As enterprises become more dependent on their supply chain partners, material quality assurance becomes even more critical. Not only do you have to understand the material characteristics, but understanding the testing methods and the supplier’s processes (and the myriad of production variables) become critical. How do you track this information to alert when your suppliers drift “out of control”? What kinds of tests do you use to begin to understand variability and how it affects your processes?
Gathering this information about incoming material characteristics can be extremely time consuming. The information needs to be gathered from multiple sources, whether it is a spreadsheet, EDI transmission, a PDF in an email or a fax accompanying from a supplier. Consolidating the various forms takes time, and, even if done quickly, cannot stop the effects of a bad shipment. Without consistently tracking material characteristics, the ability to work with suppliers to demonstrate how improving their processes will positively impact your production becomes a near impossible task for both direct material suppliers and co-manufacturers.
Our solution: Delivered as an Internet application (SaaS), GSQA® provides efficient communication between you and your direct material suppliers and co-manufacturer. Fourth-generation graphical analysis of supplier test results includes SPC and Time Trending that provide the insight to identify inconsistent processes before they affect your productivity.
With a few clicks GSQA provides a Capability Chart for each quality characteristic’s performance over a specified time frame and/or over a range of serial numbers or lots (e-COAs). The graphic shows the contrast between the test’s specification limits and data-driven control limits of 3 standard deviations from a nominal value. Tight grouping of data (inside the spec limits) indicates that the production process for that test is “under control”. A broad distribution of data with control limit(s) outside the spec limits indicates the production process is not under control, or more emphatically “out of control”, for your test objectives.
Another view of data displayed over time is Time Trending per test characteristic. This chart in GSQA shows the user the statistical trending of a test’s results over time. From this same data, statistical process control or SPC calculations are performed to alert an interested user that a significant trend has developed that can affect the material’s value to your company.