Control of Outsourced Process - Shipping

I

Ithalion

#1
So, I'm currently in the process of getting my company ISO 9001 compliant. I've been struggling some on how "deep" to go with the Outsourced Processes. There are many processes that VERY INDIRECTLY affect conformity (HVAC, Building Safety Inspections, etc.), a few that DIRECTLY affect conformity (Coatings, Instrument Calibration, Machined Parts, etc.) and then some that are in between (Security, Emissions Testing, Forklift Maintenance, etc.). Basically, I'm including the blatantly direct processes as well as the ones that are a bit more indirect but can still be easily reasoned to affecting conformity (not having Emissions Testing can greatly affect our Field Service and local Shipping in the way of On-Time "Delivery").

Because of these struggles of considering what to include, I've searched this forum a lot (and found some very helpful threads), but I haven't found anything on Outsourcing Shipping. Obviously a large percentage of companies outsource shipping (through UPS, FedEx, freight services), and I have been told from a couple sources that this DOES need to be included as an outsourced process (which I think makes sense). However, I'm having some problems finding a way to control it:

My company has a couple different shipping scenarios that would need to be controlled:

1. Customer requests/demands a specific shipping company (do we need to place controls in this case? We have no way of knowing what companies are going to be requested until it happens and we can't very well say "No" if that's the company the customer wants it to be shipped through -- it'd be a "Use at your own risk" sort of situation right? Maybe as long as we just make sure they know that that company isn't specifically approved by us?)

2. We also will use a Transportation Services broker to find which freight company would be best to use (so as long as we place controls proving that the broker is good then we should be fine, right?)

3. Then we do have a couple regular shipping companies we use, that we can just identify and control, but there is the occasional international/flatbed shipment that we just need to find a new/random company on the spot (in which I'm having a hard time thinking of a way we could quickly approve them to ship)

So, any suggestions on how to place controls on these three scenarios (especially #3) or confirmation on what I thought would be a good idea for each?

Thank you guys in advance, I've found this forum incredibly helpful so far.
 
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Eredhel

Quality Manager
#2
Tracking numbers can be an easy metric. But so far I haven't had an auditor ask about shipping carriers. I wonder if we could just include shippers in our Approved Supplier List process.
 
I

Ithalion

#3
Tracking numbers...DUH -- I don't know how I didn't see that; pretty blatant, haha. Basically for each outsourced process I have, I am going to have them as an "Approved Supplier" (like you said) and then hopefully something else (certifications, etc.).

In the second scenario I listed, it would be easy to just qualify them through the Approved Supplier process, but I'm looking for recommendations on how to do that quickly for the 3rd scenario when we realize we need to use a new supplier and need to ship it out that day. Tracking number helps, but that doesn't control against damage or anything, and if it's international, the tracking number usually dies at Customs.

I thought maybe it might count as a control that WE always package and then oversee the loading and securing of the product (but that's irrelevant if it changes trucks/ship/plane).

But maybe auditors will be reasonable in knowing that we can't have complete control over our shipping vendors? (or, like you said, they don't even audit that)

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#4
I think you are over thinking it. What are you shipping?

If it is that important to your organization, why not just create a list of criteria for approval of carriers. The criteria can include:

1) customer request (which would pretty much overrule everything else)
2) the "majors" -- UPS, FedEx, etc.
3) Then whatever specific criteria necessary to select a shipper -- cost, range, time, etc.

Include the criteria in your procedures and you should be good to go.
 
I

Ithalion

#5
Well I certainly hope I am overthinking it and it's easier than I think, ha.

We are shipping very expensive "electrical control" equipment (big enclosures with control panels/drives in them). So basically, I thought the point of control would be that it gets there on time and UNdamaged.

So for control, I thought I'd have to show that each shipping company we use is good for on-time delivery as well as protecting their cargo [from damage], and I didn't see a quick way (in the cases where we have to use a new shipping company all of a sudden) to show that they're a good company to use. Am I wrong in what I'm thinking needs to be shown through our control (timeliness & protection)?
 

Woody

Starting to get Involved
#6
Another way to look at ?control? is how you will analyze the results of shipping by the various carriers you choose. Using Golfman?s thoughts regarding a procedure for selection of carriers, you would then track any issues arising from the use of them to create some measure for each. Periodically, the owner of the process would review these metrics and notify those that appear problematic of what they need to do to get more business.

I can?t speak for the ISO world, but in with TS 16949, customer direction of a supplier does not absolve us of the need to control.
 
Q

QA_Newbie2000

#7
What is the delivery point for your product....your dock or theirs?
Not get tied around semantics but we view a shipping company as a service provider, not an outsourced process
 
I

Ithalion

#8
The delivery point is to wherever they request it (so their "dock").

Okay, thanks for the input.
 

Johnson

Involved In Discussions
#9
For scenario 2 and 3, they are your suppliers. I prefer to control outsourcing in the same way as you do for all of your suppliers.
So you may audit them, record and evaluate the performance like on time delivery, damage of goods, complaint etc.

For scenario 1, there may be 2 scenarios:
A: Customer designated supplier, but you pay for the delivery cost. Then it is your supplier, you should control as you do at scenario 2&3.
B: Customer pay the delivery cost. Then you are free of responsibility aftre the goods leave your company. It's not your responsibility to control it. But when you have problems you can complaint them, feedback to your customer.
 
I

Ithalion

#10
Yeah, when the customer chooses the company, then they pay for it and it's out of our hands.

Thanks.
 
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