How should I control subcontracted infrastructure?

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Hi to All,

I have a question regarding Infrastructure 6.3.
I'm doing an audit to 6.3 Infrastructure, we have different kinds of cranes - big trucks with a crane to lift huge parts- and it seems that we don't have any control on them about asking to supplier about a maintenance program and inspection on the lift devices (cranes), I have evidence that on April the units were down two times, and we just not pay the supplier two days of rental.
As company we have established strict procedures to maintain and inspect our own overhead cranes but it seems that we have not asked nothing to our truck-crane suppliers, so my questions is how are your controlling this type of supplier if you have it? And Against what should I raise a non conforming to 6.3 due lack of maintenance program or 7.4 Purchasing due there is nothing required to supplier on the PO's?

Note: Tomorrow I will audit Purchasing Manager to see if there is a supplier obligation to provide such kind of evidence and control about maintenance on the truck-cranes.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Best regards,
AC
 
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D

Duke Okes

#2
You are correct that you should first read and audit the purchasing procedures. The company may have decided to not put certain controls on some equipment. Unless you can show that lack of such controls has impacted quality to the customer (or safety to employees), it would be hard to impose requirements.
 

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#3
You are correct that you should first read and audit the purchasing procedures. The company may have decided to not put certain controls on some equipment. Unless you can show that lack of such controls has impacted quality to the customer (or safety to employees), it would be hard to impose requirements.
For now I just can show that the truck-cranes have been down several times and a critical failure could impact in the future delivery to customer due lack of equipment available to handle material. Fortunately we have not had any accidents/injuries of personnel ...Is that enough to raise a non conforming or at least OFI to define if more requirements are to be asked to supplier?
 
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D

Duke Okes

#4
Could impact versus has impacted are two different things. Find out whether the lack of controls is due to lack of consideration, or whether it was a conscious decision. If the latter, not a NC unless you can show a significant impact on the organization or customer due to downtime. Certainly could do an OFI, but would investigate first.
 

harry

Trusted Information Resource
#5
It is normal to have 'rental' terms which can be as simple as length of engagement and daily rental charges. If availability is critical to you, you need to insert them in your rental terms. In which case, they may need to send you a replacement unit if the one at your place is out of service.

The 'rental' terms are what you need to check first.
 

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#6
It is normal to have 'rental' terms which can be as simple as length of engagement and daily rental charges. If availability is critical to you, you need to insert them in your rental terms. In which case, they may need to send you a replacement unit if the one at your place is out of service.

The 'rental' terms are what you need to check first.
I will check tomorrow with purchasing manager, however as far as I know this supplier just have two units and when one is busy handling material in the interior of the plant and the other is down we have to wait to use it until it is fixed or wait until the other one is free, and also there are movements that require that both truck-cranes are available.:confused:
 
S

samsung

#7
I will check tomorrow with purchasing manager, however as far as I know this supplier just have two units and when one is busy handling material in the interior of the plant and the other is down we have to wait to use it until it is fixed or wait until the other one is free, and also there are movements that require that both truck-cranes are available.:confused:
Whether or not the periodic maintenance of the hired equipment is specified in the contract/P.O., it's nonetheless an obligation (6.3) on the part of the organization to "maintain the infrastructure needed to achieve conformity to product requirements" . So any equipment on which your process capability depends, must be maintained and made available when needed. Even if it's a subcontracted/ outsourced activity, it's still a nonconformance for lack of controls that should have been defined for this outsourced activity.

I agree with Harry. If the equipment availability can lead to delays in customer delivery, it should be brought under the contract terms that the supplier ensures availability of spare equipment as and when needed by you.

In our case, we have this clearly specified in the contract terms where the equipment supplier has to ensure round the clock availability of capable equipment under the terms. We do support many of such suppliers by providing them with necessary infrastructure to establish their maint. workshop within the factory premises. Their maintenance records are subject to periodic audits. Additionally, they have local tie ups with other suppliers in the same premises or those working with nearby industries where they exchange the equipment on "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours" basis.
 
#8
I will check tomorrow with purchasing manager, however as far as I know this supplier just have two units and when one is busy handling material in the interior of the plant and the other is down we have to wait to use it until it is fixed or wait until the other one is free, and also there are movements that require that both truck-cranes are available.:confused:
This is a classic case of out sourcing a process. Perhaps you have not identified it as an out sourced process, which has an impact on the product conformity to requirement. If all your difficulties were not considered and if this was not identified as an out sourced process per clause 4.1, its time this is done. Who exercises control and what are the controls is for you to figure out. Depending upon the criticality of the truck-cranes availability at your required times, your control could even be to ask for a spare truck-crane at your site at all times. Once the contractor parks his asset and finds that the spare is often used due to his poor maintenance, his maintenance aspect will surely improve, since he is forced to use three for a rental of two.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
#9
For now I just can show that the truck-cranes have been down several times and a critical failure could impact in the future delivery to customer due lack of equipment available to handle material. Fortunately we have not had any accidents/injuries of personnel ...Is that enough to raise a non conforming or at least OFI to define if more requirements are to be asked to supplier?
Good advice so far. :applause:

As a customer of this critical weight handling equipment you both have the right and responsibility to perform due diligence to the extent needed to ensure the needed checks/maintenance are performed. That may mean including requirements for such in your contract.

Your evident relief that you have not (so far) had any accidents/injuries of personnel raises another flag for me. You didn't say which standard you are working to. TS 16949 has a clause (6.4.1) that addresses employee safety in order to make good product. The unhappy events surrounding an employee accident, potentially including lawsuits, provide further incentive to plan for some oversight of this supplier's maintenance.

That might mean audits on their site, or the requirement for them to provide records, or spot checks by your own people. But in order to issue a nonconformance, you need a requirement to cite against. If you don't have a requirement, you need to establish one. Only then do you have something to enforce. Until then, based on your laws your organization could be responsible - even if you are renting or leasing the equipment.
 

Anerol C

Trusted Information Resource
#10
Good advice so far. :applause:


You didn't say which standard you are working to. TS 16949 has a clause (6.4.1) that addresses employee safety in order to make good product. The unhappy events surrounding an employee accident, potentially including lawsuits, provide further incentive to plan for some oversight of this supplier's maintenance.

That might mean audits on their site, or the requirement for them to provide records, or spot checks by your own people. But in order to issue a nonconformance, you need a requirement to cite against. If you don't have a requirement, you need to establish one. Only then do you have something to enforce. Until then, based on your laws your organization could be responsible - even if you are renting or leasing the equipment.
WEll, I went with purchasing manager, he was agreed to amend the PO (we don't have a contract) to request supplier provide records of maintenance and replace the unit when we have issues, we are ISO 9000, I think I will raise it as an OFI.

Thanks for your help and guidance, :D
 
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