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They say you are only as strong as your weakest link, and nothing could be truer in selecting the right business partner for your supply chain. If you require specialized processes that are subject to meeting ISO, military, or stringent commercial standards, it becomes vital that your suppliers reliably meet specifications with precision.

It’s important to note the difference between quality control and quality assurance. Quality control refers to the measures taken to ensure defective products and services are not produced and that the product design meets the quality standards set out at the outset of the project.

Quality assurance, on the other hand, focuses on eliminating problems in the process of manufacturing and assembly that cause product quality problems to be identified by quality control. The goal is to control all aspects of the manufacturing process to make sure that every part produced meets all applicable specifications and standards

Why is this distinction important? Out of spec or faulty components cost you time lost in rework, money lost in planned revenues, and, potentially, lost clients or contracts. Here are 6 areas to consider in choosing the right business partner for your supply chain:

  1. Are your suppliers properly certified?
  2. Are they current in maintaining their certifications?
  3. What documented process controls are in place for production of your goods?
  4. How frequently are manufacturing process controls validated?
  5. Does your vendor use an independent lab to validate critical processes as appropriate?
  6. Do they have their quality inspection, measurement, and test (IMT) equipment inspected, validated, and certified to National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) standards?

Read our summary of Gartner’s annual Supply Chain Top 25 report to learn a lesson or two from the leaders in supply chain innovation.

How can we help you meet your customers’ demands? Contact us to discuss your needs with our qualified specialists or call 919-212-6400.