Wind turbine production demands a keen focus on quality, and manufacturers are subject to regular audits by their customers; these audits not only evaluate each facility but the supply chain as well. With global operations, including manufacturing facilities in China, Mexico, India, Turkey, and the United States, TPI works with suppliers around the world. Many of those suppliers also have numerous facilities or fulfill orders for multiple TPI locations.
However, each TPI location had its own approach to managing its suppliers and – like many global operations – it did not have a centralized source of supplier data. As a result, when seeking information about suppliers, delays were common: someone would email a colleague several time zones away and await a response via email the following day… or the following day. It was also common for data to be duplicated. This was a significant challenge when needing to act quickly in response to a customer audit of a production facility. The complexity of this global operation, particularly when paired with the high degree of specialization, led the company to seek a more streamlined and transparent approach to supplier quality management.
TPI’s Supplier Quality team embraced a preventative approach to supplier quality, a shift from quality control to quality assurance, and sought standardization and simplification of processes to reduce time to market and increase efficiency. The Supplier Quality team, led by Pamela Lynch, began to search for a supplier portal that would pull this information into a single access point, facilitate communication, provide robust customizable reporting, and drive accountability.
They agreed that, as a global business, TPI needed a global solution. It needed to be highly configurable, user friendly, and easy to get data in – and out of. It needed to be an objective resource for tracking and reporting supplier data, providing accurate and up-to-date metrics to users at all levels. As the team identified its business requirements, it considered not only in-house options but also a range of off-the-shelf solutions.
Lynch found that LiveSource uniquely fulfilled TPI’s requirements: “We had reviewed a variety of solutions, but they all seemed too cumbersome and not as flexible. We chose LiveSource for its usability and configurability, its reporting capabilities, and its customer service. LiveSource seemed like a solution that we would be able to hit the ground running and use.”