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Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

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Some Related Topic Tags
asl (approved supplier list), purchasing requirements, responsibilities, supplier evaluation/rating/approval
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  Post Number #1  
Old 16th November 2016, 06:46 AM
fialor

 
 
Total Posts: 70
Question Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

Hi All,

I am currently having a debate internally on which function in the business should approve suppliers and maintain the ASL (approved supplier list).

Has anyone come accross this operational question and what has worked for you?

Thanks
Fialor

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  Post Number #2  
Old 16th November 2016, 07:29 AM
Marc's Avatar
Marc

 
 
Total Posts: 26,672
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

It depends on the company size and how it is structured. Typically if the company has a purchasing department, it is responsible for approving suppliers and maintaining the approved supplier list. The QA department may or may not have an input. For example, if the company needs envelopes for invoicing, QA typically will not be involved.

How does your company do it currently?
Thank You to Marc for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #3  
Old 16th November 2016, 08:21 AM
shimonv

 
 
Total Posts: 308
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

From my experience - supplier controls is usually done by either QA or the Operations group. It usually starts with the QA group who, obviously, has a better idea what the regulator wants to see. Later on it might shift to the Operations group who, obviously, have a lot more resources. And in large organizations, due to complexity, it goes back to QA.

That's the lifecycle of supplier controls as I know it.


Cheers,
Shimon
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  Post Number #4  
Old 16th November 2016, 09:28 AM
Marc's Avatar
Marc

 
 
Total Posts: 26,672
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

Here is an example of where that typically fails: A department needs toner cartridges for printers. For toner cartridges there is no reason to tie up people in QA to come up with specifications, etc. Yes, you can but is it a wise use of resources?

The idea of a purchasing department is controls and coordination to ensure the appropriate inputs are gathered. If any department needs something, whether it be manufacturing, the design group, personnel, etc., they come up with their requirements (e.g.: HP toner cartridge A1154 or T6061 aluminum rods, 3/8" or 12" mailing envelopes). Those requirements are passed on to purchasing. In the case of T6061 aluminum rods, 3/8" QA will probably have an input to purchasing.

You can, of course, put QA in charge, but burdening them with approving paper clip suppliers is somewhat useless.

Some existing discussions:

Responsibility and Authority in a QMS - Approval of Supplier Accreditation

ISO 9001 Clause 7.4.1 Purchasing Process (Supplier Approval)

Vendor (Supplier) Approval Procedure - Scope of the procedure

Some Supplier Approval specific Discussions
Thank You to Marc for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #5  
Old 16th November 2016, 11:22 AM
1010011010's Avatar
1010011010

 
 
Total Posts: 17
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

In my opinion, Purchasing should always have the general responsibility for their supply chain.

However, the approval decision, should always be joint decision of Purchasing and Quality, as both look at different aspects
  • Purchasing --> Commercial Topics
    • is the suppliers business commercially stable enough for a long term relationship?
    • is the pricing attractive?
    • is lead-time acceptable?
    • ...
  • Quality --> Technical Topics
    • is the supplier capable of producing a part?
    • does the supplier have a quality management system?
    • ...
E.g. the best, technologically capable supplier won't be any good, if they are about to be shut down because of mismanagement, over-indebtedness, ...

Also, as Marc has already pointed out, not everything should go through Quality. So a reasonable differentiation between Production and Non-Production Material should be made.
Thank You to 1010011010 for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #6  
Old 16th November 2016, 03:40 PM
normzone

 
 
Total Posts: 765
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

It's been my experience that:

Purchasing wants to buy from suppliers that deliver to spec and on time at competitive pricing

Engineering wants to be able to get prototypes from the fastest provider regardless of performance or price

Everybody wants it to be Quality's responsibility when something goes amiss

I try to let all parties use who they want and be available to assess as requested and to counsel suppliers when they need it. I just ask that they let me take a look at potential suppliers before big commitments are made.
Thank You to normzone for your informative Post and/or Attachment!
  Post Number #7  
Old 16th November 2016, 09:16 PM
Ronen E

 
 
Total Posts: 3,736
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

My opinion, in a nutshell:

Purchasing should be responsible for the final approval of suppliers and the maintenance of the approved suppliers list, but they must follow unambiguous (and detailed enough) procedures that dictate who they have to consult before approving a new supplier / deciding to extend engagement / deciding to strike out a previously approved supplier.

Where there is no formally appointed "Purchasing" function it should default to the Operations function.
  Post Number #8  
Old 30th November 2016, 05:30 AM
fialor

 
 
Total Posts: 70
Re: Which Business Function should Approve Suppliers and maintain the ASL

Thank you all for teh responses.

It is a lot clearer for me now.
Fialor
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