Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Information : Supplier Process Surveillance
In 1999, the Material Acquisition Center Mid-Atlantic Region at Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems implemented the Supplier Process Surveillance. This program focuses on process controls to ensure quality materials, and serves as a team-oriented vehicle for handling product anomalies.
Previously, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS) used traditional supplier product acceptance methods which relied on costly inspections upon receipt or conducted at the supplier’s location. Despite large numbers of dedicated inspection personnel, the company could not fully protect its assembly operations from process-related product anomalies. In 1999, the Material Acquisition Center Mid-Atlantic Region (MAC-MAR) at Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS implemented the Supplier Process Surveillance (SPS) which shifted the emphasis of quality from inspections to process controls.
Supplier eligibility for the program is an active status with open purchase orders, and sufficient part quantities and work in processes (WIPs). The first step of SPS is the creation of a Technical Data Package (TDP), which is a team effort by the technical specialist, technical engineer, and supplier. TDP is used to baseline the supplier and takes about two months to complete. As a minimum, the Package contains a process map, a surveillance plan, critical process identification, process indicator points (if applicable), and a surveillance schedule which is a table of process checklists. Minimum requirements are determined by supplier category (e.g., manufacturer and distributor; manufacturer only; distributor; and manufacturer of custom parts). Reviews are predetermined by the TDP team.
The technical specialist performs the checklists according to schedule. Review results are then forwarded to the technical engineer and maintained in the Supplier Quality System. If anomalies are found, corrective action is requested and the supplier’s quality rating is affected. The technical specialist communicates with various parties and visits the suppliers as necessary. After a three-month period, suppliers with good quality ratings may be evaluated for MAC-MAR’s Dock-to-Stock Program. Once approved, this qualification eliminates incoming inspections and shifts the burden to supplier process controls. Evaluation criteria include quality rating, corrective action status, trend analysis, critical process assessment, and an approved quality system. A Risk Review Board meeting is held to review supplier nominations. The Board consists of a Defense Contractor Management Agency representative, supplier quality management, a technical engineer, and an SPS administrator. During these meetings, the Board can vote suppliers into a Dock-to-Stock status.
SPS promotes predictable quality performance and efficient supplier oversight, thereby developing supplier process improvement and securing a high performance supplier base. Currently, 100 suppliers are in the program. Of these, 28% have achieved a Dock-to-Stock status. The program’s objective is 50%.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.