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Achieving Quality Consistency through Traceability

THE SOURCE CODE BLOG

One of the largest adjustments we stated making in 2012 was beginning to engage our Approved Suppliers™ as to where they were sourcing their raw materials from. We did so because we were receiving inconsistent quality (from some) and couldn’t fully comprehend why? We would monitor their production processes where everything stayed the same yet the finished batches would range in quality.

Since we knew it was not the production process causing the inconsistencies, we realized we needed to try and take it a step further by understanding the origins of each batch of raw material.

Especially because we deal with recycled rubber (an already volatile ingredient) as our main input component, we understood that ensuring a quality product for our customers may sometimes require us to have proper tractability.

Once determining traceability was important to us, we quickly realized there were a few hurdles standing in our way of obtaining the information we were seeking.

For starters, we needed to understand the number of players in our Approved Suppliers™ supply chain. This was and still is not an easy process because most our Approved Suppliers™ consider this information preparatory and are not eager to share. That said we have been successful with a handful of our key factories. Next, once we were granted entry we needed to determine what type of records each supplier kept. Not surprisingly we started noticing not all our Approved Suppliers™ keep the most detailed records around of these types of purchases.

Thus we took a step back and asked ourselves, okay, we might not be able to get all the information we need at this time, so let’s classify our Approved Suppliers into three categories. 

The three groups:

  1. Suppliers with no traceability
  2. Suppliers with traceability to our main input component’s batch
  3. Suppliers with traceability back to the process level of our main input component’s batch

We found by at least classifying our Approved Suppliers™ into these three groups we can possess a greater understanding of where our collective exposure (us and our customers) lie and consequently direct our best fit sourcing efforts more effectively.

Obviously as we progress into 2013 our goal is to have all our Approved Suppliers™ moved from categories one and two into three, but we understand quality control through traceability is a process. However we are confident we will get their as all parties involved share the same goal of selling a high quality industrial products into the most sought after industrial marketplaces in the World. 

That’s it for today. Stay tuned for the next weeks post.

(For more than 10 years, GCP Industrial Products has successfully offered its customers a unique sourcing process that allows them to save money, streamline their supply chain and grow with new products. Our plans are to continue to grow based upon mutually beneficial relationships and the quality of our products and services to our ever growing customer base. To contact us please click here or phone 1-888-893-5427. Thank you.)