November 20, 2014

What's Q360 Quality? And Why Now?

In previous blogs, we have discussed concerns about substandard components in the supply chain, but when the President of the United States signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), all suppliers took notice.

Signed in 2013, the NDAA addresses many global and national defense issues as well as counterfeit components in the supply chain. In the NDAA, there is reference to revising and enforcing current protocols and developing stronger regulations requiring component suppliers to implement safeguards and demonstrate a system to help detect and avoid having suspected counterfeit parts enter the supply chain.

In addition, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has also recently announced a strong, concerted effort to fight counterfeits by funding research into other types of authentication technology due to the increased risks found in the high reliability industry. Millions of dollars can be lost if these products are not battle or emergency ready due to the possibility of faulty or substandard parts.

Counterfeiting has been big business for years, and it extends way beyond just electronic components and causes a domino effect. We’re talking billions of dollars every year and an impact on just about any consumer product on the market. Customers go to their local retailers and expect that when they buy a product they are buying something safe, reliable, authentic and of the highest quality. Inversely, manufacturers expect that the parts procured to build their products are authentic as well.

So, yes … having quality safeguards in place is a must for any reputable independent distributor and/or supplier if they want to continue doing business with manufacturers. But now that the U.S. government is becoming more actively involved in enforcing safeguards and requirements to protect the supply chain, distributors and suppliers will be more accountable for substandard/suspected counterfeits parts entering the supply chain − specifically in the aerospace and defense industries, where the risks are so much greater.

At Converge, quality has been an integral part of our organization since the first substandard parts were identified. Our Q360 Quality program is a commitment not only to continuous improvement but also to our customers and to the supply chain. Because we supply components all over the world to so many different industries, we believe in surpassing industry standards and providing the highest-quality components to our customers while protecting the supply chain.

The long-standing relationships Converge has established with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and contract manufacturers (CMs) are a direct result of their trust in the safeguards in place that are part of our standard quality practice. This includes our vendor approval process, industry affiliations and certifications, extensive training and certification of our components engineers, rigorous quality inspection process, and state-of-the-art in-house equipment as well as on-spec and on-time deliveries, which are all part of our all-encompassing Q360 Quality management program.

To find out more about our Q360 Quality program and our work in the high reliability industry, contact us.