Beth Stuart went on a tour to evaluate a potential supplier’s facility before her company, Epic Communications, entered into a long term contract for 1.2 million high speed communications circuit boards. Her tour guide was Michael Spade, VP of manufacturing for PushTel. If the relationship proved beneficial to both parties, follow-up contracts would be negotiated each year thereafter. Beth noticed during her walk that employees were disappearing into their offices and down connecting aisles as she walked through the facility. Beth reflected how on another visit to a different company, the quality manager greeted each employee by name and the workers went out of their way to say hello.
Moving from the office area into …show more content…
During the tour, Beth noticed that employees were careless in handling of the product and placing it back onto the production line. This would lead to defective products being used causing problems later on with unsatisfied customers. This could lead to damage to the Epic Communications name as having faulty products and forcing customers to go to someone else for better quality.
Why might upper management be reluctant to invest in visits to suppliers? How can that reluctance be overcome?
Upper management believes the cost to send someone to do a visit is not cost effective. The money spent on airfare, hotel rooms and work left undone at the office by his executives did not warrant the budget. Most of the companies they work with probably meet or exceed the standards and visiting the plants are just routine. However in all cases, it is best to see the company’s production line at least once before doing a contract that will be long term. These visits can alert you to a company’s value system and how they operate. This company used Crosby’s system which placed emphasis on having no defects versus Deming’s which believes that waste should be reduced; quality increased and cost of production should be decreased. PushTel philosophy to follow Crosby values is demonstrated in how much rework and scrap material is sitting on the production line.
This visit was extremely valuable to the company as it will save it more money in the long