Interview with Jonathan Foley, EURO-SYMBIOSE Partner Consultant, by Maelise ROBERT, EURO-SYMBIOSE Communication Officer


1 / What is the context of the mission? Why did this renowned industrial player in fashion and luxury contacted EURO-SYMBIOSE ?

Our client is booming thanks to a clear increase in demand and ever more demanding in terms of quality. To respond to this market development and support innovation, it is increasing its references and increasing its production volumes.

These changes particularly impact suppliers of complex parts, who still produce, for the most part, in an artisanal way. We work with three manufacturers of metal parts including handbag fittings, in coated steel (palladium, copper, or gold) or alloy, transformed via various manufacturing methods such as machining, hot stamping, stamping.

To meet demand, these suppliers have to rethink their organization to improve the quality of their products and the efficiency of their production.

For this reason, our client called on the expertise of EURO-SYMBIOSE to support several of its key suppliers in their industrial development.


2 / What are the objectives of this mission?

Our client wants their suppliers to do everything they can to no longer deliver non-compliant parts. They do not want to have to perform incoming inspection, so suppliers need to control their processes and their quality.

The objectives are :

– Improve customer satisfaction

– Improve profitability, productivity and profitability of suppliers: Non-quality is a significant additional cost

– Strengthen the reliability of suppliers’ production capacities

Note that supplier non-quality is a source of customer dissatisfaction, a source of significant additional costs and a source of potential flow disruption that could jeopardize the customer’s production capacity.


To monitor the progress of these objectives, we have implemented indicators:

– The rate of non-conformity of the parts received (‰)

– The rate of internal rejection or rework

– The rate of compliance with the quality audit standard


3 / How does EURO-SYMBIOSE works with suppliers ?

We started with a phase of operational diagnostics on each of the supplier sites, followed by a phase of building action plans with each supplier and the customer. We then started to support the teams of suppliers in the implementation of actions and we guide them to sustain progress.


Phase 1 – Diagnosis and action plan :

– Initial preparation, off-site, to identify the risks specific to the company concerned and organize the diagnosis using the C.A.P.Do. (Check, Act, Plan, Do).

– Diagnosis on each site including questions specific to the site and an operational audit standard provided by the client in order to determine the strengths and improvement goals in terms of quality and performance.

The weaknesses identified among the majority of suppliers were a lack of quality assurance, a lack of control standards (inspection carried out by the operators according to their experience, without formal criteria), the lack of quality performance measurement and the lack of improvement measures.

– Our recommendations and the construction of an action plan with each supplier.


Phase 2 – Support for the deployment of actions:

– Training and pilot projects.

– Advice on change management.

– Follow-up visits to validate actions and assess improvements.


Phase 3 – Consolidation of Progress :

We monitor progress thanks to the indicators put in place, the non-compliance rate, the internal reject rate, the PPM customer return performance. We propose measures to adjust the initial actions and propose solutions for improvement.


4 / What are the results obtained to date ?

Suppliers are convinced by our approach and gain autonomy. This mission is based on 100% collaborative work between all the actors of the project: Client – Suppliers – EURO-SYMBIOSE Expert. The customer entrusted us with the quality development of two other manufacturers (including a supplier of printed leather parts).

Our client is very satisfied because the results are encouraging :

– a non-compliance rate close to zero for 3 out of 5 suppliers and marked progress for the other 2.

– an improvement in the scrap/rework rates of between 5 and 32% depending on the supplier.

– an improvement in the results of surveillance audits by 20 points (out of 100%).

We are continuing to support and coach suppliers.


5 / What is the feedback from suppliers?

This method of improving performance has been well received. Suppliers have three strengths in common: a desire to learn, a willingness to invest, and highly qualified personnel. They had never benefited from a service like the one we put in place and they favorably accepted the diagnosis (this program being an opportunity to increase their competitive advantages).

It is important to note that the success of the action plan depends on the investment of the quality actor appointed at the supplier to ensure the follow-up of the mission. It was essential that they understand that the production of quality parts does not depend only on the implementation of control procedures. The key success factor is eliminating the sources of variation by identifying the causes of non-conformity in the manufacturing process. If a control is necessary, it must be done at the start of the process. Variability is the enemy of quality !


6 / If you had to take away something from this mission : what would it be ?

The success of this mission highlights that EURO-SYMBIOSE has successfully transposed its expertise and pedagogy applied to the automotive and aeronautic sectors, to suppliers specializing in the fashion and luxury sector!

Do you need a tailor-made support to improve your performance? Feel free to contact us at 02 51 13 13 00 or by email:

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