Internal Subcontractor Certification Program - Eliminate Receiving Inspection?

Subcontractor Certification Program

Recently I was told by the Quality Control Receiving Supervisor that his company has implemented an "Internal Subcontractor Certification Program", that allows them to not perform incoming quality inspection and testing based on the subcontractors prior six (6) month performance of zero defects. I can understand the need to implement such a program due to time, manpower and cost of performing inspection and testing on simple "shoot and ship" components such as; springs, screws, clips, foam... I then questioned him if his control plans had been updated to reflect that no inspection and testing were being performed as agreed upon with their customers? The QC Receiving Supervisor stated "No" he felt that this deviation from the control plan was of no concern to his customers as long as they receive conforming product. I don't agree with this because the control plan calls out very specific "specifications and tolerances" and the methods for performing and recording such activities, and not to perform them without customer approval doesn't provide evidence that customer requirements are being performed and recorded. I mentioned that if the customer has approved the submitted PPAP package that contains the control plans to be used for production then his company is required to perform to the submitted PPAP and can't deviate from it without notifying and receiving approval from the customer prior to implementation. Was I right in my interpretation of this situation and stating that the supplier needs to receive approval from their customers prior to implementing an "Internal Subcontractor Certification Program"?
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Jim Biz

I for one agree with your approach..customers would expect to be contacted with any deviation from an established control plan. The situation does become more complex however if the Quality Control department is a Tier One company with "public domain customers" - I've never heard Ford/Gm asking their customers for permission to eliminate inspection (or anything else for that matter :) )


Al Dyer


I'm with on the side of the control plan being the guiding document. I would not like to explain to my customer why we revised the control plan (especially reducing inspection frequency) without their knowledge.


Al Dyer
Mngt. Rep.
[email protected]
Refer to PPAP manuals third edition section I para 1.3 for your answer. Customer notification is not required.
Eliminating receiving inspection can be considered as a continuous improvement item, however;
a) The control plan is to be updated to reflect the vendor inspection,
b) Documented evidence that the vendor is performing the required inspections and tests
must be available to the auditor at the time of the audit.
c) Documented evidence of their performance history.

Al Dyer

Sam makes absolutely valid points and I would just like to add that customer specific requirements need to be evaluated as they over-ride QS-9000 requirements. (at least in the automotive industry)


Al Dyer
Mngt. Rep.
[email protected]
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