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8.4.1 Evaluation and selection of external providers

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by callmechuck, May 8, 2018.

  1. callmechuck

    callmechuck Member

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    We are having trouble getting providers evaluated and selected in a timely manner and I think that I am requiring too much input from them to make us worth their while. The way that we currently evaluate a prospective supplier is by sending them a survey that collects company contact information, asks if they are 3rd party certified (if so they approved based on current relevant certification) and if they are not ISO certified they are asked to answer several questions that reveal what type of quality system, if any, they have in place. In a production manufacturing setting where orders are in the hundreds or thousands of parts, providers are anxious to win your business. We on the other hand are engineering heavy and rarely make two of the same thing. We buy mostly off the shelf items with some machining and welding done. The machine shops get enough work from us that they bend over backwards to qualify but we buy a lot of items that engineering must spend time specifying, then we try to approve the vendor and buy one. But suppliers are not incentivized to fill out a survey and sometimes just flat out refuse. All I want is to buy good quality items that will be delivered on time at a reasonable price and receive professional service with each transaction. The hard part is how to efficiently make a good judgement call that we can have all these things BEFORE we make a purchase. I would like to know if any of you have a similar situation and get some fresh ideas.
    All help appreciated!
     
  2. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @callmechuck ;
    There is no easy answer to this.

    Consider the stated requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and, (more importantly) confirm what your organization has stipulated as the necessary activity to evaluate and approve your supply chain.
    Consider this:
    1- Are your organization's internally stipulated requirement commensurate with the product/risk/need? (or are they overly burdensome and beyond what your
    organization needs to verify in order to ensure conforming product and service?)
    2- Is it reasonable/pragmatic (geographically feasible) to perform visits to your prospective suppliers? A relationship is always the best "first step" in helping both parties have empathy and understand to assist in facilitating the needs of the other. Nothing beats a face-to-face.

    I'm sure others will weigh in with some additional thoughts/ideas. Hope this helps.

    Be well.
     
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  3. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what you are buying and who you are buying from. Production places (machine shops, welders, etc.) are used to ISO etc. and expect some verification of their QMS. But it sounds like you are buying off the shelf items as specified by engineering. Probably from a distributor? I don't know that any we use are ISO certified.
     
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  4. callmechuck

    callmechuck Member

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    Let me ask it this way; If you were auditing a procurement department against ISO 9001:2015 Clause 8.4.1, Would you expect that providers for commercial off the shelf items be evaluated prior to placing a purchase order?
     
  5. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Since ISO 9001 is pretty open in terms of expectations, the first place would be what the organization actually does...

    What's typical for off the shelf items? If you mean a distributor, then if they have been used before, simply was it the right part, right quantity, undamaged and on time, at the right price.

    If this distributor is new as a supplier, then there are some other considerations we'd need to discuss...
     
  6. callmechuck

    callmechuck Member

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    This is the heart of what I am trying to get right. I am currently using a self assessment survey for providers but it has become more of a roadblock than a help. I'm looking for suggestions for a reasonable criteria set that can be applied to a prospective new provider that is enough to demonstrate due diligence yet simple enough that it can be done expeditiously and without putting undue burden on new providers. For instance would verifying that we have solid contact information, they seem reputable and having them assure that they can provide a CofC be enough? I am only talking about COTS not custom build providers or services.
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Surveys are a PITA. For a distributor, even more so, since all they do is receive, store and then pack/ship stuff. If you want to use a distributor - a bit like when a new grocery store opens up in town - what do you do? You place an order and see how they do. You evaluate their performance (in consideration of the risk involved with the type(s) of stuff you're buying) and you monitor what happened.
     
  8. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Like Andy said, a small trial is usually what happens first. And for the most part, distributors are hard to mess up -- they don't have all of the manufacturing issues to contend with. Right part, right quantity, reasonable shipment, and right price. That's basically it. So my evaluation, if I did anything would be contact, terms, maybe a review of their reputation or recommendations. KISS.
     
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  9. callmechuck

    callmechuck Member

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    Thanks for the input, I felt like I was overdoing it. My previous employer was a production oriented facility and many of our suppliers had to be scrutinized more because a late delivery or bad batch could be catastrophic. I brought some habits with me that don't apply to a prototype environment.
     
  10. Erickson Rabena

    Erickson Rabena Member

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    I highly recommend you do an audit in your supplier's premise.
     

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