TQM and Your Suppliers

You can maintain and deliver the quality of your products and services only if all personnel and all companies involved in your chain of suppliers are quality-oriented and customer-oriented. By definition, superior quality and customer satisfaction compared to your competition depend upon the exceptional. You and your suppliers will have to go above and beyond normal procedures, delivery dates, lead times, and other standards to maintain quality and provide superior customer satisfaction.

This may be required occasionally, or all the time, depending upon the customer and type of industry and business. For example, Micron Computers ships all computers by Federal Express, with overnight service. They use Federal Express because of the impressive speed of delivery from order and the confidence that Federal Express will provide superior handling for their fragile products. The increased costs of overnight shipment is offset by increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and decreased product damage.

Only suppliers committed to the same attitudes about quality and customer satisfaction will be able to support you and your company under exceptional circumstances and demands by customers. Companies committed to quality and customer satisfaction have the dual responsibility of seeking suppliers who are like-minded and maintaining their commitment.