Our continuing ode to Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his book titled “Out of the Crisis” summarizing his famous 14-point management philosophy.
Deming Point # 4 – Use a single supplier for any one item.
Quality is dependent on consistency, the less variation you have injected into a process, the less variation you will see in the output. That same philosophy applies to your suppliers. While dual sourcing has a venerable past, it was in a time when communication was more difficult and technology less evolved. Every supplier has their ways of operating and while your major concern is the product you ordered, different methods mean an increase in variability. Your suppliers should be viewed as partners in quality and business. Encourage them to embrace continuous improvement for quality sake and the savings will come inherently. Analyze the total cost to your organization based on your supplier plan, not just the component cost as invoiced. Lastly, use statistical quality tools to ensure that suppliers are meeting the requirements you have specified.
More blog posts about Deming’s 14 points: