Lean Manufacturing

Lean Metrics with GSQA . . .

Executive Overview

Companies implementing lean philosophies realize significant improvements in process control and efficiencies. A key principle in lean is the movement of information. Whether it is internal communications or external, making information easily and quickly available enables process improvement teams to focus their efforts on larger issues.

GSQA enables Lean Manufacturing's second principle – Assure Seamless Information Flow – by providing real-time information exchange across a number of critical supplier processes. These processes include specification management, nonconformance management, purchase order communication, certificate of analysis management, audits and other supplier-focused processes.

Detailed Overview

Lean Manufacturing's Second Principle

The second principle of lean manufacturing, Assure Seamless Information Flow, has been described as having the following goals, metrics and enabling practices


"Provide processes for seamless and timely transfer of and access to pertinent information."

Metrics Enabling Practices

GSQA enables manufacturers to implement this principle through its extensive functionality and proven workflow.

How GSQA Achieves Lean Manufacturing Goals

GSQA is the gold standard to achieve seamless supplier information flow in lean organizations. GSQA collects, monitors and analyzes supplier quality information, allowing that information to be appropriately shared both inside and outside of a manufacturer's organization.

The supplier information that GSQA securely distributes includes the following:

The supply chain partner information that GSQA collects includes the following:

Lean Metrics with GSQA

GSQA achieves each metric of Lean Manufacturing's principle of "Assure Seamless Information Flow".

Commonality of Databases

Both internal and external stakeholders collaborate and use information from the same application, thereby working from a common database. GSQA provides a common, collaborative platform for Material Specifications, Supplier Corrective Actions, Supplier Material Quality Processes and a host of other critical supplier quality activities. Client-server applications are not built to extend this information to individuals outside the firewall.

Information Retrieval Time

GSQA provides instant access to both suppliers and internal personnel from a single database. In a number of manufacturing operations, individual data silos house much of the information required by both manufacturers and suppliers to improve their processes. These silos include disconnected spreadsheets, ERP systems, document management systems and many other data repositories. In many cases, this information may be in a paper form, completely unavailable for distribution and difficult to retrieve.

GSQA digitizes the processes that generate disconnected data silos, and connects them in a single location. GSQA also integrates with existing legacy systems, providing instant access to important information within those application.

As an Internet application, GSQA makes this available from any computer connected to the Internet, delivering instant and secure access from virtually anywhere in the world.

Information Sharing Between Customers and Suppliers

GSQA is a platform to share information with the supply chain. This includes specifications, audit results, material quality reports and general supply base policies. By sharing this information, GSQA promotes effective, immediate communication within the supply chain partner community, allowing issues to be raised and resolved quickly, eliminating surprises.

In addition to real time specification, audit results and material quality reports, GSQA simplifies sharing policies and procedures through its Library functionality. Suppliers always work from the same set of data as the manufacturer. Both suppliers and manufacturers share many of the reports that GSQA generates.

Realizing Enabling Practices with GSQA

GSQA supports the Enabling Processes of Lean Manufacturing's principle of "Assure Seamless Information Flow".

Make processes and flows visible to all stakeholders

GSQA supports collaboration for Material Specification, Supplier Audits, Supplier Development, Supplier Contact Management and Supplier Nonconformance. For each of these functions, GSQA has a robust workflow that enables collaboration with stakeholders in both supplier and internal organizations.

Establish open and timely communications, among all stakeholders

GSQA provides a process for the immediate communication of issues, scorecards and other important supplier metrics. These include proactive alerts for many statistical raw material conditions, notifications for supplier nonconformances and ongoing audit and supplier certification reminders. These allow manufacturers to maintain compliance with industry and federal regulations, such as TS 16949 and the Bioterrorism Act. In addition, there is transparent communication within the supplier community. Both parties are looking at the same information, and, make better decisions based on data rather than memory or gut instinct.

Link databases for key functions throughout the value chain

GSQA's EDI interface links a manufacturer to its suppliers electronically. This simplifies data collection, allowing higher volume suppliers to enter data automatically from their back end systems.

Minimize documentation, ensure data traceability and availability

For many manufacturers, GSQA eliminates a bevy of paper processes while providing a significant amount of data visibility and traceability. This significantly improves productivity. Being able to electronically trace and make available COA, nonconformance, specification, purchase order, scorecard, policies and procedures, and audits enables both suppliers and manufacturers to make improvements rather than spending time trying to document activities.

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