The unique and innovative aspect of the GSQA® Finished Products Quality Module is best understood through a new version of the adage “the sum is greater than its parts”. GSQA® asserts that “the sum SHOULD be greater than its parts” but that, increasingly, it is not: when all the links in a supply chain seem to be providing what is asked of them, but they don’t add up to the finished product that the company has promised its customers, the reality is that “the sum is smaller than its parts.”
Ideally suppliers worldwide are shipping correctly prepared and very particular materials from their plants to customers’ receiving locations everywhere, every day. In this world of complex, multi-tiered supply networks, traditional approaches are breaking down. The traditional approach to supplier performance management is based on an assumption and a hope. The hope is that if each link performs to specifications (as tested and tracked by methods local to that link) then the finished product, as a sum of all these links, will add up to something that meets the customer’s expectations.
In the real world finished products have high ratios of sourced or procured product content (average 50%). Today’s challenge is to lower the finished product defect rate by emphasizing supply chain quality. The purpose of the GSQA® Finished Products Quality Module is to address the fact that the same hand-off movement of materials occurs inside an enterprise, between feeder plants and finished product plants and at a lower level, between phases of production inside a facility. By providing this module, GSQA® seeks to address the continuum in supply chain quality management from raw materials to deliverable goods.
Some testing happens at each stage, either in the supply chain or in the enterprise. If the part or ingredient passes its tests, the process moves on, but if the material fails, it not only doesn’t move on, it becomes a disruption.
Depending on the complexity of a process, the tolerable variances at each stage can add up to a threat for the whole. The longer and more varied the path of inputs, the greater the probability that the sum of the variations, acceptable at each link, tracked and reported using local methods (associated with each particular link) results in a substandard finished product.
Based on our 15 years of experience in supply chain quality performance management, GSQA® is challenging this paradigm.
We assert that the new environment (in which complex, multi-tiered supply networks predominate) demands innovative, state-of-the-art tools that enable our customers to track links in the supply chain and to oversee the whole network, observing it from a much higher altitude than is usually possible.
However, in addition to seeing a bigger picture, our customers can see a finer picture, in the same way that satellites can view a much wider area than ground-based devices, but at the same time, can also make out the text of a book someone is reading on a park bench.
GSQA® provides the platform for all supply chain partners to share a common, overarching, web-based system for global supplier quality. However, GSQA® through the Finished Products Quality Module, allows for the inclusion of the production facilities inside an enterprise, who, in fact, are suppliers to their respective internal customer bases, and eventually to paying customers. The same statistical process control (SPC) used for external supplier specification-compliance tracking and analysis is available in the GSQA® Finished Products Quality Module to validate material performance between phases of production.
When all supply chain participants use GSQA®, both external and internal, they are fully integrated at the level of materials’ performance technology. Powered by the consistent testing and validation at each step, no matter how large or small, or how near or far, the GSQA® Finished Products Quality Module gives every level of management powerful tools to produce a consistently excellent finished product.
The GSQA® Finished Products Quality Module allows external and internal materials to be tested and validated on-line against their specifications, improving the efficiency of their movement from step to process step, and providing data for the statistical analysis of every constituent input to a finished product. In addition to improving hands-on control, the accuracy and speed of available feedback creates an early-warning system, expanding the time window for targeted intervention before a small breakdown spreads disruption throughout a complex network. It also allows for the sighting of opportunities for improvement, with potential impacts on competitive advantage.
"Solution to Supply Chain Quality Protection"
For the first time, a user can see the entire multi-tier supply chain of a complex product, with the contributions of each supply chain member and enterprise facility broken out by:
Functional benefits include the following:
The barrier to the implementation of GSQA® is low. Our product uses standard data formats for integration and data sharing with existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, quality systems, and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and is easily implemented.