Supplier Quality Assurance (SQA) Services

How does one monitor a supplier on a day-to-day basis? especially, if we are talking of off-shore suppliers? Those of us who have done this know the challenges faced:

  • Cost of keeping QA / QC in-house, OR Supplier performing QC / QA of its own work, with inevitable conflicts of interest
  • Cultural differences
  • Incompatibility of working hours
  • Day-to-day monitoring of SLAs vs monthly / quarterly trends
  • Getting early warning signals
  • Ensuring transparency in measurements and reports
  • Monitoring compliance with security, data protection laws, internal policies and guidelines
  • Monitoring retention strategies and ensuring on-boarding of new talent in a timely manner
  • Ensuring integrity of Training content and delivery
  • Tracking and forecasting FTE ramp-up / down

What is SQA?

Broadly, SQA consists of ensuring a supplier’s ability to deliver high quality services consistent with client expectations – and contract / SLA stipulations. Failure to meet such requirements leads to any of the problems listed above; not to speak of your end-customer’s displeasure!

How does SQA work?

SQA is achieved by implementing a dedicated program of quality assurance that takes off from the SLAs in the contract signed with the supplier. However, an effective SQA helps not only in ensuring execution on the SLA, but in (re-)designing the SLA itself. The best SQA teams will work with your supplier seamlessly; gently nudging them to improve performance via targeted interventions, all the way from hiring and training to shop floor activities and report generation. Such teams also ensure the integrity of QA samples, procedures as well as dash board reports.

Other activities often performed by SQA Teams include deep audits of underlying documentations, processes and infrastructure with the over-arching objective of alerting you, the client, early on, in case of any threats to the stability and reliability of your process.

According to quality guru, Joseph M. Juran, typical post-procurement activities of an SQA team include:
  • conducting joint quality planning,
  • cooperation during relationship period,
  • validation of conformance to requirements,
  • certification of qualified suppliers [and supplier-staff]
  • conduct [design and implementation] of quality improvement plans
  • creation and use of supplier ratings.

SigMax-e’s SQA philosophy is to work with the client’s supplier-partner to ensure the client’s objectives are met so that performance outcomes are a win-win for Client and Supplier. Rather than swoop-in as a third-party, policing over the supplier’s operations, SigMax-e SQ Analysts work as the eyes and ears of the client and ensure long term quality standards in output, and stability of the relationship between client and supplier.

Why SigMax-e?

  • Based in Malaysia, SigMax-e offers an ideal ‘neutral and low-cost location to address suppliers in major world service centers such as India, China, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
  • SigMax-e’s six sigma philosophy, values and consulting-influenced approach, facilitates a smooth and friction-less conduct of the review, inspection and audit functions
  • SigMax-e’s in-depth experience with both vendors and clients enables it to understand the underlying issues on both sides and facilitate practical and innovative solutions to address operational irritations
  • SigMax-e’s own track record as a high quality and proven BPO performer gives it the credibility to coach the supplier in areas where it falls short of client expectations
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