The concept of supplier diversity comes naturally in the AFT culture as a niche supplier. In our lean operations, we consider a supplier as an integral part of the process and continuously look for improvement. We evaluate new suppliers based on our expectations of them, leveraging supply globally when we can: quality is always first, followed delivery performance and landed costs. Landed costs are important because they look past the raw product cost and consider the impact of transport, which can yield significant environmental impact. We also place value on how suppliers present themselves and how they treat their own people - pride and employee involvement are easily seen in a visit.
Supplier expectations include:
We have found supplier diversity to be an important factor for continuous improvement. Every day we come up with new ideas comparing practices among our own 6 facilities, and adding a global base of suppliers increases our learning potential.