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International Standards



I wondered if anyone could tell me how should handle the following:
We purchase a lot of our material from agents and they don´t tell us from who we are really buying. So the problem is that we can´t proof that our suppliers meet international standards (see point
Can anyone help me?
Thanks in advance.

Tom Goetzinger

IMHO, I think the agent is, in fact, your supplier and your qualification and performance standards apply to him. I would suggest a good incoming inspection process, to ensure that the material you get meets the required specifications. This may be something you can ease away from as your "supplier" (agent) proves that he has the controls in place to ensure you always receive appropriate material that meets your specifications. Note that I say "controls in place", rather than historical performance. IMHO, it is critical that you look at his controls, and not just rely on historical performance as proof of his ability to provide what you specify on your order.

[This message has been edited by Tom Goetzinger (edited 15 May 2000).]


Captain Nice
Staff member
"4.6.2 – Evaluation of Subcontractors

The supplier shall:

a) evaluate and select subcontractors on the basis of their ability to meet subcontract requirements including the quality system and any specific quality assurance requirements;

b) define the type and extent of control exercised by the supplier over subcontractors. This shall be dependent upon the type of product, the impact of subcontracted product on the quality of final product and, where applicable, on the quality audit reports and/or quality records of the previously demonstrated capability and performance of subcontractors;

c) establish and maintain quality records of acceptable subcontractors (see 4.16).

NOTE: Methods other than an "approved subcontractors list" may be utilized to meet this requirement."

I agree with Tom. Bottom line is your supplier is vouching for the products they sell. Take a car - a Ford. Ford vouches for every part in the car with few exceptions (none that I know of, actually, but I don't want to box myself in here). But if you ask them for proof that the casting used for the disc brake system is ".... to an international specification..." they would have to go out several levels to find out.

If you want the supplier to provide parts 'made to an internaltional spec', you make that spec a purchase order requirement.

Now in some cases your customer may ask for documentation such as PPAP from your suppliers. When that is the case you have to choose a supplier who will cooperate.

Are the suppliers you are referring to distributors?
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