Evaluating and selecting external suppliers is an important task for any organisation, one which can determine the success and effectiveness of numerous activities. Supplier evaluation forms part of the latest version of ISO 9001, published in 2015, and should be implemented by all organisations making use of this standard.
When your company intends to employ a supplier, it’s important to evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to meet your requirements. The correct selection, evaluation and qualification of suitable suppliers is an important competitive factor, which can affect how your company does business.
Why should you evaluate and assess your suppliers?
ISO 9001:2015 has established a requirement for organisations to establish criteria to assess, evaluate and re-evaluate its suppliers. The supplier criteria themselves are to be set by the individual organisation as it sees fit.
When establishing the criteria for supplier evaluation, organisations should be cognizant of:
- Quality and lead time
- Risk potential
- Innovation potential
- Complaints rate
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ISO 9001:2015 recommends that the evaluation of suppliers be conducted periodically, in order to establish an ongoing control process over the external provider. This ensures that the organisation can manage processes and foresee events that have the potential to become nonconformities or quality problems. In general, this should be performed once a year, but there are cases of purchased products that require a more frequent control, depending on the risk and effect associated with the product.
According to ISO 9001, external providers should l be approved based on their abilities to deliver products or services in accordance with predefined requirements. The approval will be given upon an evaluation. An effective and objective evaluation considers the significant parameters regarding the purchased product.
How to perform evaluations:
If your organisation needs to evaluate multiple suppliers, it is important to do so in an equal and fair fashion. This requires to creation of a formal scorecard with which to assess suppliers so that they are marked on an equal footing. Once guidelines and parameters have been established, it is also necessary to identify what the process should be if suppliers fall short of the established standard.
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