You share information and resources with your suppliers
Japanese vehicle manufacturers were the first group in the UK to change traditional adversarial customer-supplier relationships, by sharing information and providing well-resourced teams to assist resolve their suppliers’ problems and improve overall performance. 
Key Issues
·         Suppliers have a significant impact on the performance of your business and must be capable of delivering good quality parts, on time, and in full
·         Japanese companies recognised that a supplier problem was their problem as far as their customers were concerned, so took joint responsibility for fixing it
·         The Japanese adopted new ways of working; just in time, statistical process control, Kanban systems, lean manufacturing, and such. In order to secure the full benefits of using these techniques, they provided their suppliers with the support needed to train employees to implement them
·         Today in the UK many businesses and their supply chains work to approved quality procedures. Hence, original equipment manufacturers, tier one suppliers and larger subcontractors make quality engineers available to verify conformance and help implement actions to improve overall performance
·         Companies in supply chains can gain significant benefit in learning from each other and progressive organisations should be encouraged to share their experiences, quality documents, training manuals, etc, with others
·         Regular senior management review meetings to discuss the relationship, technical issues and performance ratings with your suppliers can provide mutual benefits
·         Ready access by your suppliers to your current, accurate information in the following areas is helpful to both of you:
o     Production schedules and the current production plan
o     Changes to schedules within agreed limits
o     Current specifications and drawing releases
o     Quality standards and ways of verifying conformance
o     Feedback on quality, cost and delivery performance
·         The use of secure intranet links can greatly enhance communications in both directions
Factors for Success      
Factors to  Avoid
1.     Helping suppliers to improve their skills and performance, whenever possible
2.     Information and documentation are accurate and the latest issue
3.     Communicating with suppliers continually at all levels
4.     Making training materials available to suppliers
5.     Establishing the root cause of problems
6.     Working with fewer, but better suppliers
7.     Give responsibility for obtaining latest information from intranet to suppliers
1.     Confrontational relationships
2.     Purchasing items solely on price
3.     Working with suppliers who don’t share your values and standards
4.     Continuing to deal with suppliers who cannot meet your quality requirements
5.     Allowing suppliers to use out of date documents and schedules
6.     Expecting suppliers to learn and improve without training and practical help
Who does this apply to?
Senior managers responsible for identifying key suppliers, operations management
Realisable Benefits
Competent suppliers reduce the cost of quality and are an asset to the business


Logistics co-ordinationLogistics co-ordination

Logistics co-ordination

Uninterrupted material flowUninterrupted material flow

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Responding to changes in volumes and product mixResponding to changes in volumes and product mix

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Make versus buyMake versus buy

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The supplier approval processThe supplier approval process

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Monitoring supplier performanceMonitoring supplier performance

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Sharing information with suppliersSharing information with suppliers

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Managing inventory throughout the supply chainManaging inventory throughout the supply chain

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Improving the delivery performance of suppliersImproving the delivery performance of suppliers

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Material flow and the factoryMaterial flow and the factory

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Production scheduling processProduction scheduling process

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Calculating production capacityCalculating production capacity

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Visual managementVisual management

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Health and safetyHealth and safety

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Ensuring equipment is availableEnsuring equipment is available

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Consistent manufacturingConsistent manufacturing

Consistent manufacturing