Apple factory

How does Apple manage suppliers “in the factory”?

Many companies want to strengthen the supervision and control of upstream suppliers, and usually arrange one or two SQE quality control personnel to go to the supplier’s factory. And the management of suppliers is more than quality? ! There are too many factors affecting product quality, including raw material problems, process problems, engineering problems, personnel problems, equipment problems, and internal management problems of suppliers. .
In addition to managing the quality of suppliers, there are also on-time delivery issues; price and cost issues; and other business cooperation issues. These issues are more macro-level and focus more on the relationship with the top management of the supplier. One or two SQE engineers Still can’t reach that level of management.
When many SQE engineers are stationed in the factory, they hold a prepared Audit check list audit form, draw a line on the basics of the factory, and list the problems found. As for the station, it may only be a day or two. , After completing the check list, he left, leaving a bunch of questions for the supplier to complete. As for how to complete it, it is up to the supplier to find the answer and solve it by himself.
As a result, those who have quality problems continue to have problems; those who lack materials continue to lack materials; those who are not clear about the cost are still unclear… In the final analysis, the management of suppliers in the factory is to solve – who is in charge? what and what to do? 

Let’s take a look at how the industry leader Apple 

has done a good job of fine management of supplier Micro Management.

1. Resident candidates
What kind of professional qualifications are qualified candidates to be stationed in the factory? What type is suitable for the factory? Who will be chosen to lead the resident management? How can we build an efficient resident management team?

From the perspective of manufacturing, there are several different levels of suppliers of raw materials, module components and complete machine assembly, as well as sub-suppliers of these suppliers. 

Why stay in the factory? In fact, the fundamental reason for staying in the factory is that we cannot trust the commitment and ability of the supplier or the limited ability and level of the supplier. Provide guidance and consultation to help suppliers solve problems in the fastest time possible.
Since “quality is produced rather than inspected”, the process is more important than the result. When the process is done right, the result will naturally be the same.

We know that the production of a product requires the cooperation of multiple departments, including the planning department, material department, R&D and engineering department, purchasing department, production management, quality department, after-sales service, social responsibility and other departments to ensure the perfection of a product. 

Presented and listed on schedule. 

Wechat jhpx010 can be added to those who need purchasing materials and year-end summary. Therefore, the ideal configuration of the resident personnel is that each of these departments will send an expert to the relevant staff of the corresponding window of the supplier. However, in reality, it is impossible and unnecessary. .

Of course, for the whole machine assembly factory, since the corresponding EMS factory is a giant or unicorn enterprise, the assembly technology is complex, and the impact on the time to market of the product is the most critical. It is necessary to arrange the above personnel, such as Apple in Foxconn, Pegatron, Quanta There are more than 100 resident personnel in the factory, and each factory has a dedicated Apple Room for Apple’s resident experts to work on site.

As for raw material or module device suppliers, it is necessary to arrange a number of engineering and technical experts and business experts according to the size of the company, the complexity of technology, and the urgency and importance of material supply. 

Apple is generally led by GSM, together with SQE, TPM, and R&D engineers to work together in the factory to solve major problems on site, and GSM will drive the project forward and progress according to the product demand plan.

2. What do you manage in the factory?
“Man, machine, material, method, and environment” are the most basic management elements. The fishbone diagram method is used to analyze specific problems and find the causal relationship. for example:

Personnel: Including the supplier’s direct employee DL and indirect employee IDL, managing their on-time delivery and overtime control, as well as coordinating the cooperation between the resident personnel and the supplier.

Machines: including main production machines and testing equipment, as well as auxiliary production materials such as molds, fixtures and their accessories; including BOM main production materials, auxiliary production materials, consumables, as well as semi-finished and finished products inventory control, scrapping product control, etc.

Methods: including technical drawings, operation instructions, process workbooks, inspection standards and instruction manuals, demand plans, material plans, capacity plans, production and supply plans, recruitment and training plans, cooperation agreements, confidentiality agreements, etc.

Environment: including the facility configuration, security measures, line layout and IT resource construction of the production environment.

Since the manufacturers of the whole machine assembly and the material device level are not the same, the scope of responsibility of the resident management is also focused and different.

GSM at the material and device level integrates the management roles of planning, materials, procurement, and production operations. It is a super housekeeper who has to take care of everything except technical issues; and the division of labor on the whole machine side is relatively detailed and clear, and each professional field The staff perform their respective duties and achieve the project delivery goals under the leadership of the production operation manager OPM.

3. How to manage in the factory? 
In fact, it is a question of how to manage it.
Apple is very unique in that it has a variety of data management tools and templates. These templates contain basic data logic and data models. Suppliers can basically complete data collection, data analysis, and presentation of results as long as they input according to the templates provided by Apple.

Another powerful capability of Apple is the “Assembly Number”. Once a major crisis occurs in a supplier, with an order from the head of procurement or operations, within a few days, the best resources in the world can be mobilized, and the best experts can sit in the office. On the spot, there is basically nothing that can’t be done.

1. Three key elements: talent, strategy and execution
Apple is particularly good in these three areas, the most important thing is that Apple has a large number of the best people in the world.
The most common management method used by Apple employees is the goal-directed variance approach.
The so-called goal orientation is to use goals to drive business operations, use data to build models, and drive performance. Pay attention to the WeChat public account and learn some knowledge columns every day to receive procurement materials and year-end summary for free. According to specific and quantifiable goals, a series of data reports and templates are designed to be used by suppliers.
The resident team needs to check the data performance every day, find problems through data and data analysis, solve the problem on site or within a specified time limit, such as a two-week limit, or stipulate that the problem must be closed in a closed loop within a time when the risk is acceptable .
Another common management method for the factory-based team is Audit—on-site audit method, which checks and checks the authenticity and accuracy of supplier data reports, especially financial data and social responsibility data. Heavy penalties for suppliers.
Next, I will share the detailed management rules of a OEM’s in-plant inspection. Welcome to collect and learn!

1. Scope of application It is suitable for the management of the resident personnel of the quality department of the group supplier.

2. Purpose Ensure that the quality of materials is effectively controlled at the supplier, and ensure that substandard materials do not enter the company; provide on-site coaching to suppliers to assist suppliers in improving their quality.

3. Job requirements, responsibilities and authorities 

1)  Responsible for inspection and testing according to the inspection procedures and technical data requirements, and put forward inspection and testing conclusions, and the suppliers are not allowed to store and leave the factory for materials that do not meet the requirements; 

2) Responsible for filling in the inspection records in a timely manner as required, and signing the inspection records and relevant documents; 

3) Conscientiously implement the regulations on inspection and test status identification, mark the unqualified products found in the inspection according to the regulations, store them in isolation and record them, and have the responsibility to analyze the reasons for the unqualified products and put forward suggestions for improvement; 

4) Correctly use and maintain the measuring instruments used by me, and submit them to the department for verification on a periodic basis to ensure that they are in a calibrated state; 

5) Once there is a quality problem, the quality information should be fed back to the department leader in a timely manner; 

6)  Have the right to dispose of unqualified products of Class C quality characteristics, and have the right to put forward preliminary disposal suggestions for unqualified products of Class B and Class A quality characteristics and report to the department for review and disposal in a timely manner; 

7)  It is directly responsible for the losses caused by personal mis-checks, missed checks and misjudgments; 

8) Responsible for the unqualified batches or other losses caused by the unauthorized failure to perform the duties of the post; 

9) It is directly responsible for the loss caused by not filling in the inspection records as required or the records being untrue; 10) The relevant integrity system of the company must be strictly implemented.

4. Management rules 

1) In terms of work attitude 

2) The responsibility of the resident personnel is to carry out quality monitoring on behalf of the quality system of the group. Any words and deeds of the resident personnel will be closely related to the company’s image. If you need purchasing materials and year-end summary, you can add WeChat jhpx010. Therefore, the resident personnel must strictly require themselves not to do any behavior that is detrimental to the company’s interests or spread such remarks that are detrimental to the company’s interests, such as complaints. 

3) The communication tools of the resident personnel must be kept unblocked, so that the company can quickly feedback important information and instructions, and avoid major problems or miss the best processing time due to poor information feedback.  Feedback on quality problems: The feedback of the resident personnel on quality problems should be in place in a timely manner, so as not to affect the follow-up work passively. 

4) Relevant information feedback: The resident personnel must summarize and report to the department leaders the problems that occurred in the factory on the day and how to deal with them every day. 

4.3 Information confidentiality 

In order to keep the company’s secrets and safeguard the company’s interests, the resident personnel have the obligation to keep the company’s secrets. Taking necessary precautions in foreign exchanges and cooperation, special attention must be paid not to reveal company secrets, let alone betray company secrets. 

The company’s relevant technical documents and standards are not allowed to be provided to suppliers without approval. 

4.4 Supplier counseling 

Before coaching suppliers, a detailed audit and coaching content needs to be formulated. The unqualified items after the audit must be recorded. Suppliers are required to improve one by one and provide improvement and rectification reports, and at the same time, continue to improve the effect. track. 

Through training, let the supplier know the specific quality requirements of our company’s materials, and understand the relevant situation of the supplier’s quality management (such as the setting of the quality management organization, the preparation of the quality system documents, the establishment and implementation of the quality system, the material design, production, packaging, inspection, etc.), especially the supervision and guidance of the final inspection and test before leaving the factory. 

Coach the establishment of key quality control points in the supplier’s process.

5.Management process 

5.1 Early stage 

After the supply chain management department develops a new supplier and the relevant departments pass the final review, after the supply chain management department conducts business negotiations with the supplier, the supplier quality department should participate in the signing of the supplier quality assurance agreement; 

After the quality assurance agreement is confirmed and signed by both parties, the supplier quality department may require the supplier to provide written factory inspection standards (procedures), quality control methods, quality management methods, etc. Strictly check the process and the setting of key quality control points, and put forward suggestions and requirements for improvement if the material quality requirements cannot be met or there are aspects that need to be improved, until the requirements can be met; 

The supplier shall provide a certain number of samples to the company for sample evaluation and confirmation before placing an order to the supplier as determined by the purchasing department. After the evaluation is qualified, a corresponding evaluation report will be issued. If purchasing materials and year-end summary are required, WeChat jhpx010 can be added. Otherwise, an unqualified report will be issued, and the supply chain management department will feedback the evaluation results to the supplier. 

At the same time, after the material quality problem is improved, the supplier must re-send the sample to the company for sample evaluation again until the sample evaluation is qualified.

5.2 Supplier production stage 

 When the supplier confirms mass production, the supplier quality department shall send SQE or inspector to the supplier. The key work items and contents are as follows: 

Process quality control and factory sampling inspection: 

Conduct a second-party audit of the supplier, put forward improvement suggestions for areas to be improved, put forward rectification requirements for problematic aspects, and re-verify the effect after rectification; 

According to the design technical conditions, inspection standards (inspection procedures) and other documents, the quality control of the whole process of batch processing of materials produced by suppliers; 

The personnel stationed at the supplier should strictly monitor the supplier’s factory inspection, and the materials must be sampled according to certain standards, and the unqualified batches that meet the rejection standards should be rejected; only qualified batches can be put into storage and shipped from the factory.

 Unqualified control: monitor the unqualified situation of the supplier’s production materials: conduct statistics and analysis on unqualified products (batches) found in the factory batch sampling inspection and those found in the online inspection post, and assist in supplying the unqualified phenomena Suppliers or suppliers to analyze the cause, and properly dispose of the substandard products (batches) to ensure that the produced materials meet the requirements; 

Parameter change control: In the process of supplier material processing, if there is any change (parameters, raw materials, suppliers, technological processes, quality control points, processing methods, etc.) , after passing the trial in small batches, it can be put into production in batches, and a detailed record of changes shall be made. The personnel stationed at the supplier is responsible for supervising whether the above-mentioned changes occur in the production process of the supplier’s materials, and monitoring the change confirmation process; if the changes have not been approved by our company or re-tested, and there are certain quality risks, the station personnel have the right to Production is stopped, and the supplier is responsible for all economic losses caused by it. 

Daily affairs control: 

1 Regular feedback to the company leaders (including department managers) of the supplier’s current production capacity, progress, quality status, quality statistics and analysis, whether there are violations and the supplier’s daily affairs, and any differences or aspects to be implemented give confirmation; 

 In order to jointly improve the quality management and efficiency management level of the company and suppliers, the quality engineer or inspector stationed in the supplier also needs to have a comprehensive understanding and mastery of the supplier, and affirm the advantages of the supplier in all aspects , and fed back to the company to organize learning and improvement, put forward improvement requirements and suggestions for the shortcomings of suppliers, and assist suppliers to improve;

After the supplier’s materials are delivered to the company, the supplier’s quality department will conduct incoming inspection according to the “Quality Assurance Agreement” and acceptance standards signed by both parties. After passing the random inspection, a qualified report will be issued, and the warehousing and distribution department will go through the warehousing procedures; 

If it is not qualified, it will be negotiated in accordance with the “Quality Assurance Agreement”. The supplier quality department is responsible for reporting the acceptance results, issuing a written feedback sheet to notify the supplier, and requiring the supplier to analyze the cause as soon as possible and formulate follow-up preventive and corrective measures. 

After the supplier’s production quality and progress are stable, the dispatched quality engineer or inspector can return to the company, and must submit a business trip summary within one week of returning to the company.

Material put into use stage 

If the materials are unqualified during the production and use process, the quality department of the supplier should confirm and summarize the bad phenomena, and feedback the bad phenomena to the supplier in writing in the form of the supplier’s material acceptance quality feedback sheet, and supervise and follow up. Supplier conducts cause analysis, improvement and preventive corrective actions. 

If the unqualified products have a great negative impact on the user end, and have a serious impact on the market or the company’s reputation, the Supplier Quality Department must assist the supplier to properly dispose of the unqualified products, and investigate the supplier’s responsibility. Quality responsibility.

.If the personnel stationed at the supplier encounter technical problems during the factory inspection process, they must promptly report and implement with the designated personnel of the R&D center or the pilot test center. 

Full-time inspectors and quality verifiers must pass the training and assessment of the quality department and hold certificates to take up their posts, and conscientiously perform their duties. 

These management rules shall be implemented from the date of approval.

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