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System to impove supplier/customer relationship and efficiency during product development Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131810D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-21
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-21
Document File: 4 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue



Today suppliers provide process data typically during qualification audits and for the MRR (manufacturing readiness review), either as a hard- or softcopy (spread sheet), basically all inputs are provided in a manual mode. This certainly has the disadvantage that process data doesn’t get screened until supplier runs into the volume requirement. Data also don’t receive the customer typically online, meaning that the data transfer is rather complicated. This approach not only maintains fully automated data transfers and handling, but also enables immediate reporting in both directions (customer and supplier). The set up furthermore enables hand shake operation with an existing replenishment and quality tool. There are systems in place for Work in Progress, Line and Process step yield, Part tracking, parametric data, Specs, process capability, process flow, tool monitoring data and equipment availability. The customer wants to launch a new product in time, with volume forecasts met and with quality that is within specifications or better and is interested in a process with high degree of transparency. Any deviation from planned performance poses significant risk to a new product launch in the extended supply chain and has to be avoided. It is the purpose of the described system that evaluation of readiness is not taking place at one specific point in time but to establish a continuous monitoring of readiness performance by comparing accessible metrics to predefined baseline, hence measuring the progress in reaching the specified goals. The progress gets reported and deviation from scheduled timelines highlighted.

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Product Development Tracking

The system allows for the detailed description of the development phase specific to this product. It will collect all necessary documentation for product specification and also definition of Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The system allows the documentation of the requirements, specifications and drawings in a collaborative environment to establish targets to measure against. All necessary business processes of the supplier get documented and a readiness parameter evaluated by the supplier in a self assessment. Evidence is given by documents, workflows and historical data e.g. successful product launches. (..Confidence Level..).

Detailed description of the approach

    This approach shows a method to move from reactive to preventive planning and supplier capability control mode in a supply chain, using adequate IT structure, automated data upload, real time monitoring, notification and advanced analysis features.

The tool has several components

Best practice


Electronic Supplier Assessment


It is a planning tool for qualification


Establishes closed loop approach for product qualification


It can predict estimated qualification dates


Collection of Rules / Tasks and Dates for Implementation (Baseline Definition) Business process tracking for qualification Automated Check against predefined rules for qualifications at certain dates (milestone verification)

Automated check of readiness in sub-processes (scoreboard)

Automated parametric data check against specifications including process data, equipment data, yield data, workforce data Rules for Continuous Improvement Real Time Monitor for Readiness in qualification tasks performed Accumulation in one readiness metric to monitor status of qualification effort Comparison with history qualifications (knowledge base in qualifications) Qualification complexity metrics (process steps, new processes)

    The approach shall track events like new tool implementation and associated learning curve. The approach shall track skill levels and training efforts with scheduling.

Product Definition

Requirements Specifications Drawings, Part lists KPI Definition (yield, equipment, process, spec metrics)

The approach shall allow for the documentation of the requirements and


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specifications and drawings in a collaborative environment to establish targets to measure against.

Supplier Selection (build confidence into supplier)

Supplier Capabilities (history of process capabilities, parametric) Supplier Quality Assessment (Supplier Process Management Capability) Contract Review

The approach shall collect y...