Robust Supplier Re-boarding Process and “Agile” Deficiency Mitigation are Critical for Supply Chain Quality Management
At ComplianceQuest, we recently published a whitepaper Titled: “Supply Chain Readiness Playbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Assessing and Rebuilding your Supply Chain”. In this paper, we offered a detailed perspective of what it takes for an enterprise to automate the supply chain readiness workflow.
Here is an excerpt from the paper.
Step #5: Re-boarding
After the audit is complete, suppliers are re-boarded through two specific features on the app.
- Supplier Profile: This feature continues to capture all pertinent information from supplier approval status, readiness and compliance scores, and all communication that has taken place pre-crisis, crisis re-boarding activities, and any post-re-boarding activities in one place.
- Supplier Portal & Documentation Management: A configurable supplier portal allows suppliers to receive a relevant request for information or any additional tasks, including documentation requests, i.e., safety policy, insurance certificates, and return to work permits. The supplier may also respond to communications, including any audit findings, CAPA actions, change requests, etc.
The key here is to think of this as a system of engagement, rather than a system of record. This means that – while the supplier portals serve as a single source of truth for all key supplier metrics and data, it is also designed for collaboration and teamwork.
Internal ops and customer dashboards need to integrate with the supply side, ensuring seamless connectivity between all internal and external stakeholders.
Step #6: Deficiency Mitigation
It is paramount to have a system and process in place to track and enable the fixing of any deficiencies in the system.
Risk assessment capabilities are included throughout the supplier readiness assessment process. The risk profile of a supplier is initially captured during the onboarding process and then again in the re-boarding process. The risk may be assessed for each finding and any corrective or preventive (CAPA) actions taken to mitigate the risk.
It is also essential for supply chain leaders to understand both the knowns and unknowns in their ecosystem. As enterprises ‘Return to Work’, there are several unexpected roadblocks that may come in between. These could be in terms of regulatory documentation, downstream supply chain challenges, or even financial instability.
With ComplianceQuest’s Supplier Readiness application, data is at the core of all supply operations. It enables a data-driven approach to make critical supplier decisions.
Step #7: Continuous Improvement
At ComplianceQuest, our entire product management philosophy revolves around customer success. It focuses on helping our customers pursue a mindset of quality and safety excellence.
As a product built from the ground up for the cloud using Salesforce.com technologies, the system is designed to handle the following:
- New workflows or processes as needed
- Easy integration with other CRM, ERP, HR, and other technology stacks
- Customizable as per customer’s specific needs
It is also important to note that our supplier readiness app is part of the ComplianceQuest solutions suite, including a range of solutions across EQMS (Audit, CAPA, Non-Conformance, Change, etc.) and EHS (Environment, Health, Safety, Risk Management, etc.). We provide a single, unified QHSE solution, in addition to the Supplier Readiness app, which is a part of the Work.com initiative.
Supply Chain Readiness Through 4 Lenses
As part of the Work.com command center, there is a cockpit view of all critical supplier readiness data.
You get to customize your dashboards to see your list of suppliers, their readiness scores, suppliers by location, and even by supplier criticality.
You also get to seamlessly track metrics like supplier capacity constraints, regulatory compliance, and risk parameters. With visualization, it makes it easy to track and act on a wide variety of data.
We believe it is crucial to look at supply chain readiness through four lenses. It will undoubtedly be ideal to have a visual representation of key supplier metrics within each of these four lenses.
- Location: While a supplier may be fully ready, it is also essential to look at a supplier by location. This includes the city, the state, the country, and maybe even an area within a city. It is essential to track this to keep in mind other factors driving your supply chain requirements. It could be a new company philosophy around buying local or even a need to identify suppliers in different geographies, in case there is a concentration of a critical supply process in a single location.
- Resilience: The second lens is to look at resilience as an essential parameter. It is crucial to look at suppliers – both old and new – in terms of quality and their ability to meet your quality excellence goals, their manufacturing and service capacity, and, most importantly, their financial stability.
- People & Wellness: An often-overlooked aspect in supplier qualification processes is the people factor. It is imperative to help your suppliers think about their people in terms of safety and wellness. You will also have to focus on training and upskilling your workforce and get them ready for the next normal.
- New ideas and processes: The most resilient companies are reinventing and innovating for their customers. They are launching new product lines, changing business models, and changing the way they work. More people are working from home, and your supplier readiness process must keep in mind all these emerging thoughts and ideas. It is critical to building a new kind of supply chain, one that is agile, flexible, and at the same time, robust.