imageRodney Duran
Deputy Director of Supplier Quality Engineering


Rodney Duran is a seasoned Supplier Quality Management Executive with an accumulative experience of more than 35 years of manufacturing with various leadership roles in Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Quality.  Rodney has dedicated the last 22 years to Medical Device manufacturing where his current role is Deputy Director of Supplier Quality Engineering for the Radiology Business within Bayer.  His responsibilities support operations in US, Asia, Europe and Central America.  He leads a Supplier Quality Engineering team that supports all phases of New Product Development through End of life requirements validating product quality and compliance to ensure patient safety.


Rodney will be one of the distinguished speakers at the 3rd Annual Medical Device Supplier Quality Conference.


Why is the 3rd Annual Medical Device Supplier Quality Conference important for quality executives?
Collectively we share the same responsibility and accountability. Therefore, understanding what others are doing to manage suppliers effectively and with less business interruptions and full quality compliance is essential in today’s competitive market.


What initiatives are on the horizon for your team in 2016?
Training and simplification of our procedures, better understanding our supplier’s capability and build on their expertise. Also, understanding worldwide regulations and working with suppliers to have a robust quality system that will ensure compliance.


In what ways have you made collaboration with suppliers a reality?
We classify suppliers by criticality and business impact. The top tier suppliers (typically represent 80% of the business success drivers) are monitored closely and opportunities and issues provide an open forum for improvements through collaboration. While we have an excellent team of engineers and designers, we don’t reach the most efficient design unless we truly collaborate with our suppliers.
Producing products in a robust manufacturing process avoids many pitfalls down the road and it can only be achieved through “True Supplier Collaboration”.


What are 3 key warning signs you look for when partnering with a supplier?
(This will be included in my presentation)
Is the supplier truly an expert in his field? Do they bring to our attention better methodology that should be incorporated and understand the benefits and risks?
Is the supplier in it for the long run, or are they just trying to make their financial commitments for the year? Are manufacturing options constantly being reviewed and updated frequently?
Do they have a sufficient talent pool that they draw from and are they continuously developing new talent within? Versus a constant turnover of key positions such as the Quality Manager.



What are some successful projects you have implemented to simplify supplier quality?
We have create a function within our team called Continuous Supplier Improvements (CSI) that has identified a multitude of projects that have been generated reactively addressing repetitive quality issues and proactively to prevent potential issue and product reliability.
We’ve created an Audit Checklist which is commodity specific and use a corporate wide system to track and maintain status of audits.


How do you see supplier quality evolving over the next 5-10 years?
Supplier Quality needs to move from a policing approach to reviewing and approving every single step of the supplier’s processes, to a collaborative environment in which opportunities and clearly shared and benefits and risks are better evaluated which in turn will produce increased reliability. Supplier Quality will be the agent to improve supplier’s understanding of their contributions to the Medical Device World and not just look at us as means to a financial end.
Supplier Quality will play a leading role in reducing the need for quality agreements and liability disclaimers, because the supplier will understand and will assume responsibility of their processes.


Rank the following supplier quality practices. 1 = Our company’s biggest improvement area. 5 = Our company has mastered this!
Supplier audits (5)
Supplier development (3)
Supplier monitoring (4)
Supplier collaboration (3)
Sub-tier supplier management (2)