Having managed several hundred, if not thousands, of purchase orders (POs) over the years we have heard just about every excuse that a Vendor can think of to justify why the supply of product and/or service did not go according to plan. Of course, some of these excuses are easy to identify and dismiss, “the dog ate my welder” for example as we all know that welders eat dogs and not vice versa (yes we do know that welders don’t actually eat dogs, not those that we have met anyway). Similarly, from the point of view of representing the Purchaser, we have also heard a myriad of excuses from within organisation’s as to why it was the fault of the Vendor and not something caused internally. This got us to thinking “Is it possible, that it is always the Vendor who is at fault”? It’s a good question and, on the face of it, a simple one to answer. But let’s dig a little bit deeper and take a look at what inputs the Purchaser has that could affect the eventual delivery of the product and/or service.
Below is a simple diagram with a few of the key inputs you would expect when preparing to issue an RFQ or PO. There are, without a doubt, many more that can be included here but, for the sake of opening discussion, we have limited it to the first half-dozen that come to mind.
Each input can then be broken down further to explore what specific factors could affect the successful delivery of the product and/or service.
As you can see there are many external factors that can contribute to a Vendor failing to meet its obligations. It is imperative, then, that the Purchaser plays their part in ensuring there is minimal risk of quality failings and schedule delays and this can only be achieved by ensuring every step of the process from design to delivery, from package personnel and Vendor selection to sharing lessons learned, is conducted as diligently as possible.
If your organisation experiences issues with package delivery, take a moment to review the full process and ask yourself “how have we contributed to this”? It may be that your organisation did everything within its control to give the Vendor everything they require, and kudos to you if that’s the case. Our experience here at Q-Sys Solutions, however, would suggest that 99.9% of the time this is not the reality and that, at some stage, the Purchaser has contributed to the issue.
How does your organisation ensure that its Vendors maintain their capability to continually deliver the required products or services? Does your organisation have a robust Vendor Management programme and does it conduct adequate pre-selection audits? Do your personnel have sufficient supply chain knowledge and do they apply lessons learned?
Q-Sys Solutions can assist with all aspects of supply-chain QA, from sourcing and auditing new suppliers to training your personnel in post-order package management. Give us a try today and see how we can help you save time and money. We are ready and waiting to help.