Manufacturers risk receiving inconsistent, poor-quality products from their suppliers if they don’t have visibility into their operations and quality management system (QMS). Manufacturers risk receiving inconsistent, low-quality products from their suppliers if they don’t have visibility into their operations and quality management system (QMS).
The median supplier fault rate is more than double that of the rest of the population for manufacturers with inadequate visibility into supplier performance. Supplier auditing is critical for firms that want to know if their suppliers’ products and processes meet a set of quality standards. Professional supplier auditors are hired to conduct the audit sessions. These sessions are mostly longer, often happening over 2-3 days.
When Is It Appropriate to Conduct a Supplier Audit?
The duration of an audit is determined by the purpose of the audit. It can be required by the QMS if the provider isn’t functioning adequately. Supplier audits are also necessary in case there is a new supplier your company is dealing with and there is little performance data available, or if the supplier is crucial to the supply chain’s reliability and the organization’s success.
Essential Areas To Focus On While Undergoing Supplier Auditing
The breadth and complexity of a supplier audit might vary based on the product or process. Supplier auditors implement different procedures and concepts while conducting the audit session for an organization. The procedures may vary from one organization to another, depending on the complexity of the project.
Deep Research During The Pre-auditing Phase
Conduct preliminary research before the audit. Assess both parties’ expectations and obligations as outlined in the quality agreement before stepping foot on the audit site. Then, you need to develop a checklist based on the priority of each item (or area), component, or service provided to be reviewed during the time of auditing. The pre-audit research phase is crucial. This is carried out in-house between the management and officers.
Learn And Review The Reputation Of The Supplier Through Trusted Sources
Look into the reputation of the supplier on the web. Check the supplier’s web presence in comparison to the standard audit preparation activities. Check out the supplier’s website and social media profiles, as well as review sites such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports. What are the opinions of other consumers and users about the business and its services? Also, look up information on the FDA’s website about suppliers’ adherence to CGMP requirements, such as if they’ve received an FDA legal notice, an import alert, or a recall.
The Vendor Outsourcing Scenario
Determine whether or not a vendor outsources. Before the supplier auditors visit your company, it’s critical that you know whether a supplier outsources elements of its business and that you verify that the vendor has quality agreements in place with its vendors. If the supplier refuses, request to see the supplier’s incoming inspection of subcontracted materials, as well as any other evidence that demonstrates the vendor is holding its suppliers to quality standards and obtaining quality things.
Maintain The Audit’s Timeliness
It could be a purposeful attempt to hide quality flaws if a supplier is imprecise during an assessment or refuses to provide specific quality-related papers. The supplier may be steering the audit team down specific roads throughout the tour to divert attention away from process issues like non-conformances, deviations, or failed batches. While reviewing processes and paperwork is vital during an audit, it’s also critical to actively listen carefully to the supplier, interpret and understand situations, and keep focused on meeting objectives.
Take Feedback From The Clients Very Seriously
Don’t take feedback from customers for granted. Customer complaints are not to be taken lightly. They are a vital source of information regarding the quality and performance of products in real-world situations, which is why it is critical to capture and investigate issues received through this channel. Look for patterns to see if other customers have had similar concerns about the goods you’re buying now, including the supplier’s entire product line outside of your current purchases. If evidence from consumer complaints suggests that there is a problem with the supplier, it will be discovered through the paperwork.
The Necessity Of Supplier Audit Sessions
Risk increases as a company’s supply chain expand. With each new supplier, the risk of bad performance increases. An effective supplier audit will discover, fix, and avoid complications in a supplier’s product quality or procedures before they spread, ensuring that the supplier meets quality requirements consistently.
Supplier auditors assess the situation and hence, play an integral role in helping companies improve their supplier relationship and overall performance. These auditors use effective techniques to assess a supplier’s quality and the risk it poses to the organization. These audit sessions help companies enhance their overall quality by ensuring that their product quality, as well as the delivery standard of the suppliers, remains high.