At a Glance:
- Inteva replaced legacy and ad hoc systems once used to manage a global enterprise of 2,500 suppliers, and is no longer dependent on stand-alone spreadsheets and documents.
- A comprehensive Web-based Supplier Quality Management portal automates the supplier scorecard process, streamlines part and process non-conformances tracking, and improves real-time communications throughout the enterprise.
- The company clearly sees and acts upon what’s happening in its supply chain — in real time — to maximize supply chain management success.
Formerly a division of Delphi Corp., Inteva Products, LLC, is a global tier-one automotive supplier with 17 facilities on three continents including two joint ventures, six countries and four U.S. states.
The company manufactures interior systems including cockpits, closure systems, and window lift systems used by automotive manufacturers, and is also expanding into non-automotive markets.
When Inteva was launched as an independent company in March 2008, one of its first challenges was standardizing its information systems and data management.
Another major challenge was to manage a supplier network of approximately 2,500 companies across the globe. The supply base is made up of 350 direct material suppliers, with the remainder of the supply chain being indirect suppliers such as shipping and freight services, and other service providers.
Supply Chain Challenges
Inteva used previous systems (SAP and Covisint) along with standalone application data to collect and manage supplier quality, which created bottlenecks in managing supplier quality.
Explains Ben Steward, Enterprise Applications Director at Inteva, “It was a challenge in the past to effectively track supplier information. Like much of our SAP implementation, we could not always get to the data we needed in the format required. This necessitated redundant data handling, manual work- arounds, and many steps. It was especially challenging because of our large supply base with multiple addresses and global locations.” Inteva experienced additional bottlenecks when managing part and process non-conformances.
Notes Erin Clemente, Inteva’s Supplier Quality Supervisor, Global Supply Management, “Dozens of emails flew back and forth when tracking each part and process non-conformances multiplied for the management of 350 direct material suppliers supporting our plants. When there was a problem, our team spent valuable time documenting the email trails and paperwork. We knew we could tighten this process and save time and effort.”
Automated Supply Chain Tracking
Inteva implemented Plex’s Web-based Supplier Quality Management (SQM) system to address the growing complexity of managing the supplier base.
The SQM portal (see page 4 for Table of Menu Items) notifies suppliers of Inteva plant-specific requirements and provides them with the latest versions of the company’s standards, policies, and procedures. The system also enables Inteva to communicate the details behind any non-conformances and to document the associated sorting, scrap, freight, and downtime costs.
Explains Clemente, “Instead of time-consuming manual processing, Plex automates the problem case log. Inteva and our suppliers communicate in one central location regarding part and process non-conformances. We eliminated the need for all those emails to track issues with the plants and suppliers. Now with just a click, all portal users see the documentation related to part and process non-conformances.
“All parties quickly view in real time any issues by plant, by supplier, repeat non- conformances, and summary data. This helps us all work together to reduce and better manage non-conformances.”
Supplier Scorecard Improvements
Inteva also benefits from a supplier scorecard feature used to grade suppliers based on the number of complaints they’ve received, the quantities of products rejected, major production disruptions, repeat non-conformances, and controlled shipping statuses. Says Clemente, “Supplier scorecards were once an administrative challenge. Now we can see in an instant the problem cases in a given month, based on the non-conformance report which flows directly to the scorecard. The system automatically deducts or adds points based on supplier performance. We track if our customer was impacted, automating the scorecard process to rate each supplier according to their latest performance data.”
Scorecard data is generated with no manual intervention and is useful for supplier audits for conformance with mandates such as ISO/TS 16949.
Table of Menu Items
Plex Cloud ERP – Supplier Portal Current Status
(Q-Quality, F-Finance, L-Logistics, P-Purchasing)
|Dept||Menu Name||Menu Description|
|1||Q||Inteva Supplier Information||Allows suppliers to access Inteva Terms and Conditions, Inteva Customer Specific Requirements, Inteva Label Standard, etc.|
|2||Q||Document Collaboration||Allows Inteva and suppliers to upload files.|
|3||Q||Supplier Contracts||Allows Inteva and suppliers to create a record of names, phone numbers, and email addresses for supplier contacts.|
|4||Q||Problem Case Log||Allows Inteva and suppliers to communicate regarding part and process non-conformances.|
|5||Q||Cost Recovery Log||Allows Inteva and suppliers to communicate regarding the costs associated with part and process non-conformances.|
|6||Q||Supplier Scorecard||Allows suppliers to access their monthly quality rating, based on Problem Case data.|
|7||Q||Supplier Payments Portal||Allows suppliers to upload certifications and define effective dates for ISO, TS, Minority, A2LA, CQI, etc.|
|8||F||Supplier Payments Portal||Allows suppliers to view payment schedules.|
|9||L||Customs Portal||Allows Mexico customs advisors access to data to manage governmental reporting.|
|10||L||Web EDI||Allows non-traditional EDI-capable suppliers to send ASNs and manage demand.|
|11||L||SubContract Ship/Receive||Allows subcontract suppliers to receive, label, and ship containers, in system.|
In tandem with improved supply-chain communications, the SQM system also brings Inteva extensive visibility into its suppliers’ operations. This allows the company to pinpoint and isolate problems and minimize their impact on overall product cost and quality.
When a problem is identified anywhere within the Inteva supply chain, the supplier and an Inteva representative receive a notification that action is required.
As an example, their On Time Delivery Performance Report instantly shows supplier shipping history and quantity in real time. Inteva can address issues as they happen and benefits from this visibility, which wasn’t available with the previous solution.
Inteva predetermined who should be notified for different non-conformance issues. A “problem case” is identified and created, and supplier responses to problem cases and associated cost recoveries can be reviewed and approved or rejected.
The SQM portal has empowered the entire enterprise with up-to-the-minute information, increasing enterprise-wide efficiency.
As an example, the Plex Cloud ERP payment portal shows suppliers their current payment schedules. Suppliers just log on to this screen themselves. This frees Inteva from responding to supplier Accounts Payable queries as they did in previous years.
Mid- to small-sized direct material suppliers gain access to automated ordering — a functionality they could not access in the past. These suppliers simply log on to the portal, access the Order Screen, and see in real time current orders and shipping status, and can utilize Advanced Shipping Notifications. This level of functionality was once limited to larger suppliers via proprietary EDI systems.
As another example of enterprise-wide improvements, a stamping operation based in Mexico uses the Plex SQM portal to track the nearly 400 containers they ship daily to a plater subcontractor. The subcontractor has the opportunity to simply print and apply Inteva’s formatted labels when shipping the completed product back. Components arrive at Inteva with the correct scannable label format. This is another advantage of how the new system takes out non-value added steps in the supplier management process.
Overall Advantages of a Single Solution
In all, Inteva now better manages its supply chain by measuring and tracking performance in real time with a single system. The company plans on adding additional functionality and enhancements — such as workflow for automated escalation — for an even more efficient supply chain.
Concludes Stewart, “One of the biggest benefits is the ability to directly communicate information with our supply base. In the past we relied on different solutions outside of our ERP system or came up with homegrown solutions. Now, since our suppliers have access to the SQM system through an Internet browser, we can more easily and effectively share data with our suppliers using a single solution.”