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Net-Inspect: Shaping the Supply Chain and Quality Management Landscape

Committed to standing out from the competition with its services, Net-Inspect provides web-based supply chain and quality management solutions to over 7,000 manufacturers in 48 countries across the world.  The company has developed the most widely-used quality control system in the aerospace industry, and also serves the medical, oil and gas, and industrial equipment sectors.
Net-Inspect works directly with large OEMs like Boeing, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and Bombardier to collect quality-related data and documentation from suppliers, including sub-tier suppliers, in real-time.
The company also collaborates with small- and mid-sized companies to electronically capture and monitor measurement and SPC data, nonconformance events, CAPA processes, machine hours and maintenance records, tool calibration information, and other variables.
Solutions that Work
Net-Inspect’s end-to-end supply chain and quality management solutions include a suite of modules and add-on applications.
Michael Dunlop, the Founder and President of Net-Inspect, explains, “This includes First Article, Quality Management, Non-Conformance Tracking, Tool Calibration, Machine Management, and Supply Chain Modules. There is also a Measurement Collection Service add-on to import results directly from the CMM or measurement device’s native output files, an eSource add-on to capture shipment-related documentation and eliminate receiving inspection, and a APQP/PPAP add-on to collect the required documents needed for the parts approval process for each part and revision.”
The company also goes above and beyond to provide consulting and project management support for customers to help them better monitor quality throughout their supply chain, particularly in multi-tier supply chains.
Overcoming Initial Challenges
As one of the world’s first Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, Net-Inspect’s biggest challenge initially was explaining to prospective customers how the software worked.
“This was long before “SaaS” became a well-known and understood term, and companies did not understand how the software could be accessed exclusively over the World Wide Web. They were expecting to install and manage something locally,” Michael recalls.
Fortunately for the company, the software had already been integrated at QPM Aerospace, an aerospace component manufacturer in the Pacific Northwest. This allowed the team to demonstrate first-hand how it was being used to manage quality across three different facilities. This self-evident success and efficiency prompted companies around the world to sign up and subscribe to use the software. Net-Inspect’s foothold in the market was thus established.
Today, Net-Inspect surpasses its industry contemporaries by providing a standardized, web-based platform for companies to send and receive quality data from thousands of other companies in real-time. This has allowed it to serve as ‘digital thread’, ensuring a product’s design and technical information is transmitted seamlessly to all levels of the supply chain.
In addition, Net-Inspect is certified to provide companies with the requisite tools to manage EAR- and ITAR-controlled data within a complex, multi-tier supply chain in a far more secure manner than is seen within the industry today.
Turning Years of Experience into Success
Michael Dunlop, Founder and President of Net-Inspect, began his career in the late 1960s. He has so far successfully turned the fortunes of 34 companies to long-term profitability. Three amongst these were aerospace component manufacturers, and this was Michael’s introduction to the Aerospace industry.
Through his exposure to other manufacturing fields, including electronics, Michael recognized both the challenges and the opportunities to help the Aerospace industry advance. By building QPM Aerospace directly, he was able to demonstrate how you can take state-of-the-art equipment and information technology to manufacture a part of high quality, on time, and at a far lower cost than offshoring.
Michael had used his background in IT and experience in the manufacturing sector to develop a software solution for his own use; it eventually evolved into Net-Inspect. The software has helped him grow the company’s annual sales from $400,000 to over $35 million in less than 7 years.
Michael’s unique ability to see a challenge and come up with an innovative solution years before anyone else helps ensure Net-Inspect always stays ahead of the curve.
Ensuring the ‘Quality’ in Quality Management
Net-Inspect strives hard to understand the needs of its clients and frequently partners with them to develop solutions that meet their business process and quality management needs.
With its integrated solution, the company can now systematically notify suppliers when a first article is required, and provide a due date at which the OEM expects the first article to be submitted for approval.
At the same time, it allows the supplier to provide the first article themselves or communicate the requirement further down the supply chain if they are sourcing a sub-assembly or component from another supplier. This allows the OEM and all the suppliers to view a planned-versus-actual forecast and ensure they will meet the specified deadlines.
Net-Inspect hopes to continue to build on its success and invest heavily in developing new modules and applications based on customer input and feedback.
“We will also be developing more out-of-the box integration points with major MRP and ERP providers, including SAP and Siemens, to enable OEMs to utilize Net-Inspect as their preferred supply chain connectivity platform, while keeping all other systems up-to-date in real-time,” concludes Michael.
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