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VDA Audits by the Customer

Discussion in 'VDA Standards - Verband der Automobilindustrie' started by qmr1976, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Active Member

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    OK, so I've been in quality for quite some time, so I'm familiar with being audited to the IATF standard but also realize that there are customer specific requirements that go above and beyond the standard and I'm OK with that. What I'm not OK with is customers coming in whether it be onsite or virtually to audit us to the VDA standard, which we are not certified to. I understand it's very similar to IATF but a lot more specific in their requirements. If we go through said VDA audit and have findings, our thought is we would only respond to those findings that fit into IATF requirements and not the VDA requirements. Plus, we feel like these types of audits give the customer the opportunity to come in and tell us how to run our company. We're a small company, so some of what they are asking is just not feasible for us. I thought going to an international standard would prevent separate audits like this from occurring. I could understand if we were a problem supplier, but we are not and our scorecards prove that. I am just trying to find a way to respond to our customer intelligently regarding this situation. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    There are multiple ways in which to respond, all dependent on how important the customer relationship is to your organization's business growth and profitability... The higher the importance, the less push back. If there's little importance and no growth opportunity, I'd be telling them to pack sand. Clearly, any customer auditor who doesn't agree audit criteria - as defined in ISO 19011 - doesn't know how to audit. Tell their Purchasing function you'll be charging them for the audits or simply invite the auditor in, sit them in a conference room and tells them you have a restriction on auditors on the floor, or if virtual, tell them you didn't agree to the VDA audit in any contract, and haven't even got a copy to be able to prepare.
     
  3. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Active Member

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    Well, that's where it gets a little sticky. They did give us an audit agenda beforehand and we were able to prepare to the best of our ability but they did not like the fact that we didn't have every manager available to respond to each question and we didn't have the self-assessment completed beforehand, which we assumed we would walk through during the virtual audit. This particular customer has definitely not made any any effort to increase volumes, so they are not high on our list of priority customers, but we still wanted to comply as much as we could just for compliance sake.
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, typical supplier auditor. Senseless. I wouldn't entertain them. I'd find out who their boss is and draw their attention to ISO 19011 and the need for planning and preparation. A word in Procurement's ear helps.
     
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  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @qmr1976 ;
    @Andy Nichols has provided some wise council. Not sure what your role is in the company, but as Andy eluded to, this is a topic for your commercial group to work out. If the customer does not have a CSR , supplier manual, or other type of agreement that requires VDA compliance, then a push back would be appropriate.

    Hope this helps.

    Be well.
     
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  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    In addition, it could be framed from an inquiry point of view. For example, a note to your buyer contact might read: "We've undergone a recent VDA 6.3 audit by your SQA Kermit the Frog, and would like to learn how this event and related scoring affects our ranking as a supplier to your organization. Since we are not under any contractual obligation to meet the VDA 6.3 requirements and have been certified to IATF 16949, we'd like to understand if this is a view of the future relationship with Customer X?" Blah, blah, blah...
     
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