For many of our suppliers, an agreed on-going development program is a mandatory part of the relationship.  The following examples show how the AQA-Tooling relationship with a supplier toolshop is managed.

  • Quoting.  Many Chinese suppliers tend to view their quote not as a commitment, but rather just an indication of their interest in remaining under consideration.  Therefore their quoted price is often only a quick estimate, bearing little relation to the realistic costs to be expected if awarded the contract.  Also, they prefer to guess low.  It takes many discussions to get to an understanding that a quote must be considered as a commitment with a firm price. 
  • Inspection procedures are negotiated and documented.  The responsible AQA-Tooling engineer will visit the production area at frequent and irregular intervals to ensure the agreed procedures are being followed.

  • We make clear to our suppliers that certificates authenticating the quality and provenance of all tool-steels used in the AQA-Tooling molds are mandatory.   For steels supposedly imported into China, we require in addition a documented path between buyers and sellers, permitting us to trace the source back to the importer.

  • Heat-treatment must be done at an approved facility, usually managed by the steel distributor, and we require certification of the heat-treatment procedure and test results.

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