Question Regarding Supplier Quality Management in a Sole-Supplier Relationship

My company is in aerospace and defense manufacturing.  We are in a situation where we must utilize our customer's list of approved special processors for an outside process that their parts require.  From their list, only one supplier will bid on performing the required special process (we've tried adding more suppliers to their approved list, but they ended up falling through for various reasons).  We've been working with this supplier for years now, but they've had consistent quality problems.  Our options appear extremely limited in assisting on improving their process.  We've performed audits, and issued corrective actions in an attempt to improve the situation (responses are almost always late and insufficient).  Another problem is we are relatively small business to this supplier, so they don't believe they need to improve quality on one particular process for just small potatoes.

My question is:  Have you been on either side of a similar problem before, and was their a positive solution for both parties?  I'm looking for any suggestions!

Thank you,


Kolten Frapwell
Quality Engineer
1 Replies
Hi Kolton,
We manufacture all of our products externally.  One of our customers asked us to use their favorite manufacturer.  They had quality issues to begin with but they were willing to listen to us and eventually became a key supplier.  Our business is very large volume, but low unit price.  Most of the major ODMs in China won't bid on our business, so we find smaller manufacturers that value our business.  The way we have found that suppliers respond is if they value your business, usually from a revenue perspective.  If possible influence your sourcing folks and/or customer to find a supplier who values your business.

Russ Snyder
Director of Operations - Intel