The company I work for is in the process of acheiving QS9000 status. I am worried about aspects of the contract review clause, we have recently gained a large "contract" with an automotive company, but they have not been able to tell us their exact requirements as they do not know them! However they are expecting us to forecast thier requirments so we are buliding and allocating assemblies to them as a customer without an official order. Contract review states that the requirements are adequatly defined and documented before the acceptance of a contract or order, this is not the case in this instance but as a company we can not fulfill the customers orders (when they do come in), in the time scales they give us. The league times for the items are far greater than the delivery date they require. Is this allowable under QS, if not how do I get around it.
You wrote: "we have recently gained a large "contract" with an automotive company, but they have not been able to tell us their exact requirements as they do not know them! However they are expecting us to forecast thier requirments so we are buliding and allocating assemblies to them as a customer without an official order."
If I understand your question correctly, if your customer is an automotive company and is QS9000 registered then according to QS9000 22.214.171.124 your customer "shall" provide appropriate planning information and purchase committments to enable YOU to meet the 100% on-time delivery requirement as stated in 126.96.36.199 and in 188.8.131.52 .
According to 4.3.2(c), you agreed that you had the capability to meet the contract. If your lead times legitimately cannot meet the customer due dates, I would recommend communicating with your customer and (tactfully) reminding them of their responsibilities according to the QS9000 standard. If you have accepted the job and the terms, then I suppose you might do your best and if you have late deliveries, then employ your corrective action process to avoid reoccurances.
From the sound of your post, I have to wonder if your customer is QS registered. They certainly dont sound compliant if they dont know their own requirements as you stated, and are placing orders that are not "official" orders as you wroye
Im not sure of what we as subcontractors can demand according to QS9000, if at all. I have never been in that situation. Perhaps someone else can help shed some light.
Hope some of this helps,
[This message has been edited by Steven Truchon (edited 25 September 2000).]
It would be nice if the QS automotives always met the lead time/purchasing appropriate planning information requirements, but from what I've seen, they don't alot of the time. They fluctuate schedules based on quality problems (ie shut down one model and run another) or demands from their customers. I've used "we need to follow our QS procedures" with a QS customer at times....unfortunately the response is typically forget QS we need parts.
Of course those folks are probably the ones giving their internal QS folks the hardest time.
As far as the first post, can you include a "delivery date TBD upon receipt of firm orders" in your contract somewhere? I know alot of times the automotives want to secure a supplier early enough in the process to facilitate joint development of the process/program. Is this one of these cases, or simply a volume issue?
Thank you both for your responses, they have shed some light on our situation.
As our customer is a subsiduary of one of "the big 3" they are QS9000 registered and driving us to acheive it by Feb of next year.
It is felt that if we stand up and remind them of their obligations to their own standard they will go somewhere else to fulfill the contract.
Part of our problem is that the customer knows how many assemblies they will need but not what they are going to do.
There is some joint development of process between the customer and ourselves but without actual orders we are having to forcast requirements which to all intents and purposes may not have a buyer in the end.
It seems to me that our problem was accepting the outline order in the first place without adequate definition. How can we minimise the impact of this high level error?
If we are producing goods in advance of an official order do they need to go through contract review prior to production or on receipt of an official order? We are processing them as internal demands and then transfering them to customer accounts once an actual order is received.
[This message has been edited by Retro (edited 26 September 2000).]