Supplier made a Change without Notifying Us

J

Juliosalinas

#1
Hi,
This is my first question. One of our suppliers made some change on a product supplied to us. He never told us, as a consequence, we kept on rejecting their delivers. We now intent to put on the Purchase Order, a request of notification when they do intent to change the product.
On the other hand and on a different product that we supply to our customer, we are asked to have a procedure to notify any change we intent to do to a product supplied to this customer.
My question is: how should I proceed? should I create a procedure that cater for everything, PPAP and PCN applicable to our suppliers and us acting as suppliers? It must be evident that I am very confused. Can anybody clarify things for me. Thanks in advance for any response.:confused:
 
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Howard Atkins

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Admin
#2
This is IMO a matter of ensuring that you and your supplier have agreed terms.
You ordered X but in fact you got Y and correctly rejected this
How does the supplier explain this.
You do not need a procedure, this will not help anyone as the supplier does not see this.
Purchasing MUST ensure that the POs define clearly the conditions of purchase and that the supplier agrees to these basic terms
 
P

pldey42

#3
It will surely be easier to create two procedures.

One would be for your suppliers to notify you of their plans to change products they sell to you. It might specify notice period, details of planned change, etc. This procedure would guide you through evaluating the change, considering its impact upon your product, spares holdings, considering alternative suppliers and so on.

Another would be for when you plan to change your own product. It might include considerations of which customers are impacted, impact upon their products and spares holdings, impact upon their customers and maintenance of their products in the field, customer loyalty and retention, and so forth.

It might be that the two procedures have some elements in common. If so, they'll be easier to spot having first written them separately. Revisions in a continual improvement cycle could enable them to learn lessons each from the other. But trying to write them as one proc would be a false economy I think, for they are fundamentally different: one looks down the supply chain, the other looks up.

Hope this helps
Pat
 
A

amit_rd

#4
In my opinion, this is not a matter of new procedure. When you have given a PO to a supplier, in no circumstances can the supplier make changes in the product without informing you and the same applies to you as a supplier to your customer.

To indroduce changes, you may have a procedure that caters to both communication and implementation of changes (well planned changes) keeping both your supplier and customer in consideration.
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
All said and done, you as the customer must loudly and clearly make your supplier understand and make him aware that no changes can be made to your supplies without your prior information and approval. This can be as in your PO terms and conditions, or in a separate supplier quality agreement, duly attested by you and your supplier.
As an indication, the FDA 21 CFR 820 clearly states such a requirement. Off-course, this 21 CFR 820 concerns to medical devices GMP and does not apply to you, but can be a learning to implement, to avoid quality problems.
 
P

pldey42

#6
The original post says, "we kept on rejecting their delivers."

Sometimes, suppliers don't know what's important to clients and what's nice but not critical. If they think the delivery date and price matters more than anything, they'll sometimes be tempted to maintain the date and delivery promise by changing something they think doesn't matter - and if you don't tell them, but continue ordering from them despite rejecting deliveries, what are they to do?

So I'd suggest that maybe some thought should be given to maintaining cordial relationships; stern letters about contracts and POs may not be the best way of maintaining their goodwill. Plus, a note with any further rejections stating the reason for rejection and asking for their corrective action plan.

Just a thought,
Pat
 
P

PaulJSmith

#7
This happened to me at a previous employer. We bought a boat-load of one company's products to install in our instruments (pipe organs, in this case). Suddenly, we received a shipment of a different product ... similar, but different in overall dimensions and some performance specifications. When we asked why, they said they had discontinued the older style and replaced it with the new one. They never bothered to tell us in advance. We had one design in which the new part didn't fit. We discovered through a local rep that we were, in fact, the largest reseller of that particular product in North America. We apparently had more influence than we knew, and used it to resolve the problem. They never did that to us again, even though they are the proverbial 800-lb gorilla in their industry.

Bottom line; let your supplier know that this is unacceptable, especially if they are not the only option. Be clear about your expectations from them. If they want your business, they'll listen and respond.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#8
On the issue of having requirements in your P.O., and having agreements with your supplier? Both are well and good, but the P.O. will see more visibility in the process, and is the most reliable method. The agreement is not without value, but usually more people see and understand the P.O., the separate agreement may be known to fewer persons in the organization.

I now read all purchase orders and terms/conditions. Some interesting loophole language is used. I saw a source control drawing that stated that the only thing that could modify the requirements of the source control drawing was language on the P.O. - all other agreements were overridden by the P.O.
 
B

bluepagen

#9
Did your PO state a revision Level? Was the revision on the part changed? Even if the OEM changed the product to imporve it, the drawing for the part should have a revision change. Ordering the previous revision of the part may be a way to go.
This definitely will involve communication with the supplier. Good Luck.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#10
This happened to me at a previous employer. We bought a boat-load of one company's products to install in our instruments (pipe organs, in this case). Suddenly, we received a shipment of a different product ... similar, but different in overall dimensions and some performance specifications. When we asked why, they said they had discontinued the older style and replaced it with the new one. They never bothered to tell us in advance. We had one design in which the new part didn't fit. We discovered through a local rep that we were, in fact, the largest reseller of that particular product in North America. We apparently had more influence than we knew, and used it to resolve the problem. They never did that to us again, even though they are the proverbial 800-lb gorilla in their industry.

Bottom line; let your supplier know that this is unacceptable, especially if they are not the only option. Be clear about your expectations from them. If they want your business, they'll listen and respond.
I have NO intention of being snarky in this comment, but this would have been a no brainer if everyone in the supply chain had been inculcated with Deming's concept of a SoPK (System of Profound Knowledge) and both supplier and customer (the distributor - your organization) would have been more alert to the true relationship between these two links in the supply chain and and both links would have been looking for ways to foster the happiness and welfare of each other as well as to other links up and down the supply chain.
 
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