Auditing COT's Suppliers / First Post

robersb

The Quality Kid
#1
This is my first post in the forum and before getting started, I want to thank everybody. Here I have found more knowledge and resources for my current job than on my studies (and even bosses... :p).

To provide some context, I have just moved from automotive to aerospace industry (which I know basically nothing about...) and the company I am working for is willing to improve their supply chain quality management by carrying out supplier audits.

For the moment I have generated the audit plan for this year and now I am trying to define the checklists to use. My company wants me to audit their QMS but also their production processes... so I am preparing a checklist based on VDA 6.3, which, although I know its theoretically a process audit, I think can be usefull to understand their QMS without doing a 4 days audit.

My issue here is that some of the suppliers are COT's (commercial off the selve) products, and as far as I know two of them are just distributors. I have never audited this kind of companies, and honestly do not know which kind of questionnaire should be usefull or how should I orientate it. And yes, for my company auditing this suppliers is a must, no discussion.

Any help is very welcomed.
 
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Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Howdy robersb, and welcome to the Cove.

In my experience, anything remotely referred to as a "audit" of a COTS supplier is a review, at your site, of the supplier performance.
Sending them a questionnaire is basically useless make-work...even if you get a response, which you probably wont.
Auditing at their site is basically a non-starter...why bother?, if they even let you in the door, which they probably wont.

Determine what you need from these suppliers, then check your own systems (order/shipment/billing history, product quality, etc.) and see if they meet your needs.
COTS suppliers don't even have to know you're 'auditing them'.

If you want to get into their business ("I think can be usefull to understand their QMS "), try a phone call first and see if you can get someone to talk to you...I was never able to, though I can't say I tried too hard after the first couple of hours on hold.
 

robersb

The Quality Kid
#3
Howdy robersb, and welcome to the Cove.

In my experience, anything remotely referred to as a "audit" of a COTS supplier is a review, at your site, of the supplier performance.
Sending them a questionnaire is basically useless make-work...even if you get a response, which you probably wont.
Auditing at their site is basically a non-starter...why bother?, if they even let you in the door, which they probably wont.

Determine what you need from these suppliers, then check your own systems (order/shipment/billing history, product quality, etc.) and see if they meet your needs.
COTS suppliers don't even have to know you're 'auditing them'.

If you want to get into their business ("I think can be usefull to understand their QMS "), try a phone call first and see if you can get someone to talk to you...I was never able to, though I can't say I tried too hard after the first couple of hours on hold.
Thanks for your response Ninja!

I think you may be right...trying to do an audit at their site is going to be rough... As you say, focusing on their performance may be the best way to make the audit useful.
 
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