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Quality & Compliance Newsletter - October 2004

From: 'Quality and Compliance'
Subject: Quality & Compliance Newsletter - October 2004
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 08:51:59 -0700 (PDT)

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      Oct 2004  
Best Practices in Supplier Quality Management

Supplier quality management has emerged as one of the leading business practices in the past few years. World-class manufacturers are making significant investments in systems and processes to improve supplier quality. This white paper briefly outlines some of the best practices implemented by such manufacturers in supplier quality management.

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Using a Compliance Platform to build Custom Quality and Compliance Applications

Despite the availability of off-the-shelf quality and compliance applications in the market, many organizations still choose to develop custom compliance software to support their unique business processes and reporting requirements in their environment. The cost of ownership of such custom applications is high due to long development timeframes and higher on-going maintenance costs. This paper suggests that using a compliance platform as a starting point dramatically reduces the cost of ownership of a custom-developed application. The paper also provides an important checklist if you or your organization is contemplating developing a custom quality and compliance application.

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Role of Quality and Compliance in managing warranty reserves and costs  

Over the last few years, Quality and Compliance initiatives have begun to play a critical role in managing warranty costs for large and mid-size manufacturers. Manufacturers are challenged to both enhance product quality and reduce warranty costs at the same time. American manufacturers reserve and spend well over $24 Billion annually on warranty reserves (Source: Warranty week).

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Benefits of a Supplier Quality System – A Case Study

A large industrial products component manufacturer was challenged to reduce supplier quality issues in response to changing market dynamics. The manufacturer faced increased competition in their core product segments and needed to reduce their overall costs and improve product quality to stay ahead. After a detailed analysis, the manufacturer identified supplier quality as one of the three key operational improvement opportunities.

The manufacturer had built a network of about 25 core suppliers and sourced 90% of their components from them.

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"Quality is the degree of excellence at an acceptable price and the control of variability at an acceptable cost."
    - Robert A. Broh  
"Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it."
    - H. James Harrington  
"The ideas of control and improvement are often confused with one another. This is because the quality control and quality improvement are inseparable."
    - Kaoru Ishikawa  
"The notion that medical device companies must maintain robust quality assurance systems to achieve regulatory compliance is not a new one. What is new, however, is the opportunity for medical device companies to transform regulatory compliance from a disparate set of cost center activities to a core element of their most strategic and profit-focused product initiatives."
    - Forbes IT Research  
Links to papers in the prior newsletter issues
Best Practices in CAPA
Workplace Safety Compliance
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