Quality Manual for a Quality Plan (Manufacturing secrets?) Request

L

LesPiles

Hello everyone !

CONTEXT OF MY PROBLEM:

We manufacture battery chargers. These battery chargers are then sold to utilities. Depending on the orders, we must also provide batteries. To get an idea, the batteries consist of about 50 elements whose size is about 2 times the size of a car battery.

Obviously, these batteries represent a large amount (we can talk about $ 30k).

For a special project, rather than selling directly to the utility, we sell to an integrator (a huge industrial group). This one asks us for a Quality Plan for the batteries.

Of course, battery manufacturers are also "giants" in the industry. There is some competition in this area but it's always the same thing; there are technical peculiarities to respect, constraints of delivery times and price. A small difference in pricing for the batteries can exclude us from contracts (batteries represent at least 40% of the price).

PROBLEM:
We have asked the distributor for its Quality Plan, but the representative is telling us that he has asked its company for the Quality Plan and he was replied that our need is answered in the Quality Manual. - what is far from being the case (a Quality Manual is not a Quality Plan). I replied he must then pass the message to his corporation that the transmitted document does not fulfill the need of the customer (us!), as they can realize per an example document I gave to them ). Fearing I would get that kind of response by a rep, I asked Purchasing Department to add contractually to the PO that the Quality Plan should be provided to the Quality Manager (me) and that their document should be accepted by me. Unfortunately, I am told that this has not been done.

QUESTIONS:
I am currently asking some questions. Can a Quality Plan be considered by a manufacturer as containing manufacturing secrets? Is that why they do not pass on to me? Or is it because rep do not offer the right support?

If so, do I drop my requirement? Could a NDA break the deadlock?


If I "block" (putting the stick in the wheel), you guess that I just created enemies internally: Account Mngr, person doing the bids, Finance ... How should I react / hat should I do ?


Since the PO has already been launched without the contractual clause, can we change it ?
 

John Broomfield

Leader
Super Moderator
Re: Quality Manual for a Quality Plan Request ?

Hello everyone !

CONTEXT OF MY PROBLEM:

We manufacture battery chargers. These battery chargers are then sold to utilities. Depending on the orders, we must also provide batteries. To get an idea, the batteries consist of about 50 elements whose size is about 2 times the size of a car battery.

Obviously, these batteries represent a large amount (we can talk about $ 30k).

For a special project, rather than selling directly to the utility, we sell to an integrator (a huge industrial group). This one asks us for a Quality Plan for the batteries.

Of course, battery manufacturers are also "giants" in the industry. There is some competition in this area but it's always the same thing; there are technical peculiarities to respect, constraints of delivery times and price. A small difference in pricing for the batteries can exclude us from contracts (batteries represent at least 40% of the price).

PROBLEM:
We have asked the distributor for its Quality Plan, but the representative is telling us that he has asked its company for the Quality Plan and he was replied that our need is answered in the Quality Manual. - what is far from being the case (a Quality Manual is not a Quality Plan). I replied he must then pass the message to his corporation that the transmitted document does not fulfill the need of the customer (us!), as they can realize per an example document I gave to them ). Fearing I would get that kind of response by a rep, I asked Purchasing Department to add contractually to the PO that the Quality Plan should be provided to the Quality Manager (me) and that their document should be accepted by me. Unfortunately, I am told that this has not been done.

QUESTIONS:
I am currently asking some questions. Can a Quality Plan be considered by a manufacturer as containing manufacturing secrets? Is that why they do not pass on to me? Or is it because rep do not offer the right support?

If so, do I drop my requirement? Could a NDA break the deadlock?


If I "block" (putting the stick in the wheel), you guess that I just created enemies internally: Account Mngr, person doing the bids, Finance ... How should I react / hat should I do ?


Since the PO has already been launched without the contractual clause, can we change it ?

LesPiles,

Your supplier has described its management system for assuring quality in its Quality Manual but this includes too much general information to be useful to your special project.

As the customer you want to know how your supplier plans to apply its management system to your special project (order).

This is known as the Quality Plan and is specific to your order. It forms part of the contract if specified by your P.O.

Work with your supplier to agree the content and format of the Quality Plan so it helps both parties to assure fulfillment of the requirements.

You may have to drive this but it should take no longer than a few hours to result in a mutually useful document without breaching any secrets.

John
 
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