We’ve all experienced an aircraft spares quality control issue at some time or another and if your experience was anything like mine, it was beyond annoying. It was ridiculous. Quality assurance should be an essential part of every organization and it goes far beyond the meaning of a good product. It's better defined as a good brand. I recently ran into a problem with a new company whom we were dealing with for the first time and it was quality assurance at it's worst.
Imagine this. You send a $10,000 order to a company, which has to be wired up front, but due to a severe time constraint, you overlook your typical vendor approval process to make sure the unit is at your facility the next day. You figure, you can finish the paperwork in the morning. The next day arrives and your chief inspector is ready to review the material but the order never shows up. You call the vendor…no answer! You call FedEx…package is untraceable!
Through some luck you end up getting in contact with the vendor, however he is disengaged and states "we dropped the package off at FedEx, if they lost it, too bad". Now at this point I'm sure you're furious, so you call FedEx. FedEx tells you they reviewed the video tapes and the gentlemen who dropped off the package, came back and asked to retake the package because he "forgot" something. At this point you know you've found a crook and unfortunately time is going to have to be spent chasing this guy around.
You see this happened to me and if I just had relied on the quality assurance program we had in place for new vendors, this could have been avoided… I was constrained by a deadline and rushed.
Here are 3 reasons why your vendor needs a quality assurance program:
1. Reduces Risk
With lower barriers to entry, we've all seen an increase in aircraft spares part suppliers, mostly low overhead "brokers", but the amount of honest companies compared to the amount of actual companies is low. What a quality assurance program forces companies to do is to be organized. They must understand that policy and procedures are necessary to minimize quality control issues during the aircraft spares sales process.
It isn't easy and it takes time and additional staff to do so.
Quality assurance drastically reduces the risk you'll take in dealing with a company. If they have an internal audit form, a QC manual and specific policies in place, you have a much better chance of knowing your dealing with someone reputable. Isn't this critical when dealing with expensive assets such as aircraft spares?
2. Reduces Laziness
Do you want to deal with a company that appears to be lazy, I don't. A quality assurance program help's distinguish the lazy companies from the companies who are making an effort. If they don't have specific guidelines to abide by in their quality department, they're lazy. And what's worse than a lazy company? Being lazy in quality control means they're lazy in shipping, customer service, among every other aspect of their organization.
Lazy here, lazy there, lazy everywhere!
3. Increases Organization
Having structured, quality control procedures you can be certain that the organization you're dealing with is more organized than the companies who don't. From record keeping, aircraft spares traceability, vendor audits, shipping standards, certain activities have to be in place and organization is essential.
The moral of the quality control story is...try to deal with vendors whom have a history of quality on their side. But make sure you broaden your view, because you deserve not only a high quality product but a high quality service experience as well.
What are some quality assurance concerns you experience? Comment below.