Supplier Assessment/Operational Analysis

Every supplier development project begins with pre-assessment planning, followed by the supplier assessment/operational analysis. Plantech can assist you in conducting an onsite assessment of the problematic suppliers to determine their weaknesses and to recommend improvements. Plantech can also monitor (or train you to monitor) your supply chain to ensure that good suppliers are retained and troubled suppliers are encouraged to improve.

Supply Chain - Operational Assessment and Improvement

First, Plantech believes the assessment process, to add value, must be undertaken prior to sourcing - not after the fact, to "certify" an already-selected supplier or to attempt to remediate an under-performing supplier. Second, the process must assess enterprise capability - evaluating, at a minimum, product and process technology, process design, process control methodologies, system disciplines and deliverables. This necessitates an operational assessment involving personnel with extensive, sophisticated knowledge of product and process engineering as well as effective process control methodologies, partnered with others capable of making profound organizational and commercial judgments.

Operational Due Diligence

Plantech employs Operational Due Diligence, a thorough, disciplined process, to determine real value, potential, and risk. To be effective, it must involve a rigorous assessment of several critical areas. Each area is examined in the context of both the present state and the (potential) future state, with careful considerations of practicality, addressing:

  • Cultural Barriers
  • Technical and Technology Hurdles
  • Systemic Concerns
  • Financial Feasibility

In the Plantech approach, an operational assessment will address, at a minimum:

  • The overall capabilities, qualifications and limitations of an organization, considering things like operational performance metrics in addition to more traditional financial metrics, certifications, customer recognition and system awards (Shingo, Deming, Baldrige, etc.), and evidence of valid 2nd and 3rd party assessments.
  • Management systems are defined and effectiveness determined based on goals and measurable objectives, understanding of actual (vs. public) drivers of policy and practice, processes for and effectiveness in determining and acting on customer driven, critical competitive issues.
  • Current and historical customer-specific concerns, incidents and trends. These are identified and examined, determining issues, performance criteria and benchmarks, assessing what the organization considers "normal" versus "extraordinary" in terms of failure and containment and as drivers for corrective action.
  • Approaches to operational Planning of Products & Processes, with particular attention to the focus (or lack thereof) on customer requirements, process definition and control, manufacturing product and process metrics, the use of AQP, statistical tools, analytical and error proofing techniques and preventive action. What approaches to both process and product verification and validation are employed?
  • Actual Products and Processes, including assessments of process capability and availability, conformity to and effectiveness of control plans and inspection/test disciplines, MSA and gauge control, application of error proofing, identification and traceability and material controls as well as evidence of reduction in variation and continual improvement. Purchasing and supplier relationships receive particular focus and robust assessment, as do hiring and compensation practices.
  • Technologies employed in product, process and information management are gauged for competitiveness, suitability, compatibility and useful life, including facilities and infrastructure, both internal and external (utilities, logistics, etc.)
  • Process capability and Leanness, using sampling metrics to establish present state as well as potential future state opportunities for efficiencies and economies in flows, cycle times and capacity utilization.

This ultimately leads us to develop a statement of work, action plan and project plan. Implementation includes executing the action plan and project plan with progress reports along the way. Included in the progress reports are the number of deliverables met and other measures of success. Plantech monitors results after the conclusion of the project to ensure that the improvements remain in place.

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