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Is order acknowledgement enough?

jsoar

Registered
#1
Hello All,

As a newer individual to a company I'm trying to address many areas of the QMS that impact the company overall. I'm currently in a situation where the company I work for has done a poor job with contract review for many years. I'm just now getting them to properly conduct contract review and the thought of rejecting a P.O because they do not match a quote is almost causing hysterics within the sales department.

A counter to rejecting the quote for amendment was that the order acknowledgement sent to the customer would contain the "exceptions" we're taking. I have an issue with this because its essentially passing the sales function onto the customer to acknowledge our acknowledgement letter.

Am I wrong in this thinking? Am I not understanding the ISO standard correctly or applying it too literally?

(We are ISO 9001:2015)
 
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Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#2
"rejecting a P.O because they do not match a quote"

What does this mean? Is it a price and delivery issue? Or something bigger?
 

jsoar

Registered
#3
Sorry...

Asking the customer to send a revised PO that matches the quote.

The customer is asking for the product to comply with an ASTM spec (and all mechanical requirements listed under this spec). Our quote was specific and stated that the material would only comply with the chemistry called out on the same ASTM spec.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Lots of ways to handle this...two that I've used with good success:

1. for day to day, we don't ever expect a problem and even if there is one it will be no big deal anyway.

- For this, I have my terms of sale written on the order acknowledgement with the clause "These terms supersede any conflicting terms in the referenced purchase order". I've always just put that kind of clause right in the page footer for acceptance, email, quotes and Invoices. Often just a web address to the website where the full T&C are stated.
- Now if there is an issue later, both sides have said "Our terms rule" and you're left nowhere and can reasonably discuss it and come to a conclusion...This same clause should also be in the boilerplate of your quote in the first place.
- You demand net30dys, they demand net60dys...even if they agree to net30, you won't see that check for two months...its just life.

2. For the serious, large $$ or known combative customer (read "automotive, aerospace or government"):

- Call them and work it out PRIOR to sending order acceptance.
- The concept of fast turnaround on acknowledgement presupposes that the PO terms are always reasonable...and they rarely are. (See the thread on Terms and Conditions on this forum).

Either way...I would bounce it off of house counsel if that is an option.
:2cents:

Sales is known for an "It'll all work out anyway" attitude...that's how they stay sane.
That's why they aren't the ones you trust to do contract review. They'll likely never be on board with it...I've never bothered trying.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
Two posts went out before mine...
For the ASTM reference...I would get it in writing that your quoted method is OK...it's a #2 item.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#6
Sorry...

Asking the customer to send a revised PO that matches the quote.

The customer is asking for the product to comply with an ASTM spec (and all mechanical requirements listed under this spec). Our quote was specific and stated that the material would only comply with the chemistry called out on the same ASTM spec.
There are two aspects to be considered:

• the legal one and
• the customer satisfaction aspect.

The legal one, in case of a dispute, can get messy in no time and it would always behoove you to get a revised PO matching the quote.

From a customer satisfaction point of view, as long as there is evidence that both parties understand what is being provided and agree on, an email from the customer would suffice, in my view.

But, in general, the legal risks are much larger than the dissatisfaction risks.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#7
Legally there is a whole body of law that will handle the disputes between the various forms -- po's and acknowledgments. You can ask legal counsel for an opinion.

As for the ASTM specification, I think taking exception to it on the acknowledgement is fine. It is consistent with the quote. Most of our quote/acknowledgments are subject to a design review anyway where we will hammer out these issues.

What kind of process is it? I am guessing you're changing the mechanical aspects of the material. Sounds like your customer is asking for an impossibility.
 
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