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Supply Chain Auditing

In the modern, connected marketplace where external service providers and suppliers from all over the world are easily found via a quick Google search, many organisations are now outsourcing large parts of their business actions to such external providers without considering the systems that those organisations themselves may or may not have in place.

A mindset of “It’s worked fine so far, it will probably always be okay” or using a recommended or larger, well-renowned company is an easy one to fall into and assumptions that such providers will always be able to provide based on their previous performance can be a dangerous one. Many organisations using external services might not even consider how late deliveries, nonconforming or damaged products, or inability to provide the requested service, can have an impact on meeting customer requirements.

supply chain auditing

Organisations often have so many suppliers that it can be difficult to keep on top of their performance, never mind regularly auditing them to ensure they have the best procedures in place to continually provide what is expected of them.

Supply chain auditing should be an important part of your business actions and complement any other management system that you decide to use. In clause 8.4 Control of External Providers, ISO 9001 talks about an external provider (or supplier) which can be defined as: any entity that provides goods, materials, knowledge, parts, assemblies, printed materials, services, software, or finished goods that feature, or are incorporated into your business’s final product or service.
Such providers should be evaluated and controlled to ensure that their products and services conform to your business requirements.

Organisations are required to determine and apply criteria for the evaluation, selection, monitoring of performance, and re-evaluation of external providers.
These criteria may include management systems based requirements such as conformance to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001, project and contractual requirements, or competence to provide specific products or services.

While such supply chain auditing can be time-consuming, it has the benefit of ensuring that all the internal controls that you have in place are not then being undermined by a weak link in the chain. This in itself can be hugely beneficial for demonstrating your own robustness to potential new clients, mitigating risks that can lead to loss of revenue by identifying potential issues and monitoring performance against service level agreements, and ensuring continuous improvement of your organisation and suppliers.

Vassallo Associates has the experience and expertise to undertake your supply chain audits, giving you an objective analysis of your external providers and ways to improve and optimise your relationship with them. Whether you are looking to start auditing your suppliers or are unable to maintain your current schedule, contact us today for a free no-obligation discussion of how we can help you.