Supplier Process Review and Issue Communication SOP/Form help wanted



Situation: Developing new, complex product with very high value. Specifications are immature and test methods are industry standard. No workmanship standards yet established. Supplier questions abound!

Question: Can anyone provide SOP/forms for how to best manage the situation to guide a customer and supplier through the process of how to manage the "back-and-forth" process needed to work through " is this bad or ok?" efforts that are needed to more fully develop the specifications while preserving the product traceability and potential for "Acceptance"

Similar but different are the typical Supplier Deviation Request procedures.


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We require customer signoffs on drawings in the early stages of development and whenever changes are made after product release. Fantasize about how you'd like it to work, then develop a form and a procedural document to support the form.

You are in the sweet spot to determine how it get's done from here on out. Don't pass up the opportunity.

Customer provides inputs to your company, you respond with specifications and/or a BOM. Any time one of you wants to change it (past the initial prototype / Sales blue-sky discussions, then it has to get documented and signed by both parties. Saves a load of trouble.

Regret that I've no specific forms to share that would streamline this for you.

Traceability can be as simple as date strings. Mutual non-disclosure agreements may be appropriate.

Test methods are "industry standard" ? A frank correspondence re test methodology, acceptance criteria and required records would be beneficial.

Apologies if this seems sophomoric and does not address your needs.
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First Time Right...

I am assuming you are the design owner. The best practices are always critical and complex and may consume some time. From my previous experience, this is how we managed both supplier and customer simultaneously. You can create an SOP how to manage change control for continuous improvement for a released product;

1. Start with revision control your drawing /specification
2. Once you receive a new requirement from the customer, verify, test and/or work with the supplier to see if this requirement is manufacturable/ feasible. If the answer is yes, update your drawing to a new revision. If you already have the supplier involved in the feasibility study, they are already aware of the change (Good thing). Send out the new drawing to supplier and disposition existing stock and existing order.
3. Receive the first article from the supplier and verify they meet new requirements. Once FAI is passed, release your drawing.

Always remember, a successful design can be created but may not be manufacturable without an input from the supplier.

hope this help.

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