Measuring supplier quality with small quantities


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Similar to Mike's approach, if they're not a critical supplier do you need to have a formal system of assessing their performance?

If, however, when their product fails it has a major impact on your organization's ability to meet your customers' demand(s), even one failure is enough to warrant formal attention.

We took this approach with a supplier who provided low quantities to us AND had lengthy lead times to deliver. One failure on their part could have significantly disrupted our ability to meet our customers' requirements. To compensate for this, we practiced smart inventory management (i.e., spares of critical components), but that's no guarantee - what if it is also bad or fails during use and then you're out of that component? Nothing is risk free, but it's really how you manage those risks (even with vendors).

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