Supply chain professionals who seek to transform supply relationships need to think beyond pricing competition or availability constraints and think how they can turn knowledge into a competitive advantage over time. This is a long-term strategy yet it does deliver higher quality products over time and streamlines quality management initiatives as well.
For supply chain professionals there is also the continual battle of inbound audits of product quality and the commitment from suppliers to meet or exceed the quality standards as defined as part of the strategic framework both agree to. Navigating product audits can range from the relatively simple, as is the case in low-end manufacturing to the very complex and demanding, highly precise medical products auditing processes. Medical products can be audited at any time during their production cycle, which makes supplier management and quality standards all the more crucial.
For the supply chain professional, they must continually concentrate on the value chain their companies are relying on to attain profitability by product. The role of product quality and in the case of medical products, government compliance to Federal Drug Administration (FDA) audit standards, can make or break any product line. For customers of the medical devices, this higher level of compliance can easily translate into much higher costs of purchase them. Market leaders and the supply chain professionals managing them however use compliance as a catalyst for continual process improvement and performance and the continual pursuit of greater levels.