One of the most important aspects of quality management within an organisation is developing and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with suppliers. This is one of the 8 principles set out by ISO standards, which aims to present organisations with guidelines to enhance quality within the organisation according to universal quality management standards. ISO defines the principle of mutually beneficial supplier relationships as follows: “An organisation and its suppliers are interdependent, and a mutually beneficial relationship enhances the ability of both to create value.”
Primary benefits of Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships & Quality
- Increased capacity to create value for both suppliers and the organisation.
- Flexibility and faster joint responses to changing market conditions or customer requirements and expectations.
- Optimised costs and resources across the board.
7 Steps to Improve Supplier Performance & Quality Management
To ensure a greater level of commitment to quality management within the organisation, the following steps can be taken to apply the mutually beneficial supplier relationships principle:
- Identify and select key suppliers, who should be selected for the value that they add to the organisation as well as their approach to the supply chain.
- Develop supplier relationships that address both short-term advantages with long-term concerns for the organisation and ensure a greater level of commitment to quality across the supplier and organisation’s operations.
- Develop clear and open communications to ensure that there is a greater level of transparency and accountability among suppliers and the organisation.
- Initiate cooperative development and enhancement of products and processes, to ensure the best level of quality for the organisation as well as the supplier.
- Mutually create a clear understanding of customer needs in regards to the organisation, to ensure that suppliers are able to comprehend these needs to deliver the best level of service.
- Share information and forthcoming goals and targets, so that both the supplier and the organisation can work together to achieve these goals.
- Identify and recognise supplier improvements and achievements, to maintain positive relationships and motivate suppliers to continue to strive for improved quality.
Working together with suppliers, organisations are able to provide a greater level of service to their customers and other stakeholders, and further improve their quality management process.
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