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Must show Sub-Supplier details? Supplying a Tier 2 company

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PaiceyFan

#1
Our company is registered under ISO9001:2008 and we are supplying a Tier 2 company with parts.

The Tier 2 company does not expect us to be TS certified as they are, but has asked that we divulge all details of our own suppliers (sub-suppliers). Our suppliers are extremely important and confidential. They are an integral part of our success compared to our competitors, so we are extremely hesitant to give out information that should it make its way to our competitors would hurt our business.

To get around this issue in the past, we have supplied information without divulging the sub-suppliers' names. We have simply called them supplier A and supplier B, for example.

The Tier 2 company (our customer) has stated that we MUST provide this data as they are TS certified. Is this correct or can we provide data without quoting the name of our sub-suppliers?

Has anyone else experienced this issue?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Paiceyfan.
 
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Groo3

#2
Re: Must show sub-Supplier details?

This sounds like a request best answered by your legal team, or your company lawyer, but if it were me, I would not provide specific details regarding who our suppliers are. The process was once described to me as fishing... Think of the customer as fishing for all the information you are willing to provide. If you provide it, they are verry happy, if you don't, it was worth a shot... But the best advice in my opinion is to seek the guidance of your company lawyer(s).

With regards to ISO-16949, the primary requirements for their purchasing of your product are found in the standard requirements 7.4.1, 7.4.2, and 7.4.3... You may want to ask your customer what requirement of the ISO-16949-2009 standard requires that you divulge your supplier's information? In the 2002 version of the 16949 standard, there is a requirement that states (7.4.1) The type and extent of control applied to the supplier (that means you) and the purchased product (what you are supplying to them) shall be dependent upon the effect of the purchased product on subsequent product realization or the final product... (PS: I don't know if the language has changed here slightly with the 2009 version?) This statement is pretty wide open to interpretation (or mis-interpretation) I think...

By way of comparisson, my site supplies product to the automotive, cosmetic and industrial markets. Though our automotive customers do request this information from us on occasion, we will not divulge who our suppliers are. If the request is around statistical data, or sampling of your supplier's products, that is a different ballgame. Supplier A / Supplier B evaluation data may be a reasonable request, but who "A" and "B" are is not a reasonable request (in my opinion). :2cents:
 
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PaiceyFan

#3
Re: Must show sub-Supplier details?

Thanks Groo3. You explained it well. So, it sounds like I am making the right decision in not divluging the sub-suppliers' names, but I agree that it is not unreasonable of the customer to request data associated with our suppliers and hence I use Supplier A or B. However, I will take your advice and consult with legal to see what they think.

The one point I should have mentioned is that we have other TS customers, who respect our wishes and do not request the names of the sub-suppliers.

Thanks Again!
 
G

Groo3

#4
Re: Must show sub-Supplier details?

Thanks Groo3. You explained it well. So, it sounds like I am making the right decision in not divluging the sub-suppliers' names, but I agree that it is not unreasonable of the customer to request data associated with our suppliers and hence I use Supplier A or B. However, I will take your advice and consult with legal to see what they think.

The one point I should have mentioned is that we have other TS customers, who respect our wishes and do not request the names of the sub-suppliers.

Thanks Again!
One of the more fun jobs I have had over the years was actually filling out the questionnaires and information requests from our customers. For about a 3 and a half year period, one of my tasks was to respond to or coordinate the responses to our customers. It was a fun time and I have seen every type of request under the sun. Whenever I was uncertain how to reply, I would interact with our corporate legal group, our site or corporate EHS / Regulatory groups, our Human Resources group, etc. I learned a lot about customer's expectations beyond our C of A's and MSDS's. I also got to learn some things about the products made at our other manufacturing sites as some customers would funnel all of their requests to me regardless of where the products were made or shipped from, funny thing is I even received requests for some of our competitors products :lol:.

I have since handed off that role of coordinator to our corporate EHS / Regulatory group, however I still handle the site specific customer requests with regards to our Quality Management System / Site questionnaires.
 
C

Citizen Kane

#5
Hi !

We don't show the names of our sub-suppliers durring the audit. Also, when mentioning some figures from them, we display them as Supplier 1 LCD, Supplier 2 Masks, etc. You must not display your internal marketing/financial agreements that you have with your suppliers, nor their names.

What could be instead is, if your top management & law dept. agrees with this, then, by being an executive decission, you could do it. But it makes no sense from the normal TS audit point of view.
 

Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Hi !

We don't show the names of our sub-suppliers durring the audit. Also, when mentioning some figures from them, we display them as Supplier 1 LCD, Supplier 2 Masks, etc. You must not display your internal marketing/financial agreements that you have with your suppliers, nor their names.

What could be instead is, if your top management & law dept. agrees with this, then, by being an executive decission, you could do it. But it makes no sense from the normal TS audit point of view.
What's so "secret" about the names of the organization's suppliers?
Never been an issue when I conduct audits...

Stijloor.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#7
Hi !

We don't show the names of our sub-suppliers durring the audit. Also, when mentioning some figures from them, we display them as Supplier 1 LCD, Supplier 2 Masks, etc. You must not display your internal marketing/financial agreements that you have with your suppliers, nor their names.

What could be instead is, if your top management & law dept. agrees with this, then, by being an executive decission, you could do it. But it makes no sense from the normal TS audit point of view.
A vehicle manufacturer I know of has a requirement for the supply chain to be completely divulged in PPAP submissions. The reason for this is that they had some issues with certain suppliers as tier-ones and dropped them as suppliers only to find out later on that they had wiggled themselves back into a couple of different chains at a lower level.
 
P

PaiceyFan

#8
Thanks for the ongoing debate on this. We decided (as a company) to refuse to divulge our suppliers and it seems that our customer has accepted this, if not gracefully. Our suppliers are extremel important to us and the confidentiality of those suppliers is essential in our ability to sustain our business. Our competitors would love to get their hands on those details.
 
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