Quality and performance materials testing is an absolute necessity when bringing on a new supplier.
But once a relationship is formed, manufacturers have varying strategies for how often product needs to continue to be tested. Testing every load, every time is cost prohibitive. Some prefer random intervals, while others test extensively early in a new supplier relationship and taper off as a supplier validates its performance.
In cases when a test does reveal a negative result, manufacturers will again ramp up testing occurrences and update a supplier scorecard. From there it’s up to the supplier to improve rapidly or be dropped by the manufacturer.
And once suppliers are dropped it’s unlikely that they will regain their status, manufacturers say.
Navistar’s James McKean says if a supplier can really turn things around and has evidence to prove it Navistar may give them a second look, “but trust me, we’ll be asking to see their information” and rigorously test their products.