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21 Nov 2019

Improving the inbound quality and evaluation process at your facility

Andrew Cosgrove

How efficient are your inbound quality and evaluation processes? Would you like to improve the quality of the material supplied to your facility? Would you like to enhance your relationship with your suppliers? This article will give you insight into ways you can improve the quality and evaluation process at your facility.  

It’s disruptive to your business when the planned or declared material received to your facility is not completely accurate. That load of Grade A paper that was expected, half of it is Grade C. Or half of the Grade A paper is wet, which is now affecting the weight, the quantity you needed and the actual true cost of the load.   

Damn. Now you need to go back to your supplier and have that talk with them. But you also need to source more material if it is planned for upstream material sale slots or if it is part of your month’s demand planning schedule. This can lead to crisis planning.

This is costing you time and your company money. It can affect production runs, upstream sales and most of all your bottom line.

Improve the quality of inbound loads

One way to improve the quality of the materials being supplied is through educating suppliers. Educating them to the fact that their load was contaminated, or too wet or half of it was Grade A paper but you had expected OCC…

From a supplier’s perspective, perhaps they are unaware of the contaminated material they picked up on route to your facility. Or, perhaps, they were pulling a fast one and would continue to do so if they know they can get away with it.  Whatever the reason, it needs to stop.

By educating your suppliers through a continuous feedback loop it’s building better relationships and it's making them accountable. This, in turn, is improving the quality of their loads coming into your facility

For your supplier, the quicker they’re off the scale, the load inspected and back on the road, the quicker that truck is back generating revenue for their business. They don’t want to be held up in your yard getting a rigorous inspection because the last two loads have been contaminated. You have the proof and they need to take action.

Would you agree that a system which automates that supplier feedback process is beneficial?

Another way is through a comprehensive audit process. One that gets granular. A system that gives multiple and layered quality evaluations, that truly supports a comprehensive audit when it's required.  It’s a system that documents contaminants, moisture readings, provides a quality rating system, non-conformance information, container information… a complete audit that supports multiple quality variances.

The purpose here really is to pay the fair price for the material and not the full price for sub-standard material.  

Does your current grading and quality system support multiple and layered quality evaluations?

A corrective and integrated system

If your inbound quality and evaluation process is not reducing the number of rejected loads and the number of loads to inspect, it’s time to review your process. The end goal and positive outcome for your business is improved quality control. It’s better-synchronised grading and quality processes that are supporting better decisions in real-time.

It’s a system that works to correct supplier behaviour and better manage those relationships. A supplier audit.  

Let's look a the quality ratings. The inspector in the yard on their mobile device, they can see that the incoming load has previously received a C Grading. Now the yard inspector knows that they need to give this load a more vigorous check... So too does the supplier.  That supplier knows their quality and evaluation grade and any other outcomes from previous audits. 

This is delaying the truck at the facility and impacting the truck’s schedule for the day. The supplier knows this is impacting their own margins. This should ensure a better quality load coming to your facility from that supplier.

It’s a system, accessible from any device, that reduces administration because it's integrated into your ERP system.  It’s providing results and proof of your audit to your back-office to support their workflows.

It’s a comprehensive web-based solution, accessible on any device, which has multiple and layered quality evaluations is what’s needed

What’s the return?

Greater efficiencies in your inbound quality and evaluation processes.  An improved bottom line delivered by paying for the material you actually received.

It’s easy to see why this can positively impact your bottom line when its;

  • improving the quality of loads.
  • increasing the revenue opportunity for each load.
  • reducing rejected loads.
  • bringing a faster turnaround at the scale and for the load inspection.
  • improving supplier relations.

We’d love to hear about your grading and quality process and see where we could help. If you believe you could improve your current process, to build greater efficiencies and increase the margin from your inbound loads, then get in touch!

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