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Despite the fact that quality management software (QMS) has been available for decades, urgent and brand-threatening quality problems continue to make news across a variety of industries. One major challenge is quality problems that come from suppliers and outsourcing partners. In these cases, the company whose brand is being hurt may not have adequate supply chain management in place to detect supplier quality problems, let alone control and prevent them.
There are ways to improve that situation, and software to support those efforts. Best practices call for supplier scorecards and audits; there are many SCM software vendors and other providers that deliver this capability. Systems for business intelligence and supply and contract management offer alerts when supplier performance falls outside the expected or specified range. Supplier collaboration portals, whether B2B hubs for an industry or OEM or ERP extensions, can enable better communication and faster resolution when quality issues arise.
Some companies have implemented statistical process control and other quality analysis systems at their key suppliers. And QMS firms have supplier quality management applications available in an integrated enterprise quality system.
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