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How to Contractually Agree on Specifications for Raw Material Purchases

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#11
I would actually include a copy of my specification with the PO. My system uses the body of the email as the po. There is a line item with an ID number for the item and a description. We currently do not reference the item number (specification) revision on the PO line.

My engineers are required to have the supplier sign a copy of the latest specification, but it doesn't always get done which leaves us at risk.

My hope was that by sending over a PDF of our specs as an attachment to the email PO, and referencing the Spec and Rev Level in the PO line description we could do away with the signed copy. I would add a line to the PO boilerplate saying that acceptance and acknowledgement of this PO means you agree to supply per the attached specification. Of course that would have to be translated into lawyer-speak.

I'm not an AS9100 company. We're 9001 and supply flexible packaging material (pouch stock, lidding, ext.) to the food/pharma industry.
Sounds like a winner to me. Just make sure you change the policy so that it no longer requires a signed raw material specification.
 

THamlett

Starting to get Involved
#12
I really love this website but, as usual, everything is open to interpretation and nothing has been resolved. IAQG, AMS, SAE, ISO and I'm sure others need to get together and write standards that have no ambiguity. They write standards the way they do because standards are written by consultants for consultants and consultants don't live in the real world.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#13
I really love this website but, as usual, everything is open to interpretation and nothing has been resolved.
The OP got the input he was looking for.
IAQG, AMS, SAE, ISO and I'm sure others need to get together and write standards that have no ambiguity. They write standards the way they do because standards are written by consultants for consultants and consultants don't live in the real world.
I'm not sure what published standards have to do with this topic in this thread. It should be a relatively simple process--establish the standard for material specifications, make sure the supplier has a copy, and cite the standard(s) in the purchase order.
 

THamlett

Starting to get Involved
#14
The OP got the input he was looking for.
I'm not sure what published standards have to do with this topic in this thread. It should be a relatively simple process--establish the standard for material specifications, make sure the supplier has a copy, and cite the standard(s) in the purchase order.
Jim,

As I said, I do love the website. Over the years I've received some good info from it but I'm not convinced the OP got what they were looking for.

You would think that the process for revision levels is simple but it isn't. Whether you set a standard saying you must have and adhere to revision levels versus not requiring revision levels is a two edged sword. I'm currently in a position where I have to forget all the training and beliefs I've ever had and ignore revision levels of material standards. I'm told it would cause to many problems and we would most likely lose business if we require revision levels from our customers and flow them down to our suppliers.

I blame the ISO and AS standards and the way they are written. Just tell us in plain language what it is you want. Stop making us interpret what you are trying to tell us and run the risk of being wrong in our interpretation. If they did, there would be no need for Elsmar Cove or consultants.

Also, I need to say that these standards have gone far beyond their original purpose of being a quality system and are now telling people how to run their business. They have become a huge work load and expenditure for small companies. They're great if you're Boeing or Airbus who have hundreds of people and millions of dollars to throw at the tasks required. I just left a mid-sized company with 11 world-wide locations and two acquisition companies who thought they only needed one person to perform all the AS9100 "quality" functions required. Companies have to add more people to non-value added functions just to be able sell to their customer base that they've had for the last 35-80 years.

That is why I say the standards are written by consultants for consultants. And I have consultants I know that agree with that statement. Tell me Jim. Are you a professional consultant? It sounds like it to me.

Let's bring back quality and get rid of the reports, charts, turtle diagrams, risk analysis and the rest of the busy work that means absolutely nothing to most companies that the last 2 revisions of ISO9000 and AS9100 demand. If we did, a lot of people's lives would be simplified and maybe air travel would be less expensive. The chart that I want to see is the one that show that aircraft fatalities have been significantly reduced since the introduction of the AS standards. I know for a fact that air fatalities have risen year over year for quite a few years now.

I've become totally demoralized and disenchanted with my chosen field that I used to love.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#15
Jim,

As I said, I do love the website. Over the years I've received some good info from it but I'm not convinced the OP got what they were looking for.
It seems to me that the OP has an unnecessarily complicated process that could be simplified, as I suggested. He might be in a position where he can't make substantive changes to the process, but that has nothing to do with the relevant standards. People were doing these things long before ISO 9001 or any of its evil spawn existed.

You would think that the process for revision levels is simple but it isn't. Whether you set a standard saying you must have and adhere to revision levels versus not requiring revision levels is a two edged sword. I'm currently in a position where I have to forget all the training and beliefs I've ever had and ignore revision levels of material standards. I'm told it would cause to many problems and we would most likely lose business if we require revision levels from our customers and flow them down to our suppliers.
This is the fault of incompetent people designing poor processes. If it's important that everyone is aware of revised requirements, then everyone must be made aware.

I blame the ISO and AS standards and the way they are written. Just tell us in plain language what it is you want. Stop making us interpret what you are trying to tell us and run the risk of being wrong in our interpretation. If they did, there would be no need for Elsmar Cove or consultants.
In some instances I agree. I've complained for years that there's too much ambiguity, but it never seems to go away. Another part of the problem is incompetent auditors who adopt their own eccentric interpretations. Nonetheless, that doesn't have much to do with the topic at hand.

Also, I need to say that these standards have gone far beyond their original purpose of being a quality system and are now telling people how to run their business. They have become a huge work load and expenditure for small companies. They're great if you're Boeing or Airbus who have hundreds of people and millions of dollars to throw at the tasks required. I just left a mid-sized company with 11 world-wide locations and two acquisition companies who thought they only needed one person to perform all the AS9100 "quality" functions required. Companies have to add more people to non-value added functions just to be able sell to their customer base that they've had for the last 35-80 years.
From Day One, business owners have complained about ISO telling them how to run their businesses. That's BS, in my opinion, and it's coming mostly from people who chafe at the idea of having to do things in a standardized way when the standardized way wasn't their own idea.

That is why I say the standards are written by consultants for consultants. And I have consultants I know that agree with that statement. Tell me Jim. Are you a professional consultant? It sounds like it to me.
Not only am I not a consultant, I'm retired and don't even work in profession anymore. I did my first ISO 9001 registration in the early 1990s, initially working from a copy of BS5750. In the interim I've also done QS9000 and TS16949 registrations. I'm well familiar with the pitfalls, some of which have been created by the writers of the standards.

Let's bring back quality and get rid of the reports, charts, turtle diagrams, risk analysis and the rest of the busy work that means absolutely nothing to most companies that the last 2 revisions of ISO9000 and AS9100 demand. If we did, a lot of people's lives would be simplified and maybe air travel would be less expensive. The chart that I want to see is the one that show that aircraft fatalities have been significantly reduced since the introduction of the AS standards. I know for a fact that air fatalities have risen year over year for quite a few years now.
I don't think the actual statistics bear that out, especially for commercial aviation. I don't think it would be possible to establish a cause-and-effect relationship--one way or the other--between air traffic accidents and the introduction of AS9100. The great majority of air traffic fatalities (>90%) occur in private aviation, and the leading cause is pilot error of one kind or another. Nothing to do with the standards, in other words.

I've become totally demoralized and disenchanted with my chosen field that I used to love.
I know the feeling, but in my own case I've always attributed the disenchantment to incompetent implementation of standards, and not to the standards themselves.
 

zac2944

Involved In Discussions
#16
OP chiming in here. FWIW, I did get what I wanted out of this thread; lol, 4 years ago! I wanted a group of peers to consider my solution and offer insight. Product configuration and ordering standards vary from company to company, and within different industries. I only know what I know, and I appreciate being able to tap into the knowledge of the quality community here at the Cove. Ultimately, I got some feedback, and moved forward confidently with my process change. The change was successful, and we are better covered from a liability standpoint and have also seen a reduction in the number of purchasing errors. Thanks again Elsmar! Also not sure what any of this has to do with ISO standards and consultants, but thanks for resurrecting this zombie-thread.
 
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