What to Consider When Choosing a Partner - Part 2

December 2012

Quality
Consistent quality must be a given with any potential partner and an up-front discussion regarding the approval and paperwork/sign-off procedures is very important. Other quality points to ponder:

  • Does the supplier have a history of building your type/style of cable assemblies?
  • What type of practices are in place to ensure there are no "surprises" when your product arrives?
  • Is the supplier willing to add procedures and inspection criteria to meet your needs?
  • Does the supplier offer expertise to drive cost out while maintaining or improving functionality?
  • There are many different ways to finish a cable. Do the supplier's processes ensure the performance anticipated for the application?
  • What is the warranty offered and for how long?
  • You should have a working understanding as to their course of action on a rejected part. What is a common turn- around time on a Corrective Action Report? Are procedures put in place that ensure the problem has been resolved?
Your confidence in your vendor should be at a level that requires no incoming quality inspection on the parts provided. A great supplier should be constantly adding value. If a flaw is found in the design that may be prone to failure, do they have the ability to trouble shoot and bring a problem solving solution to the table? Consistency in repeatability of each assembly is the key to peace of mind. Receiving cable 100,000 after a year in production should be held to the same rigorous evaluation and performance as the first article. Unyielding attention to procedures and proven manufacturing and inspection will ensure confidence your delivered cables will always look and perform as anticipated.