Quality is an important part of the supply chain, whether it is quality inspections during the manufacturing process, quality checks before goods arrive at the customer, or checking the quality as raw materials enters the factory.
- Statistical process control (SPC) monitors and controls quality by tracking production metrics. It helps quality managers identify and solve problems before products leave the facility.
- Six Sigma uses five key principles to ensure products meet customers’ needs and have zero defects.
When supported by lean tools like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), 5S, and Kaizen, most if not all defects can be eliminated.
Benefits of Using Quality Control in Manufacturing
Customers expect and demand high-quality products. When customers receive quality products you will:
- Increase customer loyalty
- Gain repeat business
- Gain new customers from referrals
- Maintain or improve your position in the market
- Improve safety
- Reduce liability risks
- Contribute to overall positive branding of your product
When the purchasing department is looking at the procurement of materials from suppliers, they have been given some guidance by the manufacturing department, research and development, or the quality department.
This should include a variety of information about the item to be sourced, such as:
- Physical description
- Dimensional measurements
- Chemical composition
- Performance specifications
- Industrial standards
- Brand name
- Physical Description
The purchasing department must know the physical attributes of the part they are required to source.
For example, if the required material must be made of a certain shade of a blue, then the purchasing department must be able to communicate that requirement to the potential suppliers to ensure that the specification can be met.
Inbound Quality Inspection
The purchasing department negotiates with the supplier to ensure that the best quality item is purchased for the best pricing and received in a timely manner. The quality department supplies the purchasing department with specifications that the supplier agrees to and produces materials that must adhere to those specifications.
When the purchasing department has selected a suitable vendor or vendors, there will be a contracting process where vendors and the purchasing department will negotiate a contract based on price, payment terms, and delivery schedule.