Supplier Development & Quality Takes On New Meaning at Oshkosh

Supplier Development & Quality Takes On New Meaning at Oshkosh

Oshkosh Corporation is a customer-centric Company. In everything that we do, we seek to serve and delight our customers. Oshkosh’s Global Procurement & Supply Chain (GPSC) team, led by Executive Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, Greg Fredericksen, has worked to focus their entire organization toward putting customers first. GPSC is more than just buying parts for our vehicles and products – it’s a full life cycle approach to working with and developing suppliers, examining costs for parts and working to improve them, moving our parts and products in the most optimal way possible and following a process that benefits both internal and external customers.

GPSC all over the world is guided by four primary priorities: Delivery/Supply Chain; Quality/Launch; New Product Development (NPD) – Program Management; and Competitiveness – obtaining the best landed cost globally. These priorities are the basis of standard work.

“Using tools from the Oshkosh Operating System, we really try to take waste out of our business processes. We measure where our waste is by using tools such as 5Why, 8D, value stream mapping and problem solving,” said Fredericksen.

“When there is a problem or inefficiency exists we want to understand what went wrong or where we have added steps in our process so we can prevent it from happening again. Eliminating waste eliminates downtime, not only in our parts distribution, but in our supply chain and in the office environment,” he said.

Part of GPSC focuses on finding optimal solutions for suppliers through the use of the OOS Customer First principles, where a traditional “supplier” becomes the “customer.” That’s why Oshkosh has a Supplier Development and Supplier Quality organization. Supplier Development and Quality works with suppliers big and small all over the world to find solutions that benefit both, the company and supplier. This team is led by Senior Director, Supplier Development and Quality, Sean Ketter.

“Simply put, the primary role of the supplier development team is to be the primary advocate of OOS to the supply chain. We are working with suppliers to improve how they do their work every day by removing waste, streamlining processes and getting more connected with us as a supplier. We want to be good customers,” said Ketter.

“On the supplier quality side, the team’s job is really to coordinate and facilitate common global processes to improve performance. The supplier quality teams make sure suppliers can make the parts to our expectations. Supplier development teams make sure they can do it in a cost effective way.”

Relating to the three elements of sustainability, we work with suppliers to look for ways to eliminate waste. An example of that may be organizing our vehicle parts differently to use less vehicles to get them to our manufacturing facilities. As we work with suppliers, we continually evaluate ways to save money and increase process efficiency.

In addition to day-to-day working with suppliers, the team is launching training for suppliers. A subset of the GPSC Academy, the GPSC Supplier Academy, will launch a pilot program that will target five different suppliers from various commodities. The training will highlight OOS tools and how they are beneficial. This three-day pilot training will focus on developing our supply base to set them up for future success.

“Our biggest opportunity is incorporating all of this together. Supply base quality isn’t just a quality thing – it’s about everyone. Everyone has a role to play in quality. Everybody that communicates with a supplier impacts quality,” said Ketter.