Companies are currently abandoning vertical integration in order to focus on their core competencies and capabilities. As a result, higher percentages of their products are being provided by suppliers. In today's global marketplace, customers can demand and receive products that possess excellent quality. In order to remain competitive, companies must be able to provide high-quality products at low prices. The quality of components purchased from suppliers influences product quality more than any other factor except design quality, and since purchased materiel make up such a large percentage of a company's product, ensuring supplier quality has become an economic imperative.