The author discusses The Elsmar Cove Forum as a great information resource on best practices and trends for Quality Assurance professionals.
Most of the people reading my blog are probably aware of a website called Elsmar Cove, but I think most people visit this site only when they need a quick answer to a question. It’s sort of like Wikipedia for Quality Assurance. Marc Smith is the creator of Elsmar Cove, http://elsmar.com/, and the forum just had its 15th anniversary. This is a no-frills website that has fantastic content and very little advertising. People from all over the world (~18,000 active participants) are contributing daily to this forum, and many of the contributors are Quality and Regulatory experts. I like to use the site to keep up on best practices and trends in Quality. It also allows me to learn from other types of Quality Systems, such as AS9100, TS16949, and ISO14001.
Someone I used to work with had a saying he learned from his first boss: “A picture tells a thousand words, but a demonstration is better than a thousand pictures.” Therefore, I thought I would try to demonstrate the power of Elsmar Cove by researching best practices in supplier evaluation.
Step 1: The first thing you do is to visit the site.
Step 2: Type “supplier evaluation” into the Google™ custom search. This will produce hundreds of links within the Elsmar Cove Forum related to supplier evaluation.
Step 3: Skim the search results to find the entry or entries you are looking for. These search results include a supplier evaluation survey that you can download and adapt to your own company. If you need a quick solution, this is fast and free.
Another approach is to limit your search to Forum discussion threads. You can do this by going to the Forum Discussion page: http://elsmar.com/Forums/index.php.
If you click on the toolbar link for “search,” a pop-up window will appear. If you type “supplier evaluation” in this search bar, you will see 531 results presented in reverse chronological order. Below are a couple of threads that I thought were particularly good:
Benchmarking Supplier Certification Programs
Service Supplier Rating where objective pass/fail data is not available
Choosing Supplier Evaluation Methods – Determining what a Critical Supplier is
Supplier Approval for Distributors of Equipment
Second-party audits – Supplier audits or product audits?
How you do Receiving Inspection for Chemicals?
Supplier Evaluation Responsibility
I hope you find Elsmar Cove to be a useful information resource.