Sanmina-SCI Corporation is the manufacturer behind many of the world's leading electronics brands. Sanmina- SCI provides end-to-end manufacturing solutions, delivering unsurpassed quality and support to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) primarily in the communications, defense and aerospace, industrial and medical instrumentation, multimedia, enterprise computing and storage, and automotive technology sectors.Sanmina-SCI has facilities strategically located in key regions throughout the world.
Outsourced manufacturing has become increasingly popular as OEMs focus more on product development, marketing and branding. Many OEMs turn to Sanmina- SCI as their trusted partner.
A truly global company, Sanmina-SCI employs 37,000 people, and operates more than 60 plants across four continents. Quality drives everything the company does, as evidenced by its Six-Sigma program, TL9000 training, and ISO registered facilities.
Terry Ayotte, Corporate Quality Documentation and Regulatory Compliance Manager, ensures that all plants are certified to all applicable quality standards. In addition to internal quality standards, individual customers often require that plants adhere to specific standards as part of their contracts. In total, the global organization must keep up with thousands of different quality standards.
In such a diverse working environment, it's logistically impossible – and financially taxing – to maintain hardcopy records of all needed standards at every plant, especially as needs continuously change.
Immediate, Around-the-Clock Access
Ayotte relies on IHS Markit Standards Expert to give global employees immediate access to the information they need. An online service, Standards Expert is a comprehensive database with more than one million standards documents.
"A lot of times a plant will need hands-on access to standards very quickly," Ayotte said. "That's where our relationship with IHS Markit comes in."
Sanmina-SCI subscribes to all relevant standards, and Ayotte can easily add new ones as projects demand. All employees locate standards information via a link on the company's intranet site. There, they also find specific instructions for how to pull up the information they need. Standards are available in multiple languages, and around the clock – ensuring that employees are empowered with direct access without needing to contact Ayotte. That means that plants can move ahead with planning and projects without delay.
In today's economy, we're looking at every cost, including Standards Expert. Is Standards Expert really necessary and worth the investment? Without a doubt, it's critical to how we run our business.
"We have provided our plants with a link to a web site and know that they have the most recent version of specific standards available to them when they need them," she said.
Latest – and Historical – Standards in Seconds
Ayotte creates "watch lists" to track updates for specific standards automatically. While she focuses on other responsibilities, she receives alerts letting her know about new versions. That takes the burden off of her to continuously check for updates. Through a companywide initiative, plants communicate to her the most critical standards to watch, per contracts with clients, allowing her to add those to her watch list.
At times, plants need older versions, rather than the latest release. Employees easily find previous versions in Standards Expert, without having to take up space storing rarely used hardcopy binders.
'Critical to How We Run Our Business'
On average, employees access documents in Standards Expert about 550 times every month and nearly 6,600 times a year. Without electronic, anywhere availability, connecting employees with information could easily consume hours of Ayotte's work week.
Instead, maintaining quality standards has become a sideline for her. When a network problem prevented access to IHS Markit Standards Expert for a few hours, she learned how popular the information is.
"It was a very painful time for me," she said. "With the number of inquiries coming in, I realized just how often our plants are looking at Standards Expert."
Rapid access goes beyond convenience for employees. The business impact lies in knowing that all plants have what they need to stay in compliance, and being able to give customers answers without waiting for access to the latest standard.
"In today's economy, we're looking at every cost, including Standards Expert," Ayotte said. "Is Standards Expert really necessary and worth the investment? Without a doubt, it's critical to how we run our business."