A.15. Supplier Quality Engineering

The best way to deal with vendor quality issues—including testing of hardware and software—is to build long-term relationships with vendors, apply the distributed testing ideas I discussed in Chapter 10, "Involving Other Players: Distributing a Test Project," and also assign someone to work with the vendor to ensure the quality of their products during design, development, and production. This practice is often referred to as supplier quality engineering. A supplier quality engineer works with the vendor to ensure thorough testing and prompt resolution of any quality problems that arise throughout the life cycle of the subsystem. My most successful clients who buy subsystems to integrate in their systems have mature, well-run supplier quality engineering programs as part of their design, development, and production processes.

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