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Vendor Verification and Vendor Tracking

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by KyleG, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    Hey guys,
    I have Vendors that supply me with my coating, prep paint, and film. They are all sole providers for their specific film etc. Basically they could be the WORST vendors ever and i would still have to use them to purchase my process specific material. Do i still need to track these "sole" providers? If so, what are some things you use in your QMS to monitor and evaluate your customer/vendor.
     
  2. Suraiya Ramkissoon

    Suraiya Ramkissoon Active Member

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    I was once in a similar position.

    This was my process:
    - Annual Evaluation
    - Suppliers who fail are considered "Conditional Suppliers" They are re-evaluated in 6 months (during this 6 months the Head of department needs to take ownership and work with the supplier to improve the relationship e.g. let the supplier know what areas they failed in and what our requirements are)
    - Some of these suppliers failed the re-evaluation. The HOD had to justify why we are still doing business with them. once your Management team/or higher approves of the justification it should be fine.

    Basically you need to show that all the inputs into your process are of quality. If the integrity of the inputs are in question and there is no evidence of correction then the integrity of the output is in question.
     
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  3. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    If you mean "monitoring of performance", then Yes. Suraiya's right about telling your supplier their performance. This is one of the intention of "relationship management" as part of the quality management principles adopted by ISO 9001.
    If I have to evaluate/monitor a supplier, I have to set first the criteria. Criteria can include the quality of the supplied materials, timeliness of delivery, promptness of responses to your concerns, fairness in pricing, effectiveness of solutions provided, etc. Actual monitoring of performance can be done through inspections of delivered materials or periodical evaluation.
     
  4. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    I would still recommend monitoring them. They may be the only feasible/practical vendor, however, such monitoring may support credit requests, contract negotiations, or some other financially-related discussion. It might also support risk management:

    • Processes to communicate delays/issues to customers impacted by poor product
    • Activities to look at other vendors (around the world - longer ship times, higher cost, etc.) and impact to your current processes
    • Impact to organization if vendor was no longer used (i.e., akin to a contingency plan if they went out of business)
     
  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good day @KyleG ;
    I don't remember what industry you are in or your organization status. IF, for example, you are a "build to print" company, AND you are not the only organization who does your type of work (AND, therefore, you are all in the proverbial "same boat"), then you may wish to raise this concern with your customer. Obviously this should be done at the highest levels in the organizations and great care needs to be taken when making this decision.

    The reason I mention this that when I was first tier to the automotive OEM,s our customer demanded a contingency plan and would need to know that …
    1- there is only one source available and...
    2- that source is reliable...(be able to provide evidence of your supplier development activities, and have data to support your position).

    Do your homework before going down this path. Defer to sr. leadership as they must be the ones to get involved and this decision must not be taken lightly. However, in the example I gave above, the customer had the right to know and the customer had the clout to help the situation (develop additional suppliers, choose and alternate design requirement, etc..etc..)

    Hope this helps.
    Be well.
     
  6. Neo113016

    Neo113016 Member

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    Try to conduct Supplier Audit in their premise.
     
  7. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    Many of us get trapped in this sort of situation.
    I think you need to document ' why are we using them and what are we doing to mitigate the risk of using them' I have been to many suppliers and knowing they are the only folks out there that can supply us think ' We are in deep shit' The only solution was to fall back on Goods in Inspection and get a plan in place so the next job does not fall back on single source.
     
  8. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    Audit what?
    Also, If the vendor is ISO certified, would it be acceptable to claim "theyre ISO certified thats my criteria for this specific vendor"
     
  9. Neo113016

    Neo113016 Member

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    Supplier Audit or Vendor Audit - this is conducted by organization to ensure that a supplier can provide the material and products meeting quality specifications and requirements.

    If they are ISO certified, yes, you can use ISO standard reference as your audit criteria for your audit plan to them.

    Conducting supplier audit in their premise will make you understands why they are not able to consistently provide you quality products and service.
     
  10. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes! In fact ONE of the primary reasons for having an ISO certificate is to reduce the need for supplier audits! Anyone who - like me - has been around the Certification industry (since the start) and worked in supply chain management knows that a stated purpose was to reduce the costs/confusion of customer auditors auditing suppliers and "jerking them around" (so to speak). Anyone suggesting otherwise, unless you specifically don't trust the results of the ISO certification claimed, should have their understanding revised.

    Of course, in selecting suppliers ONLY based on that criterion, Kyle, is a bit dodgy. Performance is what counts. There are also scam ISO Certifications which are meaningless.
     
  11. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    I think this a tricky one, so my end of week thoughts:

    Initially accepting they have 9001 is a good reason for getting them as a supplier. But we all have been in situations where its not really good enough to accept that and regardless of their certification the monitoring of how they perform is crucial.



    I have done a few supplier visits and the problem with a vendor audit is unless they have a documented system its a struggle to audit them. We really need to answer the questions “ Can they supply what I want” and “Do I have confidence that they can continue to supply me the standard of goods I need”



    Supplier selection is one more string in the company bow to help reduce costs. If we all went for visits to suppliers that may well be company money lost or saved. I am sure I am not going to fly out to China to check on the guy I get some product off. Monitoring his performance makes me confident he can supply.



    I went through our supplier list yesterday and most were selected on ‘They were recommended’ or ‘I used them before at my last company’ . Yep its tricky to document but life is a challenge.



    Comments welcome ( I have not documented our process yet LOL )
     
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  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent point! A purpose of auditing a supplier is to understand the need, and hence planning for, supplier "development" and control. Experience shows that, there may be excellent reasons to use a particular supplier - I had one who'd turn around one product in a weekend, but I had to supply him calibrated gauges and also do QC on the part - and that over rides any certification. But you don't enter such arrangements lightly.
     
  13. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Set aside for the moment a supplier evaluation.

    Let's suppose you went to place an order with them next week. And... no phone service. They folded up and left. What would your business do? Close up too?
    Or would you scramble and set up another vendor? How long would that take? Also, could you add this capability to your operation?

    Having a sole provider with no alternative plan is a very risky endeavor. You need to have some kind of contingency plan. So yes you need to evaluate this vendor and hold them to quality requirements. Otherwise, they will begin to demonstrate opportunistic behavior; making your life even worse. :)

    So my opinion is to evaluate and discuss with management the high risk nature surrounding this supplier.
     
  14. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    Well, This actually happened, one of our Hydrographic film suppliers "went out of business" and one of the other vendors will buy the rights to the pattern. It will be an available pattern and 1 of the 4 Hydro film suppliers will purchase the rights. But good point Brad. and I agree it is Risky, however we dont have a choice with our "sole" providers.
     
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  15. BradM

    BradM Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Kyle! Trust me... I do understand. It is what it is. :)
    Sometimes too, it's difficult to get management to understand (or more importantly, do something) with respect to a medium/long term strategy for critical processes/ sole source vendors. Sadly, sometimes the boat has to run into the pier before they realize there is no rudder. :)

    To your original question, what I might do is propose revisions to your quality procedure/manual that governs supplier evaluation. For those sole source/ critical vendors, the quality measurement is availability. I would then put them on the list as an approved vendor for a particular product/service, as they are the only ones who can provide it. For calibration/maintenance services we do that all the time, as no one else has the software/access to make upgrades/adjustments/etc.
     
  16. Graham Thorpe

    Graham Thorpe Member

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    We have 3 'sole suppliers' 2 supply parts that would cause us pain so we bought a years supply of their bits to mitigate the situation, fortunately the bits were cheap and we could reverse engineer if we were really desperate.
    The other, well its a vital bit designed in when there were more than the one manufacturer so we splashed out and bought a years worth of those bits. Not cheap though but a major redesign if we had to do that.
    Moral of story is invent the crystal ball, monitor all the suppliers that provide the vital components, but remember if there are only 3 companies supplying what you want just realise the bits they supply will be all be made in on factory somewhere and that factory will have sole suppliers. The supply chain is not easy :)
     
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  17. KyleG

    KyleG Active Member

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    I have come to an understanding of what i need to do, i talked with my general manager and production manager and got clarification on what happens when/if a supplier goes out of business, the other suppliers go into a bidding war basically over the pattern (all produce the same film the patterns are what is customer specific) who ever purchases the pattern is the new "sole provider" for that product.
     

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