Original Date: 08/15/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Customer - Supplier Relationship
MagneTek Defense Systems (MDS) provides an example of an outstanding supplier/customer relationship in its contractor data collection effort. Failure/problem investigation information is willingly shared without being a contracted data deliverable item. In addition, MDS produces failure analysis reports on all repaired items. The data, which is collected and used internally, is provided externally to In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEAs), customers, and non-customers without a contract delivery item. This effort results in good communication with benefits for MDS in improved communication, teamwork, partnerships, and new business in life cycle support.
The willingness to share data opened a non-conventional cooperation link with government data (3M field and depot data) MDS had not previously been able to acquire. MDS maintains that the costs of data sharing and communication with all customers are offset by failure prevention and quicker resolution of responsibility issues. Internal MDS improvement efforts generated a new document for depot repair. Three documents the Quality Assurance Test Inspection Plan, Standard Inspection Procedure, and Technical Repair Standard were consolidated into one. This was a joint development effort between the ISEA, the Naval Warfare Assessment Center, and MDS. An administrative amendment to the contract was processed with a resultant multimillion dollar savings.
Customer-supplier communication is also being incorporated into the front end of the procurement cycle. MDS establishes a logistics support shopping list a plan that offers a customer logistic support, repair support, and failure analysis. The company maintains that not all customers know what they need or should request. The business plan includes a production support entity consisting of the logistics, failure analysis, and repair departments.
An associated government practice was the formation of an ISEA lead team, or Core Team. This team included representatives from the ISEA’s technical departments, program office, SUPSHIPS, SPCC, and major equipment manufacturers. The team addresses and resolves supply support issues and problems. Initially, physical meetings occurred which helped build teamwork and team dynamics. Later, greater use of phone and telecommunications occurred. An immediate benefit was that this single meeting of all the players provided the information needed that would normally have taken 6 months.
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