ECIA has released a position paper to clarify the role of distribution in providing Production Part Approval Process reports. Distributors are being asked more frequently by their customer to provide these reports, which are an output of the Advanced Product Qualifications Process (ADQP). ADQP was created by the auto industry to ensure accuracy in product development. Other industries have adopted this approach. Although the distributors are not involved directly in the part development, testing, and production process, they can play a variety of roles in helping the customer get the PPAP report during the procurement stage. ECIA has published this paper to help the industry understand the issues.
"This document re-emphasizes the position of the industry that only the original component manufacturer (OCM) can generate a PPAP, but the role of distribution in disseminating this information to the end customer may vary," explained John Denslinger, president and CEO of ECIA.
Arrow Electronics takes a strong stand on the issue. "Our position is that we, the distributor, have the relationship with the customer," said Michael J. Long, chairman, president & CEO of Arrow. "We can coordinate with the supplier to obtain the PPAP report and send it to the customer. The manufacturer is the source of the information, and it is their responsibility to provide the report to their distributor so they can service the end-customer in a timely manner," he maintained. "In today’s global supply chain, everyone is looking for ways to leverage industry practices and processes that ensure the accuracy and authenticity of a device. Arrow believes that it should be looking for ways to work together, with higher collaboration and improved processes, such as the pass-through of PPAP reports, to ensure the quality of product in the supply chain and to improve the customer experience," he concluded.
Other distributors are concerned about adding complexity and take a less active role."Typically, a Production Part Approval Process, or PPAP, is required any time a new part or a change to an existing part/process is being planned," explained Kevin Coursey, senior supplier relations manager at Carlton-Bates Company. "Typically this information is gathered through the manufacturer before product ships to the customer. The PPAP documentation is signed off by a designated official within the manufacturer, typically the Quality Manager. We work closely with our customers as the liaison between them and our manufacturers to make sure all of their demands are met and information is obtained, even though the manufacturer owns the process."
Since some distributors choose to manage the process on behalf of the customers and component manufacturers while others opt to connect the customers and component manufacturers directly, it is important for customers to understand the role of distribution in the process. The complete document "The Role of Distribution in Providing Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) Reports" is available for download here.
The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) is made up of the leading electronic component manufacturers, their manufacturer representatives and authorized distributors. ECIA members share a common goal of promoting and improving the business environment for the authorized sale of electronic components to the end customer. Comprised of a broad array of leaders and professionals representing all phases of the electronics components supply chain, ECIA is where business optimization, product authentication and industry advocacy come together. ECIA members develop industry guidelines and technical standards, as well as generate critical business intelligence. For more information, visit www.ecianow.org or call 678-393-9990.