Four Common Supplier Quality Problems

By Roland Hoelscher  |  Posted 2010-04-06 Print this article Print

Four common supplier quality problems

When we understand the problems, we understand the effectiveness of the solutions. The top four supplier quality problems are:

Problem No. 1: Getting information about poor quality from the field

Because it takes so long to extract data, operations managers in the field are reluctant to fill out the SAP data entry screen for reporting problems. They have been conditioned to believe if they enter data, nothing ever happens. So they won't bother.

Problem No. 2: Extracting data quickly and in simple language

The reporting process is manual, often feeding individual spreadsheets. This can take days. So, if a supplier is late or a piece of equipment arrives damaged, it can be meaningless by the time it is discovered.

Problem No. 3: The extreme difficulty in seeing the aggregate view

Often the data is not only in different places but in different applications. So, if a manufacturer with 80 locations across multiple lines of business needs to see an overarching view of supplier quality-good luck!

Problem No. 4: Difficulty in reporting and extracting meaningful data

Without meaningful data reported and therefore extracted in a timely manner, it's impossible to negotiate with suppliers or fix internal problems. Problems can include bad specifications from engineering or purchase orders being cut so late that the supplier has to rush their production. This can all cause poor supplier quality.

Roland Hoelscher is the CTO for the arcplan Group. Roland joined arcplan in 1993. As marketing director, Roland was responsible for the market introduction of arcplan's first software solution in 1994 and he established the U.S. subsidiary, arcplan, Inc. in 1997. Roland served as its CEO and president, responsible for corporate development and strategies in North and South America (until he returned to arcplan Information Services AG in 2003). Previously, Roland held many integral positions with arcplan, including director of application development and director of marketing. Prior to his employment with arcplan, Roland worked for a consulting organization, conducting portfolio analysis to support strategy development of financial institutions. Roland's versatility and various positions at arcplan and other companies have made him an expert in the business intelligence field. Roland holds a degree in Economics from the Westfaelische Wilhelms University in Muenster, Germany. He can be reached at

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