Do we need to conduct Vendor (Supplier) Evaluation?

M

miwriter

#1
Hi I was assigned as QA recently and asked to prepare for our ISO surveillance audit this march, most of the responsible people for the QMS resigned and I found out there are a lot of gaps, one is that the company have not yet conducted a vendor evaluation. They have an approved procedure of doing it and as a supplier they particpated to customer's vendor evaluation..but there are no records that they initiate any vendor qualification or evaluation. They say that one reason is that most vendors are nominated but there is no document to support it..Considering that we only have less than a month left, can anyone advise me on what is the best corrective / preventive action for this issue? Is it a major non conformance? The company is iso certified for almost a year already..
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Admin
#2
No comments on major or otherwise, but you are to maintain records of results of evaluation and necessary actions araising from the evaluation. So no records is a non conformance.
Now what is the meaning of "most vendors are nominated" ?
If it is that they are nominated by your customer's, then this is a very valid criteria and have your customers communicate this to you which is in itself a record for vendor evaluation. What else you do to acquire the vendor establishment details etc, adds to the evaluation records.
 
M

Markaich

#3
That there is a non-conformity there can be no doubt, the category of NC and clause against which it is reported will be up to the auditor.

In terms of preparing for the surveillance visit and heading off any major disturbance, you probably need to formally recognise the problem internally using your Corective Action Process. Following that, develop a corrective action plan to deal with the problem and start to implement that plan. This should demonstrate to the auditor that you are aware and are dealing with the problem.

The corrective action plan will very much depend on the circumstances and what is identified as the root cause, but some fairly simple method of recording and confirming the nomination, whatever its source, would seem to be the answer.

M
 
M

miwriter

#4
Yes, we have already raised a CAPA to identify the problem and currently in the process of finding how we can resolve it..your suggestions of having records regarding the nominated customers will help, thank you for the advises:)
 
J

JaneB

#5
Yes, we have already raised a CAPA to identify the problem and currently in the process of finding how we can resolve it..your suggestions of having records regarding the nominated customers will help, thank you for the advises:)
Keep in mind that the whole set of requirements around purchasing is focussed on making sure that if you do any purchasing and if that purchasing has an effect on the quality of your services/goods, then you need to have in your system way/s of making sure that you manage the quality of the purchased services/goods. That's all.

Yes, evaluating suppliers is mandatory. But keep it in perspective: if purchasing is of little/low importance in your organisation or if the suppliers are nominated by your customers, your system would spend les time on this than, say, a manufacturer who deals with many suppliers and purchases a lot of raw materials.

Evaluation can be as simple as deciding a short list of criteria (eg, 5 points), and then simply deciding whether the suppliers do/do not meet them!

eg:
1. Ability to meet requirements
2. On time
3. Satisfactory level of quality (of material/service)
4. Reasonable price
5. Documentation supplied on time & to specs.

Even IF your customers nominate them, you still need to consider criteria such as these, surely? And have a method in place to notify your customer if the criteria aren't being met and presumably impact your product/service?

You could add:
6. Customer-nominated to this.
 
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M

miwriter

#6
Thank you, your inputs make me realize to focus more on their impact on the quality of our services. I am new in QA and I am still familiarizing how things are in our company..just in case we already have existing suppliers, can we still initiate vendor evaluation for them? or we can only do the evaluation for new candidates/ suppliers? If we can evaluate existing suppliers and they fail the evaluation, how are we suppose to handle it?
 
J

JaneB

#7
just in case we already have existing suppliers, can we still initiate vendor evaluation for them? or we can only do the evaluation for new candidates/ suppliers?
Yes, of course you can do it for new and old (existing). Again: focus on How do we ensure (as far as we can) that when we buy stuff, we get 'good stuff'?

If we can evaluate existing suppliers and they fail the evaluation, how are we suppose to handle it?
Think about it, talk to people what handle this, and if there isn't already an existing process in place, create one!

Usually you link supplier problems in to your Nonconformity/Corrective Action process - ie, if you received a delivery of 20 widgets, and 2 are faulty, do you just ignore it? Or if you see that of 20 deliveries from that supplier in the last 3 months, say, that 7 were late (and thus) delayed your delivery and 5 were unacceptable quality, what do you do?

Say oh well, sh*&^t happens? Or do you do something about it? Like going back to them & saying 'these 2 are no good, pls replace... and don't send me any more like that!'. Or 'we notice a pattern of lateness, please correct your own internal system to ensure that we get our deliveries on time'.
And if they do it again, what do you do then? Strike them off?
If it's a customer-nominated one, surely you'd be communicating this to your customer, explaining the impact, and seeking their permission to use a different supplier?

As always, apply common sense.

And of course make sure you have some degree of records (paper trail) to show that you a/recognised the problem and b/did something about it and c/what you did was effective.
 
M

Markaich

#8
To demonstrate that you recognise the problem, you can develop your evaluation process and apply it immediately to all new suppliers. As JaneB says, you then need to apply the process to existing suppliers on a risk basis...Pareto analysis is often a good place to start based on any one (or combination) of a number of criteria such as number product bought; value of product bought; number of rejects; etc (the list would depend very much on your business and the sensitivity of the product bought.

If you find a supplier that does not match up then again some analysis would be required. Can you easily purchase the product/service elsewhere...if so, change supplier. If not, work with the supplier to develop their processes to meet your need.

Hope this helps
M
 

somashekar

Staff member
Admin
#10
Thank you, your inputs make me realize to focus more on their impact on the quality of our services. I am new in QA and I am still familiarizing how things are in our company..just in case we already have existing suppliers, can we still initiate vendor evaluation for them? or we can only do the evaluation for new candidates/ suppliers? If we can evaluate existing suppliers and they fail the evaluation, how are we suppose to handle it?
:) Existing suppliers who have been supplying quality parts in time and at a cost that is accepted by your buying is in itself a good criteria for evaluation. Remember always that suppliers are an extention of your arm and they need to be well interacted in your QMS processes ~~~
Hence take a look again from the Quality Cost Delivery (QCD) angle all your existing suppliers and see what you need to drive to make them improve so that your internal processes gets benifited.
 
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