Vice President Operations & Quality Systems

What you need from your vendor

Qualities of a successful outsourcing partner continued...

Does your vendor have a one size fits all solution or are they willing to build a process to meet your needs?  
 
Most of our discussion has been centered on the ability to customize and automate some aspect of the process. At Allied, we work hard with our customers to eliminate human intervention in the transfer of data. We have been able to provide a seamless transfer of data from their ERP system to ours thus providing them the ability to enter orders into their system and allow us to fulfill them for them.

This process eliminates guess work and limits human error - whatever order you place is the order that should be fulfilled. You should feel comfortable that your 3PL providers will meet your ever changing needs.

Up next: PARTNERSHIP...
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Strong metrics focused management team

Qualities of a successful outsourcing partner continued...

It is imperative that you find a well managed company especially if they have direct contact with your customers. You want to make sure that in a crisis their sense of urgency will match your company's. It is imperative to sit down and understand in advance how issues will be escalated. A policy statement is fine as you need to know if the people responsible will react and do so in a way that mirrors your culture.

A well run company focuses on financial metrics to ensure they are in good financial condition. Talk to the management team about their philosophy about managing their business.

Up next: Your outsourcing supply chain management partner must be able to meet your needs...

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Qualities of a Successful Outsourcing Partner

Over the course of the next few weeks I will outline the concerns most often raised by new customers when they are preparing to outsource a product or service with us. We do a variety of back room operations for medical device customers. My goal is to provide the reader with some of the qualities companies seek when looking for a successful outsourcing supply chain management partner and to provide some guidance in their outsourcing process.


1. Aligned Strategies:
 
There are many companies that can supply services; most companies are looking for the proper fit. It is important to work with a company that has a sound strategy that is being implemented by a strong management team.
 
We had one customer who selected a excellent contract manufacturer to do kitting for them. While the company’s expertise was in contract manufacturing they did not possess a World Class Third Party Logistics (3PL) Warehouse Management System and were not considered a top 3PL provider. They were able to build the kits but were not able to inventory or distribute them with ease. Their strategy was as a contract manufacturer not a kit assembler and distributor of products. The contract manufacture’s strategy for the engineering and manufacturing of medical devices was outstanding. Their ability to build kits and distribute them was not their core competency.

Up next: Having a strong metrics focused management team...
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