Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Certified Supplier Program
In 1991, Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) initiated the Certified Supplier program to reduce the costs and cycle times of its receiving and inspection processes. The program also addressed costs associated with travel, source inspectors, duplicate receiving inspections, and non-conforming material/corrective action activities. This quality rating system bases supplier certification on historical data such as demonstrated superior quality performance, and confidence levels that the supplier will continue at the same high level of performance.
In February 1998, RMSC improved its program by adding supplier certification for low technology parts as well as part number certification for high technology parts (previously defined as Group 1 parts by MIL-STD-1535). Many factors must be considered before a supplier/part candidate can be approved including supplier management and procurement experience; lot acceptance rate; floor failure data; and stakeholder experience (e.g., supplier quality, procurement and production engineering).
The Certified Supplier program also motivates suppliers to maintain or improve their quality performances. Purchase orders are awarded to those suppliers that demonstrate a long-term commitment to superior performance. The program currently includes 440 suppliers and 16,000 part numbers, which represent about 26% of procured parts. Since 1991, the company reduced the number of receiving inspectors from 18 to two. Annual goals for increasing the number of certified suppliers are established as quality initiatives. Source and receiving inspection factory data indicates a downward trend in defects over the last three years.
Since implementing the Certified Supplier program, RMSC reduced the total ownership cost of procured products, eliminated duplicate receiving inspections, and decreased cycle times. The program also supports agile manufacturing practices by letting certified suppliers ship directly to stock.
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