Reinstating a disqualified supplier—questions to ask before making a decision

outdoorsNW

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#1
If you are considering reinstating a disqualified supplier, what questions would you ask, what actions would you take, etc.?

We are a supplier of aerospace electronics, high mix, and low volume. Most work is ITAR. The supplier was disqualified about two years ago, before I joined the company.

There is a push by some in the company to reinstate the supplier. The reasons are: A) The supplier has high end capabilities and, because of their location (and maybe other factors), are lower cost than competitors and are able to do ITAR work. B) Other suppliers got more chances after they messed up because the end customer did not want us to change suppliers. This supplier was not a required supplier by any customer so they got fewer chances.

I read documentation about the problem that led to the supplier disqualification. The supplier had repeated problems manufacturing the first build of a minor revision to a part they had built before. Despite repeated efforts, they could not deliver the part. We asked for daily updates which stopped coming. We finally ordered the part from another supplier who delivered quickly.

The disqualified supplier’s failure analysis/corrective actions were poor. I spent 10 years in the supplier’s industry before I moved to my current employer about a year and half ago. As I read the suppliers corrective action, I had lots of questions. The failure analysis was shallow and did not get to the root cause(s). Sometimes the failure analysis focused on secondary issues and almost ignored the primary issue.

The supplier is sending a couple of senior people to visit in a few days. I have ideas of what I want to ask, but am looking for ideas from others.
 

Coury Ferguson

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#2
If you are considering reinstating a disqualified supplier, what questions would you ask, what actions would you take, etc.?

We are a supplier of aerospace electronics, high mix, and low volume. Most work is ITAR. The supplier was disqualified about two years ago, before I joined the company.

There is a push by some in the company to reinstate the supplier. The reasons are: A) The supplier has high end capabilities and, because of their location (and maybe other factors), are lower cost than competitors and are able to do ITAR work. B) Other suppliers got more chances after they messed up because the end customer did not want us to change suppliers. This supplier was not a required supplier by any customer so they got fewer chances.

I read documentation about the problem that led to the supplier disqualification. The supplier had repeated problems manufacturing the first build of a minor revision to a part they had built before. Despite repeated efforts, they could not deliver the part. We asked for daily updates which stopped coming. We finally ordered the part from another supplier who delivered quickly.

The disqualified supplier’s failure analysis/corrective actions were poor. I spent 10 years in the supplier’s industry before I moved to my current employer about a year and half ago. As I read the suppliers corrective action, I had lots of questions. The failure analysis was shallow and did not get to the root cause(s). Sometimes the failure analysis focused on secondary issues and almost ignored the primary issue.

The supplier is sending a couple of senior people to visit in a few days. I have ideas of what I want to ask, but am looking for ideas from others.
I ran into a similar situation when I was with P&W AeroPower as a Supplier QE. I had a supplier that had a high reject of a specific issue. I have already started the process of removing their DSQR status. All that was needed was to send an email to one person asking them to do it. However, the advantage we had over the supplier was that we were about 87% of their business. I resolved this by making my point, with the cons of having their DSQR status removed. I had a presentation that listed the effects of the removal, which reflected the added costs the supplier would incur by having a 3rd party perform the inspection. I decided to try a work with them and help resolve their issues. I spent about 6 weeks visiting them every week for a day, and helped them resolve their issue. They started to improve, and ended up having a zero rejection rate. Just some background on what I did.

Here are my suggestions when dealing with this supplier:

1. Have all of the facts
2. Perform a Trend Analysis
3. Set the rules
4. Explain to them in clear and concise language on what you expect from them
5. Place them on Suspension and or probation
6. Let them know this is the last chance they have to remain an approved supplier

Have this in a PowerPoint Presentation.

Just my suggestion and opinion
 
#3
Sometime suppliers get in over their capabilities. Can't fault them for trying, but things just don't work out. Doesn't mean their other products aren't good. So I would look at what capabilities they have that they are good at -- what is their expertise, their core competency. I would see if their corrective action/root cause analysis has become better and/or if they are willing to let you help. Some supplier need a little guidance in these areas. And finally, what is their approach to problems -- I think it most cases it's not that a problem arises (they always do), but how they react to the problems. Good luck.
 
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