The keys to successful supplier onboarding are partnership and cooperation. To truly help you reach your goals, the supplier needs to be able to demonstrate, not only the capability to deliver the specified level of quality in set schedule, but also their commitment to building long-term partnerships.
For the Purchasing Manager, quick and efficient supplier onboarding most often comes down to succeeding in four important areas:
- ramp-up time
- product quality
- the potential for long-term partnership
We also recommend downloading our free-of-charge, 15-question approach to successful supplier selection for valuable insights in tackling this challenging and often time-consuming process as efficiently as possible.
Optimized production ramp-up
One of the prerequisites for successful supplier onboarding is ascertaining the reliability of the planned ramp-up schedule, i.e. how long will it take in practice for the deliveries to begin with the expected volume and quality?
The level of the supplier’s experience from ramp-up processes for similar products naturally makes things more predictable – and reliable – for the buyer. For example, at Norrhydro, we have a solid 35 years of experience from new product ramp up according to a wide range demands and specifications in many demanding areas of application: forestry, material handling, marine & offshore, construction equipment and mining. As proof, we have an exceptionally strong reference base from all of these fields, with global industry-leading manufacturers as our customers.
Moreover, based on our extensive experience in demanding ramp ups, we have developed our own, highly specialized New Product Introduction (NPI) process. It is a step-by-step tool for managing, analyzing as well as reporting to the customer every step of new product introduction, from the first RFQ all the way to the start of serial manufacturing.
With our unique NPI system in place, and thanks to our continuous investment in optimizing our ramp-up capability and production flow, new product ramp-up with us is a fast, transparent and reliable process.
Thorough quality assurance
Another item on most buyers’ supplier onboarding checklists is quality, i.e. can the supplier deliver hydraulic cylinders with the specified quality, taking into account the conditions and demands of the area of application?
With Norrhydro’s 35 years of experience in manufacturing hydraulic cylinders to a wide range of demanding applications, including e.g. mobile hydraulic machinery and hydraulic applications for the marine and offshore segment, we have a remarkably deep understanding of the requirements in each of the segments we operate in. Based on this understanding, we are able to engineer hydraulic cylinders that provide your machinery with the optimum mobility in the set conditions.
We also have our own testing laboratory, where various hydraulic cylinder structures can be tested and assessed proactively based on the needs of various different applications and segments. The tests provide high quality data, for example, on the mechanical strength and hydraulic cycles involved with different structural options.
This enables us to engineer high-quality, long-life hydraulic cylinders specifically to the industry-specific needs of the customer.
The exceptionally high quality of our hydraulic cylinders begins with our own global supply chain, which consists of tried and tested long-term partners with whom we have worked on optimizing quality and delivery reliability for multiple years. In our supply chain, there are always at least two different suppliers for the necessary materials and OEM components. For more details on how we have ensured our top-of-class delivery reliability, see our blog How to select a reliable hydraulic cylinder supplier? – 5 key questions for every purchasing manager, Question 1.
Quality inspections and product verifications
Quality assurance begins with the Production Part Approval Process applied to all of our pre-series and prototypes, in which we verify that the product meets all of the specified requirements, and that there is an established process for manufacturing the product. Moreover, our production engineers analyze in every step of the pre-series or prototype manufacturing process how that particular step of the process went, and whether there is something to improve in the product, process, tools or in some other aspect of that step before serial production can begin.
In order to be finally approved, the product will also undergo final inspection. In the final inspection, our Engineering, Quality and Production departments analyze every aspect of the product and approve, disapprove or approve with modifications the inspected product. Each stage of the inspection from the early protypes to the final product is documented, complete with detailed observations from the production process. When all of the necessary final modifications have been implemented, the product is ready for serial production. In each step of the process, our work is guided by the international quality standard ISO 9001, with standards-compliant processes, standard working procedures and guidelines, and so forth.
In ongoing serial production, after surface treatment, we test each and every cylinder before delivery, small or large. When the cylinder has been completed and assembled, it will be flushed a number of times, removing any possible impurities within the cylinder after production. After this, the cylinder is subjected to a test pressure to see that there are no leaks. The test pressure is 1,5 times as large as the pressure of the actual system the cylinder has been designed for. In other words, all of our cylinders are tested with extreme pressure compared to the pressure they will be subjected to in the end product. Also 100 % of the paint coating of every cylinder is thoroughly inspected. The results from all of the above inspections are carefully documented.
For the following two critical aspects of supplier onboarding, i.e. price and the potential for long-term partnership, please read the second half of this blog, Quick and efficient supplier onboarding, part 2.
Would you like to know more?
To find out more about us as a potential partner, see our recent blog How to select a reliable hydraulic cylinder supplier? – 5 key questions for every purchasing manager and download our free-of-charge, 15-question checklist to successful supplier selection. In addition to offering a useful tool to the Purchasing Manager, the downloadable checklist also details Norrhydro’s answers to each of the 15 questions.