In today’s manufacturing world, materials production and supply have grown increasingly complex. Business moves quickly, information is exchanged across the globe almost instantaneously, and pressure for immediate performance can be extremely high—even in industries that require long production cycles. As a result, product shipment and quality assurance can often struggle to keep up with the breakneck pace and expectations.
Management teams frequently set organizational benchmarks based on the needs of a market or a customer without fully understanding the operational implications for their own organizations. Many businesses’ operational profiles involve complicated supply chains that include a myriad of potential third-party suppliers or contractors. From a business perspective, some feel that there is a transfer of risk when using third-party suppliers, but is this really the case? If a supplier lets you down, where does the buck really stop? How can you ensure that you are working with the right suppliers, and what level of oversight and accountability do you need to ensure quality? Unfortunately, most of the answers to these questions are known, but the operational realities can be obscured. Ultimately, what is the cost of this type of decision making and operational process?