Making improvements in supplier relationship last?

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
Hello again -

We have a history of identifying challenges in our external supplier relationships and addressing them, only to have the fixes lose effectiveness as players on both teams move on.

What are your recommendations I can use to make the lessons learned in meetings with suppliers as durable in their implementation as possible?

Probably a foolish question, but I'm grateful for your opinions.
 

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
Your side is easier.

Do you keep good notes that can be easily found so that future people can see why something was done? If people don't know why they are more likely to make changes. Do you make sure confirmation emails are sent between you and your supplier so that at a later date you can remind the supplier of a previous agreement? This won't always work but it works often enough to be useful.

Sometimes with suppliers there is nothing you can do. We had one of our better suppliers merge with a company only slightly larger. In 6 months to a year they because one of our worst suppliers and we have pulled as much business as we can. I worked ten years for a competitor, and I can tell from what the supplier writes their copper plating process is out of control and making lots of scrap, but they can't seem to fix the problem.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Super Moderator
among many measures...implement periodic on site audits for those suppliers who are "challenging", with periodic follow up, issue internal and external scorecards, with the results in part determining which suppliers receive subsequent POs/contracts etc.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Leader
Admin
What are your recommendations I can use to make the lessons learned in meetings with suppliers as durable in their implementation as possible?

Probably a foolish question, but I'm grateful for your opinions.
Sounds like “agreements” are put in place, when the real solution are TRUE corrective actions, following robust root cause analysis. If the fixes are not embedded in the suppliers processes and systems, they vanish.
 

Johnny Quality

Quite Involved in Discussions
normzone,

If the fixes lose effectiveness over time are they really fixes or are the symptoms being addressed and not the real causes?

On the face of what you said you could have an underlying communication problem, problem solving problem or perhaps your organization doesn't or cannot determine the requirements it needs from its suppliers. This manifests itself with "problem suppliers" as a symptom.

Dig deeper.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
Look in the mirror. A lot of times the supplier's issues are the result of the customer himself. Make sure you're doing everything you can to ensure your supplier's success. Then, as others have said, make sure you're really implementing legitimate fixes based on root causes. Theoretically, it shouldn't make a difference who's comes and goes at the table.
 

outdoorsNW

Quite Involved in Discussions
Golfman is right. if you are sending your supplier information that does not clearly sate important information, and include tolerances where needed, the odds of getting bad product go way up.
 
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