Business success involves many factors, one of which is the ability of suppliers to deliver and comply with the required specifications consistently. These specifications include quality, time, reliability, and cost expectations. So, If your supplier fails to meet these specifications, it will directly impact your business as the receiving end. Failure by the supplier can hinder the business operations. It can potentially lead to production shutdowns, customer complaints, product recalls, liability claims, and more. These are a few reasons why every business needs an effective and efficient supplier quality planning program. That’s why, as a business owner, you need to get familiar with Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA). This article will discuss SQA, the steps in conducting this process, and how you can create one using DataMyte.
What is Supplier Quality Assurance?
Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) is the process of ensuring that materials and services provided by suppliers meet the specifications required by the customer. This process involves supplier selection, supplier development, and supplier audits.
SQA is a collaborative process to ensure the supplier meets their contractual obligations. The business owner should visit their facility, meet with the management team, and understand how they do business. This helps to identify any potential risks associated with working with that supplier.
Effective quality assurance involves a combination of product and process audits that manage external and internal checklists and focuses on supplier management, production and equipment effectiveness, quality conformity of the product throughout its lifecycle, and customer satisfaction.
The 9-Step SQA Process
According to famous management consultant Joseph Moses Juran, a Supplier Quality Assurance process has nine key steps:
- Define the product’s quality requirements.
- Identify and evaluate potential suppliers.
- Select the most reliable suppliers that fit perfectly with the production needs.
- Conduct joint quality planning.
- Establish a solid relationship involving good cooperation and collaboration.
- Validate requirements and regulations with compliance.
- Certify qualified suppliers.
- Conduct follow-up quality improvement plans.
- Develop and incorporate supplier rating scorecards within your operations.
Key metrics must be applied in some of these steps to evaluate and score supplier quality assurance — even before delivery. Common metrics involving SQA include:
- Percentage of products that comply with quality specifications
- Percentage of products delivered on time and are complete
- New product introduction (NPI) – measures the percentage of new products that meet volume, time, and quality.
Benefits of Supplier Quality Assurance
Supplier Quality Assurance is very important in a competitive industry. It’s a requirement, and the best practices approach in maintaining high-quality products and services. SQA also has a set of important benefits that impact the entire manufacturing process. Here are some of the notable benefits of SQA:
Reduce Manufacturing Costs
SQA helps reduce manufacturing costs by catching errors and defects early on in the process. This helps businesses avoid the cost of rework, scrap, and waste.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
SQA also helps to streamline processes and make them more efficient. When done correctly, it can help eliminate bottlenecks in the production line, which leads to increased productivity.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
SQA also leads to improved customer satisfaction. This is because customers are more likely to be satisfied with products that meet their quality expectations.
Better Buyer-Supplier Communication
SQA helps improve communication between buyers and suppliers. This is because SQA requires close collaboration between the two parties to be successful.
No Additional Work
Supplier Quality Assurance reduces the need for inspection and rework because it catches errors early on in the process. This means that no additional work is needed down the line, which saves time and money.
Better Supplier Confidence
SQA boosts supplier confidence levels because it shows that the buyer is interested in improving quality. This can lead to improved supplier performance over time.
Improved Quality Control
SQA helps businesses to have better quality control over their products and processes because it requires close monitoring of the product and the process itself.
Better Relationship With Your Suppliers
SQA facilitates better and longer-term relationships with key suppliers because it requires regular communication and collaboration between the buyer and supplier.
SQA also minimizes potential disruptions to the manufacturing process. This is because it helps to catch errors early on and prevent them from becoming bigger problems later on.
Ensure Compliance with Quality Standards
Finally, SQA also helps ensure compliance with quality standards and regulations. This is because SQA requires close monitoring of the product and the process itself.
As you can see, many benefits of SQA impact both the manufacturing process and the relationship between buyers and suppliers. In addition, supplier Quality Assurance offers many benefits that can impact the manufacturing process.
Tips When Incorporating SQA into Your Business
If you’re thinking about implementing Supplier Quality Assurance to your business, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Firstly, Set quality standards that your suppliers must meet.
- Secondly, Work with your suppliers to develop a quality control plan.
- Thirdly, Monitor your suppliers’ performance regularly.
- Fourthly, Provide feedback to your suppliers on their performance.
- Lastly, Encourage collaboration between your buyers and suppliers.
By following these tips, you can ensure that SQA is successfully incorporated into your business.
Creating a Supplier Quality Assurance Program using DataMyte
DATAMYTE is a productivity and performance brand that helps you manage your supplier quality assurance program. It’s an end-to-end solution that lets you conduct SQA related tasks such as supplier selection, qualification, and performance management. With DATAMYTE, you can:
- Automate and standardize your SQA process
- Collect and track supplier performance data
- Analyze supplier performance data to identify areas for improvement
- Communicate with suppliers through a secure, online portal
- Generate reports to share with stakeholders
If you’re looking for a way to improve your supplier quality assurance program, DATAMYTE is the perfect solution. Our Digital Clipboard, in particular, also offers many tools that will help you create and conduct an SQA plan. Some of our features include:
- Workflow Builder
- Checklist Builder
- App Builder
- Flowchart Builder
- And more!
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard offers a variety of solutions that will help you with your SQA needs. So, request a free demo today to see how it can help you streamline your SQA process and improve your bottom line.
SQA is a process that helps businesses improve the quality of their products and services. It’s not a one-time event but rather an ongoing process that should be incorporated into the business’s everyday operations. So, If you want to incorporate SQA into your business, make sure to follow the contents of this guide.