“Supply Market Development” is our process of identifying and developing great partner factories.
This is the origin of our company and where our success starts from. Unimacts team members have visited literally thousands of industrial factories around the world over the last 20+ years. When we do these visits, we do a high-level pre-screen across a number of evaluation criteria. The majority are unacceptable for us to work with, for any number of reasons. A very small number are perfect and ready to start working with right away. And then there are the factories that look promising, but we need to spend some more time working with them.
For the factories we choose to invest in and try to establish a partnership with, we start with a detailed supplier audit. We do the detailed quality audits, similar to most world-class multinational OEMs (our audit forms have become a best-in-class tool since we keep learning and improving our audit process from new customers). From our audits, we do a typical Green, Yellow, Red rating. Red must be fixed before placing any work in the shop, Yellow allows us to proceed with caution, but we give that issue extra scrutiny and make sure we are executing a plan to turn it Green.
We have also now started to do in depth Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) audits. Two years ago we thought we were all set once we passed one of our major customers Quality audits with no findings – we were really proud of ourselves. But then they came in and performed one of the most stringent EH&S audits we have ever seen – and we received a lot of Yellows and even some Reds. This was a major multi-national, with a highly valuable global brand and they could not afford to have ANYTHING go wrong associated with their company. We felt this customer was ahead of the curve, and others will most likely follow, so we have been rolling out this type of audit as well.
Supply Market Development is an ongoing continuous improvement effort for us. No shop, anywhere in the world is “perfect”. If any world-class OEM comes into any partner factory of ours, they can always find a Yellow in either a Quality or EH&S audit. We make sure 1) there are no Reds, 2) there are no Yellows in critical areas, 3) we keep pushing any Yellows to Green and 4) we keep pushing the critical Greens to “world-class”.