Maintaining supplier relationships has become more critical than ever. Though an organization depends on suppliers for the production, it doesn’t mean that all the flaws in the supplier processes should be ignored. There should be stringent processes to manage supplier quality while fostering a culture of continuous improvement for mutual benefit.
One of the best ways to ensure supplier quality is by conducting regular audits.
How Do Auditing Suppliers Help?
It’s not the supplier who pays the cost of poor quality delivered to the customer, it’s you and your brand. Moreover, the loss is not limited to money. It may spoil the reputation since a negative review catches attention more than a positive one.
Conducting regular audits may help you prevent such incidences. There are some more benefits of conducting audits on a regular basis including:
Cost savings is the one to top the list of benefits since every manufacturer looks forward to reducing the cost of quality. It can only happen when you lower the risks and product rework. And, audits are the best way to mitigate operational risks and recalls.
Auditing helps you ensure that your suppliers are complying to SLAs, taking appropriate corrective and preventive actions against recurring problems, and making a proactive approach for potential issues to save time and costs in the future.
Keep your audit management system and supplier quality management system in synchronization to avoid any unnecessary overhead expenses due to supplier mistakes or failures.
Having a robust audit management system helps you ensure that all your suppliers are following regulatory standards since every supplier who promises the quality may not practice it in real. Auditing helps you understand the actual proposition of what they say and what they deliver.
Regulatory standards are getting stringent of all the time considering the customers’ demand for quality. This is why; it has become even more important to audit your suppliers based on the changes introduced. Regular audits help to ensure that your organization believes in standardization.
Hence, if a particular component is defined with weight and power dimensions to fit in a product, it should be followed precisely without any assumptions to avoid any quality issues.
If you don’t follow a regular auditing process, you won’t be able to know that you are receiving the products with consistent quality without compromising the industry standards. This also weakens your vision towards continuous improvement.
You must have a supplier quality management system that allows you to keep a check on supplier’s performance as per industry best practices and maintain the continuous quality improvement cycle.
Auditing also helps you to strengthen your relationship with your suppliers. You can also get amazing opportunities for better partnerships that may offer you fair price and knowledge-sharing.
Now that you know the benefits you can leverage by auditing your supplier performance, you must take a step forward to integrate a robust supplier quality management solution in your quality management system.
With every process so streamlined, you can avoid many cost-extensive experiences including production downtime, delays to market, and most importantly failing customer expectations.
However, implementing audit processes brings along one more responsibility for you i.e. audit follow-up. You can use an advanced audit management solution like Qualityze, to help you with end-to-end audit lifecycle from planning till execution and follow-up. Such software also enables you to schedule the audits and their follow-ups in advance to ensure consistency of processes even if you are not physically available.
Investing in an advanced solution may sound like a huge investment, but this will surely be the one-time investment that will boost your organizational productivity and efficiency.
Features to Look for in a Supplier Quality Management System
Here are some features that you should look for while investing in a supplier quality management solution to complement your quality management system:
- Centralized Supplier Database
To track all your quality supplier records in a validated system with a detailed audit trail for a regulatory environment.
- Supplier Risk Assessment
To assess the risks associated with a supplier for better decision making when it comes to supplier selection. It is calculated based on active parts in the supplier profile.
- Electronic or Digital Signature
To include an electronic signature for every action and decisions performed. It generally includes the name of the signatory, the date and time of signature execution.
- Outlook Email Approval
To enable the approver to approve the application without having to sign in. He/she can simply reply with words like ‘APPROVE’, ‘APPROVED’, ‘REJECT’, or ‘REJECTED’, as a response.
To record supplier life cycle. Every Supplier record has a timeline of an event which tells the user what happened when. In other words, a very high-level audit trail that allows the user to quickly understand the sequence of activities that occurred in the life cycle of a supplier record.
Always remember a quality product starts at selecting the right suppliers as they play a vital role in bringing your product to market. In today’s dynamic and competitive global marketplace, having an effective supplier management process that identifies suppliers that can help you to meet your quality standards is a critical strategic necessity.
Additionally, your supplier quality management solution should enable you to:
- Track and Manage Supplier Qualification Process
- Maintain Supplier Records
- Manage Approved Supplier List (ASL)
- Prepare and Share Scorecard
Bottom Line : You must not ignore supplier audits!
Supplier audits can help you identify many improvement opportunities for your organization. It helps you maintain the reputation, win new customers, and ultimately take your business revenue to a level higher. Make sure you regularly perform the supplier audits to ensure compliance while monitoring the supplier performance. You will tend to receive excellent support from the suppliers associated with you.
One of the most recommended solutions is Qualityze Supplier Quality Management Solution. It is a perfect fit for all the organizations who don’t want to miss improvement opportunities due to supplier failures. Most importantly, the organizations that believe in associating with suppliers for mutual benefit, which is much more than money.