Next Level Purchasing - Helping Purchasers Become Indispensable
Home   |   Contact Us   |   Email This Article To A Friend
Photograph of Charles Dominick, SPSM This is the Web-based version of this article. Click here for the printer-friendly version.
  * More Purchasing Articles

Supplier Quality Audit Basics


PurchTips - Edition #150

By Charles Dominick, SPSM

 

What Should You Do On A Supplier Quality Audit?

For important purchases, ensuring acceptable supplier quality is critical. Performing a supplier quality audit is one step in ensuring the selection of a capable supplier.

A supplier quality audit is more than just walking a supplier's shop floor and looking around. You should leave a supplier quality audit with a greater understanding of at least the following items.

Quality Methodologies - Many quality methodologies are used today including Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma. Ask the about the methodology the supplier employs and how it's used.

Lot Determinations - Asq.org defines a lot as "a defined quantity of product accumulated under conditions considered uniform for sampling purposes." In quality recalls, good suppliers know exactly which lots were affected by the non-conforming material, ingredient, etc. So learn how the supplier tracks lots.

Tools - How is the supplier monitoring its quality? One common tool used is Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts. SPC identifies an acceptable range of quality measurements and then graphs actual measurements both between upper and lower limits of acceptability and outside those limits. Ask the supplier to show you how quality tools are used to monitor quality.

Improvements - Suppliers often use numbers to gauge their quality performance. Ask the supplier for a few years of reports with these metrics. Are the metrics getting better, worse, more static, or more erratic?

Team Empowerment - Experts agree that quality improves when line workers are empowered to watch for defects. Can the supplier's employees tell you what they do when a defect is discovered?

Sampling Arrangements - In mass production, not every unit made is inspected. How does the supplier choose the size and composition of inspected samples?

Inspection Process - How does the supplier inspect items before shipment? Is this inspection method similar to the way your company evaluates conformance?

(Keep reading for a FREE Offer)

Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

Are you tired of not getting enough opportunities, respect, and money out of your purchasing career? Well, guess what? Nothing will change unless you take action towards becoming a world-class purchasing professional.

You see, today's employers refuse to reward employees for yesterday's skills. They demand that purchasing professionals like you use the most modern skills and achieve unprecedented results. They want you to save more money, achieve better operational performance, and reduce risk.

Earning your Senior Professional in Supply Management® (SPSM) Certification is the action to take if you want to bring the most modern purchasing practices into your organization and achieve your career potential. Learn how to earn your SPSMŽ Certification (and perhaps get an iPod) at:

www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/spsm.html

The Latest Purchasing News!

FREE Offer!

Do you worry about not being able to keep up on the latest developments in purchasing? Then check out our FREE report "Staying Up To Date With Purchasing Using RSS!" This FREE report teaches you how to get the latest purchasing news, trends, and more brought right to you!

To get your FREE copy of "Staying Up To Date With Purchasing Using RSS," follow the instructions at www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/purchasing-trends.html www.NextLevelPurchasing.com/purchasing-trends.html .