How does Axis ensure quality in the supply chain?
Quality starts at the drawing board, in the initial design of products. Using the principles of Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA), Axis is putting the foundations in place for product quality through consistency of the components specified and, subsequently, product manufacturing.
Axis works with suppliers in two main ways: sourcing and manufacturing. Components are sourced from suppliers by Axis before being delivered to manufacturing partners where products are created. Contract manufacturers in various locations around the world assemble the products. These then pass through one of Axis’ Configuration & Logistic Centers where they are subject to further quality control, before finding their way to distributors, systems integrators and, ultimately, customers.
All of Axis’ suppliers are evaluated before being added to the Axis approved vendor list. This involves regular on-site visits performed by Axis’ auditors to ensure that they meet the strict requirements. In addition, the company must be certified by a third party according to ISO 9001 or IATF 16949. The company’s procedures for risk management are also evaluated, as well as the production facilities and process, and all suppliers need to sign the Axis Supplier Code of Conduct.
As an additional quality assurance measure, all critical assembly and test equipment is developed and provided by Axis. Every product is tested and qualified in a functional test controlled by Axis prior to shipment.
An end product reflecting the commitment to quality
Quality must also be reflected in the final product itself, of course. Maintaining product integrity is critical and this can only be achieved if the product’s hardware and firmware are successfully protected from unauthorized change or manipulation during the its journey through the supply chain.
The supplier must adhere to all specifications, work instructions, or quality inspection documents and any changes or deviations are prohibited without Axis’ permission. In addition, all suppliers and manufacturers must maintain a rigorous traceability system to allow for faulty products to be tracked and identified. This allows for strict evaluation of associated processes and updates to be made.
Carl Trotzig, Director Quality & Environment at Axis commented, “Great quality shouldn’t be viewed as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Delivering high-performance, durable and resilient products starts with a dedication to quality from the outset. It should inform every decision and step of the production process, so that the end result reflects the company’s ongoing commitment.
“This is easier said than done, especially when dealing with a supply chain. That’s why Axis invests the time to evaluate, educate and support suppliers, to help them set and maintain the standards necessary to consistently deliver the best products for our customers and partners.”
Relationships form the foundation for quality
Ensuring consistent quality depends on having transparent relationships with suppliers. These tend to be close and long-term, with open two-way communication and regular contact. Axis drives joint projects and development, sets targets and makes long-term mutual commitments and plans in partnership with its strategic suppliers. In this way, both parties have the opportunity to see how the other works, absorb any learnings and agree on processes together.
Axis also has a dedicated quality team who audit everything from process compliance – including documentation – to supplier facilities and working practices. This ensures that requirements for security, physical handling, inventory handling, production equipment, quality control, and traceability records are met. In addition, any problems can be identified and quickly rectified and preserve quality standards.
A worthwhile investment
A commitment to quality requires a significant resource investment, as well as an alignment of values between Axis and its suppliers. This is only achieved when every member of the supply chain shares the same dedication to maintaining standards universally. In addition, it’s important for Axis to constantly look for ways to improve processes and innovate where appropriate, thereby maintaining its reputation. As a result, each product will consistently meet or exceed customer expectations giving them confidence when it comes to performance and integrity.