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Design and Implement Techniques for Communicating with Suppliers

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Design and implement techniques for communicating with suppliers including scheduled meetings, routine and emergency reporting procedures, presenting explicit expectations, confirming awareness of criticality, etc.

Technical Communications

  • Specifications
  • Sample of finished product
  • SQA (Society of Quality Assurance) requirements manual
  • Plant visits

Contractual Documentation

  • Delivery requirements
  • Order requirements

–May include forecasts

  • Any specific procedural requirements

–Eg Corrective action procedures

  • Financial requirements
  • Management requirements

 Additional ways of communicating requirements?

  • Training supplied by customer
  • Information exchange at design review
  • On-site representation

Routine Communications

  • Typically monthly
  • If possible, initial meeting should be at the supplier’s facility
  • Agenda should be in place prior to each meeting

–Typically includes report card feedback (at least quarterly)

–Monitoring of continual improvement initiatives

–Review of issues that have arisen

–Corrective action status


A short and concise summary of a situation

A presentation of information or instruction


A gathering of people/parties for a purpose

What has the meeting decided

A briefing is normally used to indicate a 'feed' where information on a topic or situation is fed to the attendees as opposed to a meeting where ideas are exchanged and decisions made.


Meeting attendees should be LIMITED, invite only those that NEED to be there because they are part of the DECISION making process

  • Decision maker
  • Subject matter experts, to support different scenarios
  • Actioner, the person who will IMPLEMENT the decisions

What ?

Send the meeting agenda and supporting materials 24 to 48 hours BEFORE the meeting…..

Make sure THEY READ it……

AFTER the decision maker has reviewed and approved the content

Non-Routine Communications

  • Usually due to a specific problem
  • Problems should be reported as quickly as possible
  • Contact names and details should be clearly identified in the contractual documentation
  • Customer-supplier teams need to work together to resolve issues
  • All corrective actions need to be documented

Communication Plan

  • Audience
  • Frequency
  • Purpose
  • Media
  • Response Time (if necessary)

 Supplier Logistics Learning Outcomes

Describe the impact purchased products and services have on final product assembly or total service package, including ship-to-stock, just-in-time, etc.

Ship-to-Stock (STS)

  • Cooperative approach to quality
  • Uses supplier performance data to identify suppliers whose materials can be received directly into the organization without verification
  • 3-stage implementation




Just-In-Time (JIT)

JIT is a material requirements planning system that provides for the delivery of material or product at the exact time and place where the material or product will be used. Coordinated  delivery and production systems are required. The aim is to eliminate or reduce on-hand inventory and deliver material or product that requires no or little incoming inspection.

Two segments;



While performing your supplier (named supplier X} audit in the previous assignment, you identified a problem with the raw material (or sub-assembly or process} your supplier purchases from another vendor (named vendor Y).

You want to discuss the issue with a team (from both your organization and your supplier) to address the problem and to decide on the next step.

Identify the type of communication you may want to have and prepare an agenda for the "communication"  (meeting or briefing as appropriate)

Your submitted assignment needs to include:

  1. Type of communication and explanation on why you chose the specific type - up to Sp
  2. Who should participate (titles or role of participants and from which company they are) with a brief description of the reason you invite them- up to 1Sp
  3. Location (in person, on-line, email what you see fit for the above specified reason) - up to 10p
  4. Agenda items (include everything you see fit as discussed in class) - up to 1Sp
  5. Any other piece of information that you consider should be part of this communication - up to Sp Title page not required - only your name and today's date

This work is not essay type of work. Numbered sections and bullet points are more than acceptable. Make sure to communicate your

thoughts accurately.

Entire paper or parts of, can also be in.table format. 

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