Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Manufacturing Liaison Supplier Performance System
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) recognized a need for a technical organization to assist the designer and buyer for successful acquisition of needed components. In October 1985, Sandia established the Manufacturing Liaison Department (MLD) to provide technical support for the overflow build-to-print work. As this department evolved, a supplier database was established which has enabled SNL to identify over 3000 contractors' capabilities and performance.
Sandia National Laboratories Contracting Representatives previously have made source selections based on individual research, inputs, and recommendations. For example, some suppliers were recommended because they had been previous suppliers, not based on a needed capability. There was no verifiable supplier performance information available which could indicate the possibility of delayed work or poor product quality. If a supplier had a technical question, the requester was not always available, or they may not have an answer for a producibility problem. A consolidation of information was needed to ensure all Sandians had equal access to current supplier information and services.
The MLD provides SNL with a central source of information and capabilities on more than 3000 suppliers. The department includes electronic technicians, journeyman machinists, and a mechanical measurement technician. The group resolves technical questions that might arise during design or fabrication. It conducts drawing reviews, supplier surveys, technology exchange, and electronic data transfer. With the use of a Supplier Rating System, the group can make sound recommendations to the integrated purchasing group. A Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing class is also offered and provided free to small businesses.
The MLD has developed a Supplier Performance System that is based on the contractor database. A method was developed to identify a supplier's current capabilities and performance. Each month a contractor receives a Supplier Rating System Report which provides the status of deliveries, quality performance, and a composite rating. Continuous monitoring of constantly changing supplier capabilities is provided by MLD, and the information is fed into the database. MLD has supported 1719 contracts with 3871 bidding opportunities to 389 different manufacturing facilities during 1993.
This effort has resulted in several benefits. For example, MLD played an integral role in the purchase of 2500 H-1616 shipping containers which are used for the shipment of reservoirs containing Tritium. There were a total of 13 suppliers of components. This program came in under cost and schedule. Also, the Sandia's MLD and purchasing team underwent ASME/NQA-1 audits and did not have any findings. SNL won the Eisenhower Award in 1993.
By establishing a Manufacturing Liaison Department and developing a Supplier Performance System, Sandia is helping team knowledgeable technical people and purchasing people to ensure the success of product and supplier. This critical information is used to match the requester's requirements with supplier's capabilities to guarantee a program's success.
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