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Purchasing procedure and workload

L.Soad

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hello all,

I’m searching a way out of this situation:

I’m a quality technician, my job is to implement a QMS (Quality manager -calling him QM- is also manager of another department, and as his human resources in this other department are scarce, he is full-time working for this dept, and I’m more or less by myself).
I’m trying to make a purchasing procedure, but as we have no purchasing dept, and we are a small company, nothing is really official. I have to start from scratch. Sometimes, purchases are made without a PO, with their own credit card, and the amount spent is then added in an « expense account» which is paid back to the employee with the payroll. So, Administration director (call him AD) has no control on what is purchased until it’s too late.

The problem: I tried to write a first version of this procedure, stating that each purchase should be done with 3 submissions (with few exceptions) and a PO. It will bring a lot of work to people already with an important workload (including QM). I informally spoke with QM about that and he told me to change the procedure to something more «chill», like you need to do the 3 submissions and PO for everything that costs more than 200$, or that is purchased with the company’s credit card. Made the changes to the procedure, as I get his point.
Came the time to speak to the AD about the purchasing procedure. He said that there is no way we could do that because of the fact that he can’t check what everyone is buying with the company’s money if they buy with the «expense account» thing. He could trust some of the employees (like QM) with this system but some will abuse it.

What I’ll probably do: try to do a meeting with both QM and AD, and see what will come out of that.

What do you think about this situation?
Should the PO be mandatory (I could say that the 3 submissions thing is limited to the 200$+ purchases)?
Any advices?

Ps: I always seem to get between two very different opinions each time I try to do something. I can understand both parts but they always try to «pull the blanket towards them». It’s usually: «you should be doing this, or do something more» vs «I know i should, butI don’t have the time to do so»…
Ps2: i know you will say there is a problem with leadership, i'm trying to go with it...
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#2
How do you do it now? Does it work?

If what you do works and does what 9001 says should happen, why try to make something new up?
 

L.Soad

Involved In Discussions
#3
How do you do it now? Does it work?

If what you do works and does what 9001 says should happen, why try to make something new up?
Everytime it's like passive reaction to what's happenning, nothing is proactive. some of the suppliers invoices have been forgot on someoens desk in our branch in another city for like 6 months. we need something clear to be writen (i think), so that i can write NCs and start improving this.

Now it's case by case. sometimes with bad surprises
 

Johnnymo62

Haste Makes Waste
#4
I think accounting should have some specific requirements and the meeting with them is a good place to start. Also a process flow diagram of how it works compared to ISO9001 to have a gap analysis.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#5
Basic accounting 101 and possible tax implications for both parties...No control of invoices? How do you prove that stuff comes in and money goes out?
 

L.Soad

Involved In Discussions
#6
i'd say 95% of purchases or more are OK, either with a PO, or is agreed to be put on the «expense account», you need to provide the bills with this «expense account».
When it comes to how it's managed, i guess our DA is doing more than he should do.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Hello all,

I’m searching a way out of this situation:

I’m a quality technician, my job is to implement a QMS (Quality manager -calling him QM- is also manager of another department, and as his human resources in this other department are scarce, he is full-time working for this dept, and I’m more or less by myself).
I’m trying to make a purchasing procedure, but as we have no purchasing dept, and we are a small company, nothing is really official. I have to start from scratch. Sometimes, purchases are made without a PO, with their own credit card, and the amount spent is then added in an « expense account» which is paid back to the employee with the payroll. So, Administration director (call him AD) has no control on what is purchased until it’s too late.

The problem: I tried to write a first version of this procedure, stating that each purchase should be done with 3 submissions (with few exceptions) and a PO. It will bring a lot of work to people already with an important workload (including QM). I informally spoke with QM about that and he told me to change the procedure to something more «chill», like you need to do the 3 submissions and PO for everything that costs more than 200$, or that is purchased with the company’s credit card. Made the changes to the procedure, as I get his point.
Came the time to speak to the AD about the purchasing procedure. He said that there is no way we could do that because of the fact that he can’t check what everyone is buying with the company’s money if they buy with the «expense account» thing. He could trust some of the employees (like QM) with this system but some will abuse it.

What I’ll probably do: try to do a meeting with both QM and AD, and see what will come out of that.

What do you think about this situation?
Should the PO be mandatory (I could say that the 3 submissions thing is limited to the 200$+ purchases)?
Any advices?

Ps: I always seem to get between two very different opinions each time I try to do something. I can understand both parts but they always try to «pull the blanket towards them». It’s usually: «you should be doing this, or do something more» vs «I know i should, butI don’t have the time to do so»…
Ps2: i know you will say there is a problem with leadership, i'm trying to go with it...
It seems to me that you are ignoring the way purchasing is currently done.

Why not work with the person who does most of the purchasing to understand and show a little respect for their process and it’s undocumented procedure?

Capture this process to document its procedure by working together in making a swimlane (deployment) flowchart based on the process owner’s answers to your friendly auditor-style questions, such as:

1. What is the objective of purchasing?
2. Who is (what entities are) involved?
3. What are your criteria for selecting suppliers?
4. Who selects the supplier?
5. Who can initiate a PO?
6. What form (or program) do they use?
7. What PO specs are used for the products/services ordered?
8. Who approves the PO?
9. Who receives a copy of the PO?
10. Who verifies conformity of received products/services before acceptance (and payment)?
11. What happens to nonconforming products?
12. How are nonconforming services resolved to your satisfaction?
13. What happens if you require improved performance from a supplier?
14. What happens if decide never again to use a supplier?
15. How often are supplier selection criteria reviewed and updated?
16. How often would you recommend this process and procedure be reviewed for possible improvements?

That’s about it for now, please share this flowcharted procedure with others involved in the process so they can review it for accuracy. Tell them to make it bleed until we’ve got it exactly right. Then we will update the procedure ready for review, approval and issue for use and improvement.

By doing it this way you can see how it leads to a greater sense of ownership for the procedure than writing it in your office based on what we say here.

Please let us know how it goes.
 
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