Risk Of poor quality
The severity of the impact of poor supplier quality is tightly tied to the number of potential replacement vendors. A supplier quality issue can introduce risk into a program when the item in question is not easily substituted or few or no secondary vendors exist. When a company has a single (or sole) source for a certain component, and that sole source begins to have recurring quality issues, a company may want to find a second source to supplement or replace the vendor experiencing the ongoing quality issues. Some components are easier to second-source than others, but items like electric motors may require reverse engineering and can be a difficult item to replace.
In some cases, it is more cost effective for the company to add further oversight to a vendor experiencing difficulties. Adding a person on-site (periodically or permanently, depending on the scenario) can help motivate vendors to expedite solving challenges help channel key schedule information back to the company for planning purposes. However, oversight does not always help. In some instances, finding a supplemental or replacement supplier may be the long-term solution. At this point, the lead company can either pay for the development and qualification of a new design, or the lead company can opt to reverse engineer the field-proven solution.
Reverse engineering can prove to be an attractive solution because it begins with a field-proven or qualified design. When compared to new development and qualification, reverse engineering has a shorter cycle time to attain production and has reduced development costs. This means your company can have an executable risk mitigation plan that may be less than the cost of tabulated risks.