Enhancing Key Supplier Relationships
- Put in the time upfront. Understand the business needs and the supplier process thoroughly before tacking the Supplier Agreement.
- Get personal. Establish relationships between key players on both the supplier and manufacturer sides. Include face-to-face meetings whenever possible so team members develop personal relationships, which leads to trust.
- Demonstrate trust by giving the supplier the primary part of your business. This does not eliminate the need to have alternative suppliers.
- Do not price shop around without telling suppliers first. Word gets out and this destroys trust.
- Create a Supplier Audit Package. Let your suppliers know upfront what to expect.
- Conduct an in-person business review at least once per year. This should include a review of defects and other quality measure data, and a review of the supplier QMS. Don’t forget to ask about changes in personnel and business challenges
Building Cross-Functional Teams
Gone are the days when the quality team was isolated in its own building. Experts agree that working together ensures better company performance.?
- Cross-functional leadership begins with the top. The functional leaders must work together and set the example for their teams. You have to walk the talk.?
- Consider co-location of cross-functional team members whenever possible.?
- Invest in collaboration tools like SharePoint and Rational Pro.?
- Consider enrichment programs like cross-functional assignments for high-potential employees.?
- Invest in training led by subject matter experts.?Reward and promote cross-functional behaviors. Recognize employees who want to fix problems instead of running at the first sign of quality trouble. Reward employees who volunteer for cross-functional projects.?
- Invest in 360 degree feedback programs ?