Redundant Oversight - Supplier assessment questionnaires

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Don Palmer

Recently, I processed a new supplier and I found the cover letter to be a cut above normal. Supplier name is withheld from the following quote:

Dear Quality Colleague,

(Supplier name withheld) complies with applicable industry standards and regulatory requirements (such as AS9100, 14CFR Part 145, EASA) and has been assessed, approved, and is under continuing surveillance by recognized third parties and regulatory authorities. (Supplier name withheld) strongly supports the efforts of the aerospace industry to establish high uniform standards and the reduction of redundant oversight.

(Supplier name withheld) also receives many requests to fill out questionnaires related to our Quality Management System. Unfortunately, these questionnaires require considerable time to complete and submit. (Supplier name withheld) wishes to avoid implementing a charge to recover the additional expense of filling out numerous questionnaires, so I am asking you to accept the documents submitted herewith as establishing the acceptability of (Supplier name withheld) Quality Management System.

Yours truly,


Director, Quality Assurance

Customer supplied the following packet of documents proceeded by the cover letter you just read.

  • 1st page of my 2 page 'supplier assessment questionnaire - which provided tie-in of supplier company name and other basic info.

  • Current copy of supplier's certificate of approval to ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100 Rev.B with Certificate Expiry of January 31, 2006.

  • Current copy of supplier's FAR Part 145 Air Agency Certificate with Operations Specifications (which includes: Ratings and Limitations, Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program).

  • And Current copy of suppliers EASA Part 145 Approval Certificate.

I empathize with this supplier since one of my many duties is response actions regarding both customer and supplier questionnaires. I also offer my :applause: .

Reduction of redundant oversight is one of my personal passions. I provide my customers with easy Internet access on my company's website to all related certifications, documents, and related quality information as necessary to satisfy regulatory and standard requirements. They can easily view/print what they need to satisfy basic supplier file requirements. Of course I do respond with a personalized letter (ground - email - fax) as appropriate to each case, and provide them with easy instruction to access these pdf files on our website.

Additionally, I always emphasize the fact that if they have any further need of assistance or clarification, I am most willing to help in any way possible.

About 97% of my customers are happy with the self-serve process regarding access to my certificates and other related documentation. The remaining 3% of my customers who need specialized accommodations get it.

When one of my purchasers seeks approval of a new (potential) supplier I am willing to spend my own printer ink and paper if their certs and docs are posted on the web and appear to be current and in order. Based upon PROOF of CERTIFICATION or NOT, determines level of involvement on my part toward customer OVERSIGHT of the supplier.

What's your take on 'Reduction of Redundant Oversight'?

How do you handle customer/supplier/sub-contractor (desktop) assessment questionnaires?
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Most alert companies have a provision on the first page of a Supplier Quality Questionnaire which says something to the effect:

"If your organization is independently certified to an International Standard by an accredited Registrar, please give the details here and return the documents to us. You do not need to complete the rest of the questionnaire.

"If your organization has a formal approval from one or more OEM or Tier One (aerospace, medical, automotive) organizations, please give the details here and return the documents to us. You do not need to complete the rest of the questionnaire."

Makes sense to me.

This is especially true when the supplier is providing "off-the-shelf" items. If it's a customer supplier, however, redundancy be da*ned. I want to know my own answers and I doubt they would be satisfied by a supplier-completed questionnaire or what anyone else thinks, least of all one of my competitors.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Leader
Admin
Correlation between the seasons and oversight.

I can attest that this is an issue that has the attention of the AAQG member companies. They are comitted to reduce redundant oversight. The OASIS database assists with providing real time, on-line access to supplier status and performance in their assessments. But the key word here is REDUNDANT. Customers obviously have the right to perform oversight assessments whenever they want. But, in theory, aerospace customers are comitted to avoid QMS assessments and focus on product and process checks.

So, it is important that suppliers understand that, just because they have an accredited QMS certification and/or Regulatory blessing, it does NOT mean that customers will stop showing up. However, they should shift the focus of their audits, as mentioned above.

On a lighter note, it is a well known fact for suppliers located in moderate climates, such as California, Florida, etc, that customer oversight activities tend to increase during the winter time. When it is darn cold up north....:rolleyes:
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
Sidney Vianna said:
On a lighter note, it is a well known fact for suppliers located in moderate climates, such as California, Florida, etc, that customer oversight activities tend to increase during the winter time. When it is darn cold up north....:rolleyes:
Note, too, the audit seems to require some Friday time so the auditor can hang around for the weekend on his own without having to return to work. I used to have my wife fly out and join me Thursday night, then wait in the rental car in the parking lot while I made a last minute "wrap up call on the supplier" early Friday, then off to sun and fun for the weekend.

Same gambit worked for calls on customers, too.
 
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D

Don Palmer

Wes Bucey said:
Most alert companies have a provision on the first page of a Supplier Quality Questionnaire which says something to the effect:

"If your organization is independently certified to an International Standard by an accredited Registrar, please give the details here and return the documents to us. You do not need to complete the rest of the questionnaire.

"If your organization has a formal approval from one or more OEM or Tier One (aerospace, medical, automotive) organizations, please give the details here and return the documents to us. You do not need to complete the rest of the questionnaire."


Makes sense to me.

This is especially true when the supplier is providing "off-the-shelf" items. If it's a customer supplier, however, redundancy be da*ned. I want to know my own answers and I doubt they would be satisfied by a supplier-completed questionnaire or what anyone else thinks, least of all one of my competitors.

Wes, your post is appropriate and well received. Of course you already know that. Everyday I become more determined to be ‘on the ball’. After all, that’s how we hit ‘em out of the park. Right! :agree1:


Sidney Vianna said:
Correlation between the seasons and oversight.

I can attest that this is an issue that has the attention of the AAQG member companies. They are committed to reduce redundant oversight. The OASIS database assists with providing real time, on-line access to supplier status and performance in their assessments. But the key word here is REDUNDANT. Customers obviously have the right to perform oversight assessments whenever they want. But, in theory, aerospace customers are committed to avoid QMS assessments and focus on product and process checks.

So, it is important that suppliers understand that, just because they have an accredited QMS certification and/or Regulatory blessing, it does NOT mean that customers will stop showing up. However, they should shift the focus of their audits, as mentioned above.

On a lighter note, it is a well known fact for suppliers located in moderate climates, such as California, Florida, etc, that customer oversight activities tend to increase during the winter time. When it is darn cold up north....:rolleyes:

Sidney, Your line of reasoning is solid. :thanks:

Hmm! I’m going to Southern Florida for a week beginning June 12th. I thought something was muddled when plans were made. :eek:
 
D

Don Palmer

Sidney,

I've been catching up on my reading here within the AS9100 FORUM and found the link to an article you wrote for Quality Digest . The article was most helpful in further understanding your recent response.

Thanks! :agree1:

Sidney Vianna said:
I can attest that this is an issue that has the attention of the AAQG member companies. They are committed to reduce redundant oversight. The OASIS database assists with providing real time, on-line access to supplier status and performance in their assessments. But the key word here is REDUNDANT. Customers obviously have the right to perform oversight assessments whenever they want. But, in theory, aerospace customers are committed to avoid QMS assessments and focus on product and process checks.

So, it is important that suppliers understand that, just because they have an accredited QMS certification and/or Regulatory blessing, it does NOT mean that customers will stop showing up. However, they should shift the focus of their audits, as mentioned above.

On a lighter note, it is a well known fact for suppliers located in moderate climates, such as California, Florida, etc, that customer oversight activities tend to increase during the winter time. When it is darn cold up north....:rolleyes:
 
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