This move toward greater dependence on quality data flowing in from the supply base will present its own challenges, of course, as Wise explains: "Companies will become more dependent on summary statistics from their suppliers for making make/buy, ship/don't-ship, use-as-is/scrap decisions based on those numbers, and they've got to be very confident in the accuracy and veracity of those numbers. But even with SaaS, there is no guarantee that those numbers are 100 percent reliable." As a result, Wise foresees a need for third-party auditing services that could verify and vouch for a supplier's quality data, and then assume responsibility for any problems that occur from relying on that data. Ultimately that could drive up the brand owner's costs, but the impact on the bottom line would still be far less than the damage that would be done to a company's reputation and customer goodwill should defective products make it into the hands of unforgiving consumers.
Are you worried about maintaining quality levels even as your company becomes more reliant on contract manufacturers? How is your company ensuring quality throughout the value chain? As always, please feel free to send your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll look forward to hearing from you.