Supplier refusing to be Audited

Great Scotch

Starting to get Involved
#11
We are a manufacturing company owned by a Group.

We are working with a second manufacturing company owned by the same Group, but who are separate to ours (though we do share a site)

The other company is currently supplying us with a product for our customer. I have treated them as any other supplier.

I requested they completed a Supplier Self Assessment form which they queried stating we were the same company. I explained that they are a major supplier on our project and thus are treated as every other supplier. They completed the form.

Following a customer visit, concerns were raised on how the quality inspections were being documented at this other company. It was not raised as an NC, just a concern. To help alleviate the customer's concerns I requested I carry out a supplier audit on this project. After initially agreeing, a 'bigwig' has refused to allow us to audit, stating it would not be productive

I have put a note on our key supplier list to this effect for future reference.

I am interested if others have had suppliers refuse to host an audit and what you have done about it

Thanks
I'm formerly a corporate SQE in the automotive industry for some of the biggest companies globally. so I can understand how you will feel.
ISO9001:2015 8.4 Control of externally provided processes products and services
requires you to apply control on anything that is sourced externally. This includes products produced for you by a subsidiary.
However, being subsidiaries, they get to enjoy certain degree of liberty compared to a supplier that has no relationship with your employer.
1. Check for the definitions governing the different type of suppliers.
Type A : External source of no relation to your employer
Type B : External source subsidiary to your employer but uses a different system and process eg. former competitor acquired by employer
Type C : External source subsidiary to your employer of the same system and processes eg. homogeneous top management but different division
These main categories of suppliers are managed differently to exploit resources. You don't want to waste the effort spent on a Type A on a Type C. Check this definition made in your company and if it is spelled out clearly, then simply apply it to both big wig managements. Otherwise suffer an NC during the next audit.

2. If such definitions are not defined, then you will have to work out a clear definition with your own management. Design a classification system and get your suppliers to agree to it otherwise, you can recommend a change in supplier, grade them lowly during the supplier evaluation by your procurement. An audit is not always necessary, they don't want extra work with loads of CAPA crushing on them.

3. Temporary solution while you carry out step 2 is to ask for a CoC from your recalcitrant 'internal' supplier, implement IQC on their goods strictly. Classify the NC into different classifications.
Class A : Safety, legal implication with Fit and Function issues
Class B : Fit and Function only
Class C : NC to PPAP without Fit and Function problem
Class D : No problem
Raise major NC if you find and demand 8D. If they refuse to comply citing productivity issue, then escalate this to your management. I am sure with evidence of major NC, your 'internal' supplier will have to yield as reason stands by you. Do it a few times and they will hate you but you inch closer to your objective.

Do these with a lot of EQ because you will tread on a lot of toes. As strong as you can be, the suppliers can also deploy the most stubborn CQE to counter you. Productivity must be paramount and harmonious peace be upheld. The politics in this game can burn both sides.
 

AliGuff

Starting to get Involved
#12
We did have a meeting and we did explain that it was just a project audit, not the whole company. Our customer raised concerns because nobody could show them quality documentation relating to the project. They have been putting barriers up at every point in this contract, not wanting us to visit the buildings etc.

I will get the information in the form of a quality pack, once the project is complete, but we wanted to ensure the processes were being done during the project rather than finding out at the end that they have not been done.

I don't agree that the "big wig", who was sales, should have got involved. I would be furious if one of our sales team told a customer that we wouldn't host an audit. Our CEO has been told and he is happy for us to go to another supplier, but I expect this will come back and bite us through company politics.
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#13
It seems to me that this complex relationship is being made worse because of the perception that an audit is necessary. May I ask what you hope to accomplish - the goal and or objective of performing such an audit? I'd ask, as an executive, what are the expected outcomes from the audit and how is it to be handled? Is it simply because it's part of your QMS procedure that says you have to audit? The "big wig" situation is a smoke screen, frankly. I would probably do the same if, as a management team I didn't know what the plan was...
 

qualprod

Trusted Information Resource
Trusted
#14
We are a manufacturing company owned by a Group.

We are working with a second manufacturing company owned by the same Group, but who are separate to ours (though we do share a site)

The other company is currently supplying us with a product for our customer. I have treated them as any other supplier.

I requested they completed a Supplier Self Assessment form which they queried stating we were the same company. I explained that they are a major supplier on our project and thus are treated as every other supplier. They completed the form.

Following a customer visit, concerns were raised on how the quality inspections were being documented at this other company. It was not raised as an NC, just a concern. To help alleviate the customer's concerns I requested I carry out a supplier audit on this project. After initially agreeing, a 'bigwig' has refused to allow us to audit, stating it would not be productive

I have put a note on our key supplier list to this effect for future reference.

I am interested if others have had suppliers refuse to host an audit and what you have done about it

Thanks
Easy,tell them if they aren't able to permit you an Audit, you will look another supplier, if they are really important and wait for the response.
If is negative and want to keep them and because is part of the same group, talk with the owner of the group and inform him/her about this point.
I'm sure you will have the solution.
Hope this helps
 

AndyN

A problem shared...
Staff member
Super Moderator
#15
My advice regarding changing suppliers is this: Be very careful! Unless your specification is EXACTLY representative of your needs, you run the risk of a (significant) learning curve - leading to rejections - with your new supplier.
 

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