Team Quality Services (TQS) helps Tier 1 Auto suppliers solve quality issues. Our purpose is to help people and improve lives. While we do that, another benefit worth noting is that we also save your company money!
How TQS Helps Tier 1 Auto Suppliers
An experienced quality liaison can help your team proactively get ahead of quality-related issues before they turn into large-scale, costly problems. Onsite quality representation becomes your first line of defense in response to quality issues. Your TQS Quality Liaison is your right-hand soldier trained to know your parts and processes and can ensure new product, program, and platform success. They can also help reduce quality-related risks and help protect your relationship with the OEM, keeping everyone happy and the entire process moving forward.
TQS does a number of things to help you keep moving forward at the same time you save money and maintain your stellar reputation. These include:
Being Proactive in Quality Control
Taking a proactive approach to quality control issues saves your company money. This is because you’re handling it internally, as we are a part of your team. If we find the issue, because we are contracted by you and therefore an extension of your company, there is no cost. With TQS, you keep any quality control mishaps in-house.
Our internal alert system enables us to find and handle nearly all of the non-conformity issues rather than you getting “dinged” from the OEM. Our geographic reach allows us to alert other Quality Liaisons in the field with the same part in a different location. Proactively looking at all locations delivers potential cost savings here that cannot be calculated. No one else can do this, because only TQS has someone at every OEM in North America.
Let’s say you’re supplying parts for a brand new Chevy Silverado being built in three different factories across the country. There is a potential for non-conforming parts being shipped to multiple locations. If we find an issue in one, we look for it in every location and proactively quarantine them in each location the part was shipped to. The OEM assembly plant doesn’t have visibility to this, so no cost incurs.
Avoiding a Non-Conforming Issue Ticket
On the other hand, if you have no onsite representation and the OEM is the one who finds the issue, you’re looking at a non-conforming ticket. These are essentially administrative fees for sending you bad news!
There is no warning process. When a non-conforming issue ticket is given, you owe the money. They can start at $5,000 and escalate from there depending on the size and severity of the issue. If it’s a one-off item it could be $5,000. If it shuts the line down, the fine only goes up from there.
In the worst-case scenario, the non-conformity issue has gotten to the assembly line and out into the holding lot. A yard hold means they stop shipping vehicles to the dealerships until they determine what is good and what is not. You’re looking at a massive fine at this point, plus you as the Quality Engineer need to to drop everything and get to the OEM as quickly as possible.
Don’t forget about the travel costs associated with going to and from the OEM because there is a problem and you don’t have an on-site representative. How quickly do you need to be there and how far do you need to travel? Flying back and forth, getting a hotel, renting a car, filling the tank with gasoline, and buying meals on the road are just a few of the costs associated with this kind of emergency work travel.
Bringing in a Sorting Company
On very rare occasions, our Quality Liaisons suspect the non-conformity issue is not a one-off deviation. In this emergency situation, we still act proactively and keep it in-house. We will alert you as the supplier, via QNET our mobile app.
When you get the notification, you gain peace of mind that your Quality Liaison is already initiating spot checks. If we feel it’s a bigger issue, that is the point at which we recommend bringing in a sorting company while we oversee the sorting.
It is completely handled at the OEM, to ensure we quarantine any and all issues. Our team works diligently to establish a clean break point. Where does the problem start and stop in the line? We ensure this is discovered, because only then can you make a decision as to how to move forward. Our Quality Liaisons facilitate these decisions on your behalf.
The Importance of Maintaining Your IATF Standard
OEMs want to ensure that they only order parts from suppliers whose products consistently meet customer requirements and that quality and customer satisfaction are consistently improved. They have this peace of mind from the IATF Standard, a certification that takes into account your supplier performance.
There are five weighted tiers in the IATF Standard. You are required to be at a minimum of Level III to remain in good standing and be available for new business opportunities. Suppliers can be troublesome enough that a supplier can be de-sourced and replaced with a competitor. The OEM must protect themself, as they can’t be responsible for sending badly-made or even dangerous cars out into the public. If you have several OEM-discovered non-conformity issues in a few months, it may mean you’re on the no bid list. If you don’t get off this list, it’s a death blow to your company. You’ll never get new business again.
Thinking Both Short- and Long-Term in Regards to Saving Money
Non-conforming tickets and fines cost your company money now, and several in a row may even endanger the future of your contract with the OEM. That’s not the only financial aspect of quality management in the automotive industry to keep in mind here. You cannot put a price tag on your brand’s reputation. You don’t want to have the stigma of being a troublesome supplier. It takes a long time to build trust and once you lose it, it’s tough to get it back. Reputation within the industry is huge!
Every time you ship parts to the OEM, your reputation and a lot of money are on the line. It isn’t enough to blindly hope there aren’t any non-conformity issues found. You need the peace of mind that if they are, it is handled internally in a way that doesn’t result in a fine or losing your good standing regarding the IATF Standard. This is what we mean when we say “we’re there so you don’t have to be.”
To learn more about quality liaison services and how quality management in the automotive industry can save you money in both the short- and long-term, reach out and have a conversation with our team. The process of getting started is easy and the savings are nearly instantaneous!