Complying with TS 16949 and QS-9000 Supplier (Subcontractor) Development Requirements


Daniel Emond

Subcontractors development

Would anybody tell me what kind of subjects we may develop first with a supplier that is not very concerned by the OEM ?

We have identified our critical subcontractors. But we produce items for customers who make business with OEM. It has already been hard for us to follow all QS9000 requirements (like PPAP for example). So, we anticipate the answers of our suppliers if we ask them to built stuff like "control plan" or "FMEA" ?

Any comments ?

Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
This is one of the big problems. My customers, Tier 1 or OEM do not conform to this clause in my respect and any attempts by me to receive help advice, training is generally rebuffed .
We are now in a situation wherby we are required to show our customers the warrant of our purchased parts.
I try to explain them the requirements and expect that they will give me a control plan , not neccesarily as I submit but as a collection of their work instructions, which is what the control plan really is. The enlightened suppliers realise that the requests by me are in the long run to their benefit.
It is a lot of work and if we do not do it we will get a non conformacy.
Ask for the simple stuff first .

Daniel Emond

Thanks for your comments Howard. We have requested us almost the same. Our purshasing manager have recently completed the annual subcontractor's evaluation. We sent in the same mailing some directives to explain to the critical subcontractors our needs related to the subcontractors development.

Basically, we ask for their control plans. We explained us the difference between a "control plan" and "an inspection and test plan" that we used to talk with ISO standards. Almost of our critical subcontractors are ISO 9002 registered or maybe more.

So, we simply explained us, as a first request, the added elements compared to ITP as: "reaction plan", "special characteristics, ...

Steven Sulkin

Definition of "Development"

In an effort to define our scope, I need to understand ISO/QS's definition of "Development."

Anyone seen the definition, or at least a distinction between Design and Development from ISO or QS?

Background information: my employer does not have design responsibility insofar as setting dimensional and chemical specs. We are, however, responsible for developing the processing steps that will result in the desired performance results. Does our responsibility classify as development rather than design?

Thanks in advance,


I had the same discussion (nicely put) with my Engineers in 96 as we were developing the APQP Level II and III's. They oh so wanted to include the DESIGN part of APQP. I explained that we do not (have never) owned a drawing, and do not have the authority to change it, but their arguement was that we "design" the process that makes the product. I agreed that we do in fact put together the process - Man, Materials, Machinery, etc. - to make the parts, but that is NOT what is meant by DESIGN. THAT is DEVELOPMENT. When I am asked about this, my simple answer is always "Who's name is on the Request for Quote?" Having a Request for Quote is actually the answer.

Christian Lupo


geez Steve i really don't think there is a difference. Design responsible is defined as if a supplier (your company) has the authority to establish a new, or change an existing product specification for any product shipped to a customer. Customer approval of a design responsible suppliers product does not waive the supplier's design responsible status. Ask your customer's SQE for clarification.

At our company we develop a certain design, but our customer wants design responsibility. We still have to document everything required in section 4.4 eventhough we are not design responsible.

What your customer is doing is analogus to hiring a subcontractor to develop a product. The customer "owns" the design your are the subcontractor hired to do it.


QS-9000 Subcontractor Development

A recent external auditor defined "development" and the wording of so literally that even a subcontractor's QS-9000 registration wouldn't mean that we could stop with their development (ie: continuous improvement). We currently tier our suppliers regarding development activities, do surveys and annual performance apprasials/awards. How much is enough? Certainly you can't force a large supply base into compliance when some of the big ones don't care about automotive or our business.


Fully vaccinated are you?
I've seen a range of supplier development from a survey every year to the extremem of haviong someone at a supplier's facility every day. In my opinion, what you are doing is sufficient.

Spaceman Spiff

I agree with Marc. As a matter of fact, when was the last time any of the Big 3 conducted "Supplier Development" activities at your facility besides dictating the QS-9000 certification requirement (excluding Q1 Suspension or Level 2 Containment, of course)? Besides, having the Big 3 live inside your facility every day because of problems hardly constitute it as "supplier development."


In responce to what Mark has seen used to comply with subcontractor development,
I would like to know how sending a self survey can be considered Subcontractor Development. Having had to fill these assessments out and reviewing a large quanity of them, I have been hard pressed to find any value in them.
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