Ford Q1 MSA - Virtual Site Visit Hardware

Teamk1

Starting to get Involved
#1
Ford is now requiring all tier 1 suppliers to have specific virtual site visit hardware & software (Facetime, iPhones, simple devices, etc. are NOT allowed). Not only is it required, it's a question on the Q1 MSA. We asked our STA to explain how the equipment would be used so we know what to investigate / invest in and the response was extremely simplified, unhelpful and it really seems like a mobile phone or equivalent would truly suffice. So we then asked our STA to waive this requirement based on the commodity and type of product we supply and provided a written statement with explanation and evidence. The STA (allegedly) took it up the chain and ultimately denied our request.

My company does not want to invest in this simply because Ford is imposing the requirement, not to mention with little to no information about the need or use. For us, the VR ability itself holds no value, when a personal visit or certainly an Iphone will do the same thing for which our STA has indicated its needed. Only meeting the Ford requirement has value. I've advised my boss of my opinion which is that we will not win this battle, but it's not my money being spent on useless equipment nor is it ultimately my decision. So the plan is to do all the due diligence we can and make an informed decision from there.

That said, my boss has challenged me with finding out how (presumably adversely) it would affect us to decide to NOT invest in the specific hardware/software. Specifically he's asked, what effect will it have on our MSA score to have a permanent red rating and no action plan (or a plan where the date is always missed) for this requirement (assuming Ford will allow it to simply remain a red MSA response versus a penalty for outright not meeting a CSR). And then, what affect will that score have on our overall Q1 score/rating? Not saying this is the route we'd go, I've just been taxed to do the research and find the answer.

By the way, we have a corrective action response due for this incomplete MSA question (the question was added after our 2021 assessment was complete and approved). So I need to answer the question in some way- likely yellow- with a stated action plan since only "already have VR in place" is the only way to get a green rating.

Does anyone have any idea of the answers? Or know where I can find the answers? Without asking Ford or our STA directly, of course. Obviously we don't want to raise any red flags especially if this isn't necessarily our intent. Would greatly appreciate any input on these questions specifically or this requirement/situation with the VR in general. Thank you.
 
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John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
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Super Moderator
#2
Ford is now requiring all tier 1 suppliers to have specific virtual site visit hardware & software (Facetime, iPhones, simple devices, etc. are NOT allowed). Not only is it required, it's a question on the Q1 MSA. We asked our STA to explain how the equipment would be used so we know what to investigate / invest in and the response was extremely simplified, unhelpful and it really seems like a mobile phone or equivalent would truly suffice. So we then asked our STA to waive this requirement based on the commodity and type of product we supply and provided a written statement with explanation and evidence. The STA (allegedly) took it up the chain and ultimately denied our request.

Does anyone have any idea of the answers? Or know where I can find the answers? Without asking Ford or our STA directly, of course. Obviously we don't want to raise any red flags especially if this isn't necessarily our intent. Would greatly appreciate any input on these questions specifically or this requirement/situation with the VR in general. Thank you.

Excellent post/topic to raise @Teamk1 / Thank you for raising this issue.
As I have no counsel to offer on this topic, I am anxious to see how others directly involved in the Ford supply chain are/are intending to address this.

Best of luck...please keep us posted.

Be well.
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Leader
Super Moderator
#4
Is the MSA checksheet considered proprietary? I mean..., what are everyone's thoughts about sharing this described "new" check sheet here?
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Leader
Admin
#5
Depends on whether it is copyrighted. Even then, "Fair Use" would allow the OP to post a small portion containing the question, unless Ford has deemed it proprietary.
 

Teamk1

Starting to get Involved
#6
I guess it could be. Here's the actual requirement:

II.10.5. Supplier has the hardware, software, connectivity, policies and training to perform virtual site visits (live video streaming) with Ford regarding product, process and problem solving.

Section 11.10.5 is called: Problem Solving / Corrective Action

We asked the STA how it would be used. After all, how do you know what capabilities you need it to have? And supporting this - problem solving for quality issues - was his response. Which is why we tried for an exemption because this really won't work for our commodity/product (ESPECIALLY if it's for prototyping). But the whole point behind Ford wanting this ability was because quality issues occurred during Covid lockdowns and in person visits weren't possible so now they want this ability. Also, STA's have been moved from the US to Mexico, and when that didn't work out, they've now been moved to be based in India. So, there's that.
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Leader
Super Moderator
#7
I guess it could be. Here's the actual requirement:

II.10.5. Supplier has the hardware, software, connectivity, policies and training to perform virtual site visits (live video streaming) with Ford regarding product, process and problem solving.

Section 11.10.5 is called: Problem Solving / Corrective Action

We asked the STA how it would be used. After all, how do you know what capabilities you need it to have? And supporting this - problem solving for quality issues - was his response. Which is why we tried for an exemption because this really won't work for our commodity/product (ESPECIALLY if it's for prototyping). But the whole point behind Ford wanting this ability was because quality issues occurred during Covid lockdowns and in person visits weren't possible so now they want this ability. Also, STA's have been moved from the US to Mexico, and when that didn't work out, they've now been moved to be based in India. So, there's that.

Thanks for sharing this;
Maybe I'm over simplifying but I don't see the problem. The requirements state...

- Hardware= laptop
- Software = Zoom (e.g.)
- Connectivity= wi-fi
- Policies= Access, use, control of proprietary information, etc..etc..
- Training= Ensure someone can push a laptop around on a cart and use the "Zoom" visual and audio controls to convey the actual situation to the viewer (i.e. Ford)

From what I see here, is that an STA is misinterpreting.

Hope this helps.
Be well.
 

Teamk1

Starting to get Involved
#8
Well, that's what we thought. A phone, Teams, Ipad, laptop, etc. If the point is truly and simply for them to watch your process and interact real time with you to work through production concerns/issues of any kind, why can't those resources be used? Why must it be high tech VR equipment? But in their direct communications (memos sent via their bulletins) it states that phones aren't allowed, they don't meet the requirement. There is an actual approved hardware and approved software list (which I have but can't easily locate at the moment). Your device and software must be on this list or if you want to use some other actual VR device you must submit to and receive approval from Ford to use them.
 

Teamk1

Starting to get Involved
#9
Well, I found this attachment. Note the presentation calls MSA section II.10.5 Virtual Capability but it's currently called
Problem Solving / Corrective Action in the MSA itself.

Please let me know if attaching breaks any rules and I'll remove.

I guess a small portion of the answer is on the slide17: refusal to meet the requirement gets you a red MSA and resulting score loss to Q1. But how much of a score loss to Q1?
 

Attachments

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Leader
Super Moderator
#10
But in their direct communications (memos sent via their bulletins) it states that phones aren't allowed, they don't meet the requirement
Typically "direct communications" are suspect because they can be subject to the individual communicating (i.e. "direct communications are not a rule/standard). However, you state that this particular direct communication came in a "bulletin" ? It is indeed not unusual for OEM to issue formal "technical bulletins" that are numbered and supersede /revise previous directives.
1- Is it possible (without violating any proprietary requirements) to share the HEADER and specific LINE ITEMS from that bulletin?
2- Was this bulletin sent en masse to all Ford suppliers?...[or was this simply an e-mail from your STA? ]

(this is getting more interesting by the moment.)

Be well.
 
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