Resident Engineering is a generally widespread procedure in business sectors producing high-value products (especially in the automotive industry), when a supplier employs an
engineer who represents the company at the client’s site. Residents are also called as Resident Quality Engineers.
When the business process is running as intended, the resident engineer (RE) is the main liaison (contact) between the supplier and its customer in terms of quality related
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As the resident engineer is employed by the supplier, his / her task is to represent the interest of the employer, by making quality topics run smoother, resulting the
increase of customer satisfaction. The RE is generally in contact with the customer quality engineer on the supplier side, and with the supplier quality engineer of the customer, however there might be
exceptional topics (prompt quality issues), when the RE must communicate with other departments of the customer (e.g. logistics).
Resident quality engineer in the organization (Source: qMindset.com)
The major tasks of the Resident Engineer:
- Main contact channel between the supplier and its customer especially in terms of quality.
- Representing the supplier’s interest at the customer.
- Recognition of topics with potential of escalation, and keeping them at bay.
- Using his / her deep product- and organizational knowledge.
- Major player in claim management in case of quality issues and incidents, by supporting
root-cause investigation, setting up inspection and sorting actions, verification of defects, pre-filtering of products,
validation of actions in the 8D report, etc.
- Increasing trust at the customer, by using soft-skills.
Having a RE engineer is a win-win situation for both the supplier and the customer. The "unit-cost" of a resident engineer is not high, but the potential benefit can be extreme.
Even if the number of issues is low, a part-time RE can be beneficial (e.g. hired from third-party companies).
Benefits of employing good and effective resident engineers:
- Having a main contact between the business partners, who can keep the communication in one channel especially for quality issues, when many departments are being involved.
- Can provide fast reports to both parties.
- Can decrease the workload on domestic engineers, by avoiding escalated issues.
- The customer can talk to someone in person (personal contact is even having high priority in the digitalized world). A native RE is even better, so local language barriers and roadblocks of different business culture are eliminated.
- The RE is able to manage quality incidents, and to organize supplemental parts.
- Verification of failure mode with prompt analysis.
- Support of root-cause investigation.
- Management of inspection and sorting activities at the customer.
- Validating the effectiveness of actions.
- Knowledge of the supplied product, the customer’s higher tier product and the interaction between them.
- Knowledge of the supplier’s and the customer’s production process.
- Knowledge of customer’s organization, requirements and decision making flow.
- The direct and indirect benefit of an effective RE is very high compared to the cost.
- Increasing trustworthiness and customer satisfaction.
- Resident Engineering is a generally widespread procedure, when a supplier employs an engineer who represents the company at the client’s site.
- Residents are also called Resident Quality Engineer.
- The RE is the main liaison (contact) between the supplier and its customer in terms of quality related topics.
- Having a RE engineer is a win-win situation for both the supplier and the customer.