Leveraging your supplier’s strengths… one customer’s story

Recently our quality team helped speed up an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customer’s FDA re-qualification cycle.  How?  By opening up and sharing our extensive shock and vibe test data with a customer who was duplicating the testing in their own facilities.

Optiplex XEThe customer – let’s call them “MediDevice” – has based its product on Dell’s OptiPlex XE platform.  Like many customers in the medical device market, MediDevice needed months to retest their product when a single component changed because of strict FDA guidelines.

MediDevice could have kept running their tests without asking if Dell had already run them, because they want to assume we just pump out boxes.  Instead, they engaged Dell at a deeper level and pushed on us with a real business problem.  The customer couldn’t change the FDA process, but they could change how much work MediDevice had to do after they received hardware from Dell.

Because their sales team listened and asked our product quality team what they could do to help, MediDevice found out that Dell was already running a good portion of their FDA required testing and certification as part of our everyday process.

The lesson – if you treat Dell or any other supplier like a box vendor, you will get a box and nothing more.  If you treat them like a partner and talk through your big issues, you might receive much more than you ask for.  In this case, MediDevice saved a month of testing on each new product revision just because they asked for it.

So go ahead and ask . . .  what has your supplier done for you today?

About the Author: Josh Neland