UltraSource enjoys the privilege of providing thin film substrate manufacturing services to customers in many different markets and industries. The UltraSource Team works hard to be the preferred thin film supplier to many customers who use our quality, delivery, service, and costs to help them be successful in their own businesses.
Many new customers come to us requesting price and delivery quotations and often give us price goals as their sole means of determining qualification. And typically, when we are approached by new customers seeking a new thin film supplier, the reasons why they are looking for an alternate supplier are often kept “Top Secret”, meaning they do not wish to share their concerns about the incumbent supplier with us. Eventually the dialogue opens up and more often than not, the reason they are looking for a new supplier is based on poor delivered quality.The Hidden Costs of Poor Quality:
Poor delivered quality has “hidden costs” associated with it when it happens. A few examples of the “hidden costs” of poor quality are:
- Increased receiving inspection and purchasing costs when managing poor quality
- Rejections on the shop floor that drive high rework costs
- Source inspection increases costs when incurred
- And, factory build plans and yields may be affected, causing customers costly delays and hindering shipments to their own customers
At UltraSource, we have learned over the years that being focused on lowest price means that new customers may be missing critical parts of the supplier qualification process. At UltraSource, we strive to be a “best value” supplier by offering the following to our customers:
- Expert sales and technical support so that communications and issues are handled simply and effectively.
- A history of providing excellent delivered quality so that poor quality does not affect build schedules or product yields.
- The ability to rapidly produce prototypes and development orders to support customer product development initiatives.
- Implementation and use of a quality management system (QMS) like ISO 9001 and AS9100.
- Dependable delivery performance due to systematic execution by balancing demand and capacity.
- Using “lean methodologies” to generate competitive pricing.
- The ability to develop and maintain long term supplier agreements (LTSA) to reduce pricing for regularly placed orders.
- Training to ensure the entire organization understands the customer’s quality expectations.
- When issues arise, skillfully developing robust root cause and corrective actions that foster a problem prevention mindset.
- A comprehensive system of process controls in order to manage process variation and risk.
Undertaking a new thin film substrate supplier qualification that evaluates technical support, delivered quality, lead time, on-time delivery, pricing, and LTSA’s is a significant project that takes time and effort, and we know that Buyers and Purchasing Managers are busier than ever. Today’s companies tend to stay lean in order to control overhead to generate profits and stay competitive. We understand that Purchasing Departments carry a heavy workload and this brings to mind a poem that we came across while writing this newsletter:
“The Purchasing Agent stood at Heaven’s gate, Her head was bending low.
She merely asked the man of fate,
Which way she ought to go.
“What have you done,” St. Peter said,
“to seek admittance here?”
“I was a Purchasing Agent down on earth, for many and many a year.”
St. Peter opened wide the gate,
and gently pressed the bell.
“Come in,” he said, “and choose your harp. You’ve had your share of hell!”
– Author Unknown
At UltraSource, we understand the issues and complexities of thin film supplier selection and we will continue to work with new customers to become their “best value” thin film substrate supplier.
Please share the Purchasing Agent’s Poem with your Purchasing Department; we know their job is not easy and let them know that we are happy to talk to them about Lowest Cost versus our UltraSource Best Value performance metrics. Stop by to see us at IEEE IMS 2015 Booth #3429 between May 19 – 21, 2015 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.