Original Date: 02/26/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Supplier Assessment System
General Dynamics Armament Systems implemented the Supplier Assessment System, an innovative computer-based tool which improves the effectiveness of the supplier selection process. Suppliers are assessed based on 15 areas of systemic competency. The resulting metrics promote objective evaluation of suppliers’ capabilities based on their infrastructures. Since implementing the system as part of a broader Supply Chain Management initiative, General Dynamics Armament Systems has reduced supplier assessment time, improved product quality, and decreased costs.
Previous modes of supplier assessment at General Dynamics Armament Systems (GDAS) were spread among diverse disciplines and required significant resources to focus the final assessment. To improve the selection process, the company implemented the Supplier Assessment System. This innovative computer-based tool evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of suppliers relative to GDAS’ expectations.
Recognizing that systemic competencies are fundamental to effective evaluation of suppliers, GDAS developed a model of 15 key areas of systemic competency (Figure 3-1) based on the company’s operating structure and several recognized industry models. For each systemic competency, the company developed deterministic question sets. The question sets are designed to provide an accurate assessment of the supplier’s degree of competency in a specific area. The degree of competency is scored on a scale with five divisions. GDAS also developed windows-based software to facilitate and enhance the Supplier Assessment System. The software design algorithms are flexible, allowing for customization while minimizing user resource requirements. The software permits weighted scenarios to be applied to question sets based on criteria such as specific industry and company size. Question sets can also be streamlined by eliminating questions which would be redundant in certain cases, as when a supplier is ISO-9000 certified.
The Supplier Assessment System promotes efficient and accurate assessment of suppliers. This tool reduces resource requirements as well as the time duration for supplier selection decisions. Since implementing the system, GDAS has improved product quality, reduced costs, and decreased cycle times. The company also encourages suppliers to use the tool for self-evaluation. The resulting metrics provide suppliers with gap analysis to improve their competitive position as well as baselines of their strengths and growth needs relative to GDAS’ expectations. The Supplier Assessment System has also been useful in guiding targeted and disadvantaged businesses.
Figure 3-1. 15 Areas of Systemic Competency
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.