As a company, you have to decide which suppliers fulfil your acquisition standards and to which criteria they have to follow. This process is an important and extensive part of supplier relationship management since it takes place before the very first delivery. The supplier approval can be part of the strategic approval and later used as basis for audits and evaluations. Approval and evaluation are also mandatory for some certifications such as the ISO 9001.
To improve your quality management and support your suppliers in their development, the supplier approval can be used to set together targets and development process to optimize production and the mutual business relationship.
In both cases, the approval can be based on supplier questionnaires. The different standards to match are directly asked through questionnaire and the answers compared with the expectations. If every criteria matches, the supplier will receive an approval for buying process.
This questionnaire can also be used as a basis for supplier evaluations and to determine the classification of the supplier according to its importance in the supply chain. During an audit, it can also be used as a basis to set targets and develop follow-up actions aiming to approve a supplier.
Supplier approval generally lies in the hands of purchasing departments responsible for the purchase of every product and service in a company. But when it comes to critical suppliers where quality plays an important role for production and supply processes, Quality management departments can be solicited in the approval process. In some cases, further departments such as logistic or environmental management can also be involved in the supplier approval process.
During the approval process, quality management will especially check the compliance to quality standards such as the presence of certifications and quality management systems attesting the quality of their product.
ISO 9001 does not limit a company’s ability to remove a supplier from the ASL. This is an internal decision based on the company’s established criteria. So there could be various reasons for removing a supplier from the ASL. Likewise, with changing a supplier’s status from pending, approved to not approved. As mentioned, ISO 9001, requires records of supplier evaluations to be maintained, and any actions taken as a result of the evaluation to be retained.
The a primary purpose of the ASL is to ensure the placement of purchase orders or contracts are limited to those suppliers that meet the company’s established criteria for supplier selection, evaluation, and re-evaluation. For this reason, Purchasing must be included in any changes made that may affect their use of the ASL.
Having an Approved Supplier Program in place minimises the risk of the following issues from your suppliers:
Inconsistent quality of raw materials
Inconsistent pricing of raw materials
Unreliable delivery of raw materials
Inconsistent information supplied to you, the customer
Unregistered, therefore may not be practicing basic food safety standards
Generally speaking, Purchasing is responsible for maintaining and updating the ASL, which includes ensuring the current status of suppliers of products and services are identified. The company’s internal audit process is typically used to assess Purchasing’s conformance with established criteria for supply chain management.
The primary purpose of the ASL is to ensure the placement of purchase orders or contracts are limited to those suppliers that meet the company’s established criteria for supplier selection, evaluation, and re-evaluation. It requires the organization to establish criteria for selection, evaluation, and re-evaluation of suppliers
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