Scope of QMS for Distributor VS. Manufacturer

Douglas E. Purdy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
I am trying to ferret out the scope of a Quality Management System where some business units are manufacturing and some are distributors only. For the distributor (non-manufacturer) who just sell items that other people make, would it be considered a "good practice" (8.2.4 - Monitoring & Measurement of Product) to only verify product via the supplier part number (identified in the catalog and PO)?

Is there any good reading on Best Practices for Distributors?

Thanks!
Doug
 
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RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Hmmm...I think this could partially apply to my company. While we manufacture and distribute our own product, we purchase and distribute sister mill material, as well.

For us, best practice is measured via warehouse/shipping items such as:

  • Delivery performance (ontime?)
  • Truck turnaround time (scale in to scale out)
  • Service complaints (relating to sister material only)
  • Quality complaints (relating to sister material only)
  • Carrier ratings and evaluations

We have located the benchmarks within our own practices, sister mills, and some from competitors...all with the intent to raise our own practices in our attempt to become World Class.
 

Douglas E. Purdy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
What about Monitoring & Measurement of Product?

RCBeyette,

Thanks for the Best Practices in monitoring processes and/or establishing Quality Objectives, how about Monitoring the Product that you are selling?

Doug
 

bpritts

Involved - Posts
#4
Doug,

We have some experience in this area with a number of clients who distribute
auto parts, as well as our own consulting and training company which
distributes (third party produced) educational materials.

Our only verification of product in these situations is based on:

1. Verification of part number as labeled to the part number ordered (for
incoming receipt) or per customer shipper (for final inspection of orders.)

2. Visual inspection of the package for handling damage; if found, we
would either open the package to visually inspect the part, or file
a damage claim with the shipper.

This has been fully acceptable to many ISO auditors.

Meanwhile, I can't think of a reference that's specific to distributors, but
I would recommend the book ISO 9000 Implementation for Small Business
by James Lamprecht. This book does a nice job of showing how to
interpret the standard in different small business environments, including
service businesses. His primary case study is a dry cleaning business.

Alas, the edition I have is based on I9000:1994. Don't know if it's been
updated. ASQ publishes it.

Regards,

Brad
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#5
Douglas E. Purdy said:
RCBeyette,

Thanks for the Best Practices in monitoring processes and/or establishing Quality Objectives, how about Monitoring the Product that you are selling?

Doug
Again, we use Key Indicators, as well statistical techniques in various software programmes developed for our industry.

Examples of performance measures for monitoring/measuring the product for us are:

  • % Seconds
  • % Rework
  • Billets Between Cobbles
  • Yield
  • Hot Metal Losses
  • Quality complaints
  • Service-Mill complaints
  • CpK
  • Utilization
  • Delays (could be indicative of poor raw materials)
  • And so on...

Activities that help us in these numbers include:

  • Inspection of raw materials upon receipt (100% inspection - surface inspection upon arrival as driving across scale, safety inspection when dumping to ensure no infractions of raw material specifications)
  • Inspection of alloys via paperwork (e.g. CoA)
  • Training to ensure product losses are kept to a minimum
  • Communication to quickly address and resolve Customer Complaints
  • Etc.

It's really up to your organization to determine what measures you feel are vital to measuring/monitoring your processes and product in your efforts to maintain good practices. You know your industry. You know your bad points and your plus points. You know where to focus. Form a team and determine what works best for you.
 
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