Suppliers management and validation

The eternal dilemma at the beginning of cooperation. Is this really a good choice? Are our procedures appropriate? Will the new supplier work as expected? There is no big margin for intuition or assumption here. The implementation of a new supplier is a purely empirical process, based on facts, research, results and analysis. The methodical approach allows reducing business risk in the event of cooperation. And this is what a broadly understood “supplier management” is about. In my career I have implemented dozens of suppliers, I got to know the processes of many companies, mainly packaging producers, the vast majority of which are well organized and prepared for cooperation, with full documentation and a quality management system. However, as it turns out, this is not everything. You should make sure that the cooperation between the supplier and the recipient is fully intelligible. The supplier must have the clarity regarding specifications, quality requirements, packaging and logistics as well as order processing, deliveries, complaints or possible costs. I point this out based on my own experience when I questioned the quality of over a million packages (!) that in effect had to be sent back … Enormous costs for the supplier, the cost of not making production and downtime in my (then) Company, a very nervous atmosphere and a series of meetings at which the supplier escalated the problem and with the high-level representation tried to to challenge the specification. If the clarification of the “nuances of requirements” occurred at the beginning of cooperation, there would be no such tension. When introducing a new supplier, make sure you have good documentation that is easy to explain to your business partner. You should familiarize yourself with the quality system of the packaging manufacturer, conduct an audit, learn the production process and scope of tests (online and in the laboratory), determine the complaint process and what is very important-learn the weaknesses and strengths of all processes. Even for some people, such a prosaic thing as machine maintenance has a significant impact. Who performs them, at what frequency, or who ensures the continuity of the line’s operation.These hundreds of elements combined into one whole give a greater guarantee that we have the right business partner. Is it a 100% guarantee? – No. But it certainly reduces the risk. Especially after its good analysis and properly defined corrective actions.

Personally, apart from the “protocol” of visits to suppliers, I like to talk with production line operators. After a few sentences, I know if a person knows his job or is under high stress and not aware of base processes. Experience and professionalism – one can get to know and feel.

And I can offer it to you. Just talk to know it!

Adam Kaźmierczak