The importance of validating and vetting your supply chain

Why is it so important that you regularly review, qualify, validate, vet, and visit with your prospect and current vendors?   How do you lead, manage, and inspire your internal/external staff, partners, and vendors?  

How does personal, brand, and company integrity play into your organizational structure and operations?

Looking at trust, transparency, and what is really going on when you are not at the factory. 

Below I will touch on the how-to of validating, vetting, and visiting and explore some solutions for your prospect/current vendors.

Validation, vetting, and visiting

Many buyers, managers, directors, and owners want the most organized, busiest, and qualified factory making their orders, but really does that factory have the available capacity? 

How will they meet your needs for your products at the quantities you desire to meet your quality assurance and crucial deliver calendar timelines?  

They are highly unlikely to say “No” to your order and how do you know when they say “Yes” that they will actually make your production?

It’s a fact that an overcapacity factory will outsource your products to stay on schedule.  All too often many suppliers outsource, even though they may have signed a contract or agreement not to outsource. 

Only if you have a regular presence in the factory can this be avoided and even then they will try to deceive you with what is really going on and when you catch them in the act they laugh.  

I had to let our vendors know that this is a serious offense and it is illegal to outsource any of our products without prior approval.  But this warning did not stop them from outsourcing, as it’s a part of their culture to share and help others. 

Solutions

Understanding the necessity of utilizing a perfect flow of policies, procedures, processes, and calendars with a passion and drive for lean operations and constant improvement.

Well residing in Mainland China, I had a better understanding of the importance for Vendor selection, going beyond what’s in front of you, what you are used to, and what’s convenient to discovering the right vendors for the right products.

Have you looked into who really owns the business?  Has your company done adequate research on the agent/supplier/factories operations, the products they actually manufacturer, their management, systems, and output or lack thereof?   

Does the vendor or factory care about the product (quality, delivery, and end consumer) or are they overwhelmingly concerned only about growth and profits?  

Do you grade, rate or scorecard your vendors to provide regular feedback to improve the product and people process?

Selecting the right vendors can reduce headaches, improve product quality, and make for a better work environment for all involved in the making process and for happier end consumers, which provides a positive win-win for everyone involved.

What is your participation at the vendor or factory level? Are there full-time stationed staffs or do you frequently visit your vendors and production factories?  

Are there trusted (transparent) and experienced professionals to review products in production on a weekly, bi-weekly, or as needed basis to work on training, constant improvement, lean operations, on-time deliveries, and quality assurance?

There is a lot to do to ensure that your current and prospect suppliers are transparent, ethical, compliant, and following the agreement or contract that they may have signed with your company.  

It’s a good idea that you constantly and consistently vet, validate, onboard, manage, and lead your current and prospective vendors

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