Quality Assurance in the Supply Chain

Feb 4


Brian Burell

Brian Burell

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Today, quality assurance is a very crucial factor in the supply chain. Our supply chain software will help you to avoid mistakes and faster the process. Reach out to the expert at Katalyst for the best software solution.


A supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If a product ultimately arrives in poor condition,Quality Assurance in the Supply Chain Articles the consumer doesn’t care where something went wrong—they want to see it fixed. Fortunately, a company that collects proper data can determine problem areas, leading to reduced errors, cost savings, and satisfied customers. 


Mistakes Happen 

Errors are inevitable even in the most efficient supply chains. Some invisible or concealed mistakes, as well as difficulties in the shipping process, will cause flawed products to find their way into consumers’ hands. “There will always be a small percentage of damages that slip through,” says Tracy Warren, Manager of Delivery & PMO at Katalyst Technologies. “The goal should be to put the critical checks in areas of the most risk, such as receiving, picking, packing, and shipping.” 


Warren stresses open communication and maintaining relationships with the entire chain. “The best way [to fix problems] is to take a step back and review the entire warehouse process for gaps where quality mistakes could be made,” she says. “Talk to the associates. I can’t stress this enough. They hold the clues to improving processes.” 



Advances in data have made it possible to track every step of the supply chain logistics in remarkably precise detail. This concept of traceability has become vital as supply chains become increasingly complex. Imagine a car manufacturer trying to pinpoint a production flaw. The point in the past where their analysis might have concluded is now just the beginning. 


“You build the entire story of the creation of the [vehicle],” says Paul Bailo, an executive of digital and data innovation and adjunct professor at Columbia University and NYU. “You’re now able to go down to a minute detail of really saying what the problem is.” 


Many companies used to investigate problems down to just the physical level, perhaps putting the blame towards a faulty bolt and ending it there. However, that no longer needs to be the case. Now an organization can determine where that bolt was manufactured and at what stage in the process the issue occurred. They can even track down the exact employee who screwed in the bolt. 


More Touches, More Problems 

For years, supply chain managers have operated under the philosophy that the fewer touches a product experiences, the lower the risk of defects and errors. Ultimately, the only way to improve a supply chain is to shorten it. 


“If you look at the data, the data will identify all the real touch points,” says Bailo. “You could identify the areas that aren’t adding any value—any movement, any blink of the eye that doesn’t add value could be eliminated.” Examining even the smallest step that can be reduced or eliminated will lead to a faster and more efficient supply chain management. “If you have a process that has 10 steps to revolution, then you get it to nine steps, and you get it to eight steps. So utopian view, there’s [ultimately] no steps.” 


Management consultant Dr. David Anderson promotes the “Rule of 10,” which states that each stage in the manufacturing process a mistake goes undetected or unresolved results in a tenfold cost increase over the previous steps. If a flaw is dealt with immediately, costs are minimal; if it makes it through the next five stages, accounting for parts, time, and labor, it will cost 100,000 times as much. 


In order to catch mistakes as quickly as possible, you need a dedicated and well-trained team. “[Hire] the right people, then train them for success,” says Warren. Accountability is also key. “Embrace the audit process,” she says. “Teaching your associates to be on the lookout for quality issues and explaining exactly what that means is critical.” 

Katalyst Can Help 

Customers demand quality, and your organization can’t afford to make avoidable mistakes. Reach out to the experts at Katalyst to keep your supply chain in check.


Source Link - https://katalysttech.com/blog/quality-assurance-in-the-supply-chain/