlightened. You need to be a little introspective before you pull out your customer remote control and try to run their business.
    I assume they are shipping you defects. What does that cost you when you receive those defects and do some of them get through to your customer? If you can contain the defects and the additional cost (your COPQ) added to their low price is still the cheapest – you might want to take your superman cape off and sit down.
    That probably isn’t the case.
    If they are a traditional quality organization they probably have traditional cost and following tradition have no idea what those costs are. Make them figure it out. If they are semi progressive you might even get them to quantify some of their costs around the 7 forms of waste as well. That is their opportunity to increase their margin (their COPQ). You are satisfied with their price and if they improve it will cut your containment costs (probably reduce your cycle time as well but it takes away your reason to suspend payments) so essentially you get a price reduction. Their margin increases and they make more money. If that doesn’t make sense to them then you need to take the price increase and go to a supplier with at least a double digit IQ.
    If you want to convince business people to do things you need to address them as business people not like a California existentialist.
    Just my opinion.
    Good luck

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

The forum ‘General’ is closed to new topics and replies.