Interesting Discussion How to Deal with Suppliers Who Refuse to Complete our ISO Survey?

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hello Covers,

I have recently ran into an issue I have not previously, with our Suppliers.

We have three suppliers that refuse to complete our ISO Survey. :argue: Its very basic, nothing complicated. All they have to do is check yes if they are ISO certified (which they are) and sign the second page.

This survey is required to be completed for the supplier to be on our Approved Vendor List. If they are not on the list, we can't buy from them.

So, I have three suppliers refusing to complete the survey for one reason or another - (I dont know - they wont talk to me).

I have tried contacting different people at the company, and even sending an email stating that we can not buy from them anymore with our Purchasing Manager clearly copied.

The problem with all of this, is that these three suppliers are the only suppliers on specific materials that we NEED. We can not change to another ingredient and no one else sells this stuff but them.

How can I handle this? It's audit season for me right now and I can expect getting dinged if the auditor sees that I dont have the completed documents that are required.

Thoughts?

Thank you,
Nikki
 
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hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Sounds like your procedures have painted you into a corner. It is always the critical item suppliers that seem to do this, just because they can.
There are (and you should probably write into your purchasing procedures) a kind of 'exemption' for critical item or single source suppliers. If they cannot be replaced, and will not respond to you, then you must find some way to accommodate this state of affairs.
I would always be on the lookout for other suppliers in this case, because you really need some leverage to accomplish anything here. The leverage can be used to get a survey out of your existing supplier, or to 'introduce' a new supplier. Win-Win in that case. It could take a very long time though, something you do not have at the moment. We send out these surveys to our suppliers every three years (the renewal cycle for 9001) and like you, our first page gives them the option - simply send us a fax or your certificate, or fill out the survey. Most do it, but some always fail to respond, especially the single item specialty suppliers, who know you just don't have any choice but to purchase their item.
 
T

Tara Monson

#3
We used to have this as a requirement and after noticing only a 30% reply rate, we developed a different system for approving suppliers.

We use a sample to evaluate suppliers. Basically, order what you need, if it meets conformance requirements and the shipping date provided, they get approved. We then monitor them on the same two standards (conformance and OTD.)

We work in a small business with few suppliers so this works well for us. I also know our Quality Director HATES filling out those surveys.

Good luck!
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#4
Whoa...WOW...Ouch.

"We have three suppliers that refuse to complete our ISO Survey.
All they have to do is check yes if they are ISO certified (which they are) and sign the second page
."

If you know they are ISO certified, what is the survey for? Get a copy of their current Cert.

"So, I have three suppliers refusing to complete the survey for one reason or another - (I dont know - they wont talk to me). "

Because it is one more useless piece of paper to fill out.

"and even sending an email stating that we can not buy from them anymore"
"The problem with all of this, is that these three suppliers are the only suppliers on specific materials that we NEED."


Why on earth would you tell a vendor that you NEED that you can't buy from them anymore?

"I can expect getting dinged if the auditor sees that I dont have the completed documents that are required."

Who cares about the auditor...can you stay in business? If you NEED the vendor and can't buy from them because of your self-defined need for this "survey"...the auditor is the least of the problem.

"This survey is required to be completed for the supplier to be on our Approved Vendor List."
Your company requires this survey. ISO does not.
You may want to revisit your process requirements for Approving Suppliers.

FWIW, I get asked to fill those surveys out all the time. I fill out ~5% of them and throw the rest out. I fill out the ones that might impact my business...most are just a waste of time and don't affect anything.
 

hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
As the others have pointed out - how you approve a vendor can vary greatly. Using a sample is another way. Have several options written into your procedure, it is your procedure killing you, not the surveys.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#6
We are a small organization (under 40 head count) and periodically I'll receive a wave of these things from our big aerospace customers. I have no choice but to fill out these forms.

Some are to the point, some are bigger than they need to be, and some are utterly ridiculous in scale and scope.

Yes, take a hard look at the requirements of your system and do what makes sense while making it as easy as possible for all involved. Actually, that is how all your systems should work.
 

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
Whoa...WOW...Ouch.

"We have three suppliers that refuse to complete our ISO Survey.
All they have to do is check yes if they are ISO certified (which they are) and sign the second page
."

If you know they are ISO certified, what is the survey for? Get a copy of their current Cert.

The 2nd page of the survey is a no change agreement - If they cant or wont follow our agreement - I just need them to list that on page 2. No change agreements are huge. If this is the reason why they wont complete it, I dont know - as I stated before - They wont talk to me.

"So, I have three suppliers refusing to complete the survey for one reason or another - (I dont know - they wont talk to me). "

Because it is one more useless piece of paper to fill out.

It's not useless - we are medical and no change agreements are needed in our line of business.

"and even sending an email stating that we can not buy from them anymore"
"The problem with all of this, is that these three suppliers are the only suppliers on specific materials that we NEED."


Why on earth would you tell a vendor that you NEED that you can't buy from them anymore?

Desperation and an act to get them to understand that the paperwork is important. This was suggested by another manager.

"I can expect getting dinged if the auditor sees that I dont have the completed documents that are required."

Who cares about the auditor...can you stay in business? If you NEED the vendor and can't buy from them because of your self-defined need for this "survey"...the auditor is the least of the problem.

True. I agree. I just havent encountered this problem before.

"This survey is required to be completed for the supplier to be on our Approved Vendor List."
Your company requires this survey. ISO does not.
You may want to revisit your process requirements for Approving Suppliers.

Yes I understand ISO does not require it. Our current procedure states that it is a requirement. I will have to adjust my procedure, I see that, I just didnt know if anyone had any other suggestions besides changing the process.

FWIW, I get asked to fill those surveys out all the time. I fill out ~5% of them and throw the rest out. I fill out the ones that might impact my business...most are just a waste of time and don't affect anything.

Please see my notes above.
 

Project Man

Involved In Discussions
#10
Get your procedures changed immediately! There should always be multiple ways to approve a vendor (we have 5). We've had various auditors like or not like 1 or 2 of them but that doesn't matter and they can't ding you on whether they like it or not anyways.

P.S. Have you had your boss contact these companies? There are times when higher level conversations resolve issues quickly. Especially when it can dramatically affect your business but, for heaven's sake change your procedures!
 
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