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Supplier Auditing Services (Audit Needed?)

Pmarszal

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#1
We have a supplier that is on the other side of the world and were looking at different options to verify that the supplier’s controls are sufficient.

We initially though that we could have a virtual audit of the supplier but after a bit of research, many do not recommend this approach for critical suppliers.

Our second option is to hire a auditing service to audit the supplier which would most likely be more cost and time effective than having a individual from the company fly across the world.

My initial though is obviously the performance of a service that completes supplier audits and the main question. Will the auditing service be considered a critical supplier and we will have to audit them?

Would you be able to share your opinions and ideas on how to complete this task most efficiently and cost effective?

Thanks!
 
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Sidney Vianna

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#2
Is this an existing supplier? Or a new one? What kind of products are they involved with? According to your own words, this is a critical supplier. Any risk based thinking approach would tell you that you must have high degree of confidence in critical suppliers.

If you were to outsource the auditing of such critical supplier, what would be the criteria the auditing organization would use to assess such vendor? Yours? Theirs? A combination? Obviously you need to have confidence in an auditing organization if they are going to assess a critical supplier on your behalf; so, yes, the auditing organization would be deemed a critical supplier as well.

A reliable QMS supplier certificate could be a starting point in your journey to gain confidence in this supplier's capabilities. But an actual audit of the supplier should only be performed if it will help you gain confidence in this organization’s capabilities to consistently deliver conforming products to you. A supplier assessment should be perceived as an investment, not an expense.
 
Last edited:

Pmarszal

Involved In Discussions
#3
Sidney: Thanks for the quick response! It is very helpful to bounce off ideas and suggestions on this forum.

This is an existing supplier that was initially qualified using their own ISO TS 16949 and ISO 9001 audit report and certificates.

They manufacture and supply technical ceramics. The auditing criteria would be to assess if vendor controls are sufficient to ensure that our companies purchased product or service conforms to specified manufacturer requirements including quality requirements. So it would a combination, their procedures and standards as they apply to our product (if that makes sense).

We asses (desk audit) the supplier quality quarterly and a supplier SCAR was issued against them and company made a determination to do the site audit. I also understand it is an investment into the quality of our products and want to make the right call on the approach we take.

Any other suggestions or do you recommend internal auditors to visit the facility?
 

Sidney Vianna

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#4
We asses (desk audit) the supplier quality quarterly and a supplier SCAR was issued against them and company made a determination to do the site audit.
Thanks for the additional clarification.

From what I understand, this supplier audit would focus on potential corrective actions related to the issued SCAR. If the issue at hand is highly technical, it seems to me that it would be much better if your own representative(s) perform such audit.

Outsourcing a supplier audit like this with a very specific issue might not be useful, unless the auditor has a profound understanding of the technical issues at play.

Good luck.
 
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