Q: I have been tasked with implementing a dock to stock policy. Does an expert have any advice or information to share towards forming a dock to stock policy?
A: To begin, here is a brief definition of dock to stock (DTS):
Dock to stock is a receiving method whereby materials are delivered directly to point of use (storage or manufacturing), skipping the normal receiving inspection.
For most organizations, parts which are given a DTS status are those which have been “proven” to be compliant. It is common practice to perform a receiving inspection on the parts for a minimum of five deliveries (some companies choose 10).
After a supplier has proven to deliver a compliant product five times, that individual item/part number is given DTS status. It is then general practice for production/assembly departments or line personnel to verify compliance as needed. If a product is found to be noncompliant, it is put on a contingency list and must prove its validity again — usually through five to 10 compliant shipments before it is returned to DTS status.
Keep in mind that the DTS process is rarely used in some industries/companies. For example, a company certified to ISO 13485 (medical devices) would not use DTS due to FDA regulations — here’s an excerpt from 21 CFR 820.80 (b):
“Receiving Acceptance Activities: Incoming product shall be inspected, tested or otherwise verified as conforming to specified requirements.”
In short, determining how many acceptable shipments to qualify a supplier for DTS status is up to the company. Requesting a certificate of compliance with each shipment can tend to encourage a supplier to ensure their own quality, as does a yearly audit of the supplier’s facilities (if appropriate).
I hope using the guidelines above will help lead you toward your goal.
ASQ Senior Member, CQT, CQI
Browse the free, open access resources below, or find more in the ASQ Knowledge Center.
Chinese OEM Reduces Returns With Improved Product Testing, ASQ Knowledge Center case study
When Continental Automotive Systems, Tianjin, China, began producing an electronic component known as the silver box, the return rate was more than 1,200 parts per million (ppm), versus a goal of less than 100 ppm. A Six Sigma improvement team used quality tools including trend charts, Pareto charts, and cause-and-effect diagrams to analyze the failure modes for the reported defects, finding that many were not being covered by product testing processes. Read more.
Cost-Effectiveness Based Performance Evaluation for Suppliers and Operations, Quality Management Journal
This research establishes a cost-effectiveness based performance evaluation system for suppliers and operations. The purpose is to provide a methodology for “integrating supplier and manufacturer capabilities through a common goal, profitability improvement, based on lowering the cost of purchased materials.” Read more.
Expert Answers: Stock and Standards, Quality Progress
The advisability of implementing dock-to-stock is discussed. Read more.