Is it a requirement that purchasing specifications state a quantity?

M

Mark Smith

#1
Element 4.6.3. of ISO 9001 states that "purchasing documents shall contain data clearly describing the product ordered....".

My question is this. Is it a requirement that the purchasing specifications state a quantity of item to be purchased? For instance, a Purchasing spec may be for cleaning fluid and identify the fluid by part number. The manufacturer of the cleaning fluid lists 4 different size containers of the cleaning fluid for that part number. (Typically we use the purchase order to define what quantity we require i.e. 1 Liter or 1.5 Liter).
 
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L

Lassitude

#2
I would expect a quantity unless each quantity has its own part number or other 'clarified' arrangements have been made (such as 'We have an agreement that each order shall be for a standard 1 litre can...' or something like that).
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
An auditor looking at a purchasing document (PO) without a quantity would ask...'how does your supplier know how many to ship?' and it would be up to you to provide that answer....and back that up with evidence showing that it works. Further...how does your recieving know how many were ordered (always? clearly defined when?) Accounting to pay? and so on..the questions would flow..wouldn't it be easier to just note the quantity (my consulting hat here)..not required, but makes sense, for the majority of instances anyway.


OOPS....read that wrong...you asked about a purchasing specification...thought you were talking about the purchase order.....No don't see why a spec needs to say quantity....might want to specify, 'ship in 55 gallon drums" or "10cc syringe" if thats important and not part of the mfg p/n..but how many would be left to the PO or buyer to communicate... minimum buy may be added if appropriate.

Maybe the confusion is in the definition of a purchasing document....Typically I call that a PO...and the specification would be referenced there....Again my preference, certainly not a requirement

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 14 July 1999).]

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 14 July 1999).]
 
L

Lassitude

#4
My reply was based upon thinking Purchase Order as well. I agree with barb - Yes on a PO and No on a specification.
 
A

Andy Bassett

#5
Interesting question
Whatever the standard wants, it cannot be the case that Purchase Orders need to have a quantity on (i hope), simply because i know that in many industries Purchase Orders are used to agree a price and many other conditions, but quantity is wholly dependant on the Manufacturing cycle. To tell the supplier what quantites are needed and when, other systems maybe used such as Kanban cards to indicate quantity requirements from the supplier.

However i would expect to see a quantity range on such a product ie '100 dollars for quantities of 100,000 to 200,000 valid for the next 12 months'.

I still can imagine a use and see examples of open Purchase Orders where all conditions are agreed but quantites are left open.

I would expect that an open minded registrar would accept that, if it can be justified.

Am i wrong?



------------------
Andy B
 
T

TheOtherMe

#6
No Andy, you are not wrong - you are right. Blanket purchase orders and other 'unique' situations have to be looked at as a whole. I've been simplistic in my answers. Shame on me!
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
Ya unique stuff needs to be defined...almost anything can be justified if you have evidence it works....that said...even a blanket Po has to have a mechanisim to tell the supplier when to ship what qty..verbal/bar code swipe perhaps, but then has to be communicated somehow to the receiver....did we get what we ordered? Your own accounts payable will dictate that...

marc...simplicity is the best way to go...there is no way to capture all possibilities of unique situations ...if its a unique situation...let the asker describe that as such.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#8
This may not be specifically on target, but I'll give it a shot...

If you are looking at an operation that is a US Gov't contractor (like us, many times the customer (Gov't) supplied material has a National Stock Number (NSN). Within the the US Gov't supply system, each item of the same material, but different quantity has its own unique NSN. An item of a specific quantity ie., 55gallons, guart, pound or ton can be ordered and received without specifying the exact amount on the order.

We have just gone through this on our initial assessment, and had a devil of a time convincing the LA of that.

I know that this may not be true in the civilian sector, but it is for ours. It seems that if there is a continuous or unbroken chain from the same supplier for the same material of a previously identified quantity, then a quantity on each order may not be necessary. The document trail would have to be good.

Then again I may be wrong.
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
Ya but aren't you specifying? ONE...55 gallon drum, ONE case, one quart...by just putting the spec down?.....if you want 3 of the 55 gallon drums, don't you ask for 3 xxxxxx somewhere ? how soes receiving know you wanted 3 this time? Wouldn't acounting care...Or perhaps its when I call send 1 unless otherise specified.....somebody had to set that up and document it on a purchase document somewhere on file?

It would be silly not to have discussed it sometime somewhere.......ISO or not..and...would you want a supplier that didn't ask how many sometime during the order set up?

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 22 July 1999).]
 
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