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How to Perform a Supplier Evaluation?

The supplier evaluation is an uncommon practice in companies that do not have a quality management system implemented, it is often believed unnecessary, but the ISO 9001 Standard has very specific reasons for having it as a requirement, even from the selection of suppliers .

Next I’m going to show you fundamental aspects about a supplier performance evaluation, the benefits and I will tell you how you should carry it out.

Why to Perform a Supplier Evaluation?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, sometimes the purchasing department does not consider it necessary to carry out a supplier evaluation but you must remember that suppliers are a fundamental part for your company to function in the correct way and meet customer satisfaction. which is the fundamental principle of the ISO 9001 Standard.

When a supplier does not meet delivery times or provides you with a defective product, your production times and processes will be negatively affected, diminishing competitiveness and customer satisfaction, which is what you least want in a Quality Management System.

When the purchasing department begins to measure the performance of suppliers in a systematic way, they will be able to be aware of whether the supplier is actually providing a good service and / or product or not.

Which Suppliers to Evaluate?

The ISO 9001 Norm will never give many details about how to comply with the requirements and this will not be the exception, it only requires an evaluation of suppliers and it could be understood that all suppliers should be considered.

Although it wouldn’t hurt to carry out an evaluation of all suppliers, I would recommend that you include, at least initially, only suppliers that directly influence your production processes of your Quality Management System and therefore in the satisfaction of your clients.

For example, if your company is a manufacturing company, do not include your suppliers of stationery and office supplies, which, although they are necessary, do not directly influence the quality of the products that are manufactured.

What criteria to evaluate?

Once again, you are free to choose the concepts that you need to evaluate according to the needs and policies of your Quality Management System and the supplier you are evaluating, always take care that the result is numerical so the result is measurable.

I give you a list of examples that you can take as a reference:

FormalityCompliance with agreements and delivery times.
Delivery Time How long does the delivery of the product or service take place.
PriceIf it has been maintained in recent months or has increased or decreased.
Product QualityRejections or complaints according to the products or services provided.

Keep in mind that this evaluation can be done directly at the supplier’s facilities, in case you require more information or the concepts you want to evaluate can only be verified by this means.

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How often to perform the supplier evaluation?

The frequency should be defined according to the impact that each supplier has on the production processes of your company and on your Quality Management System, being at least once a year, it is recommended in an initial implementation to set a frequency for everyone and According to the results you can establish different frequencies for each supplier.

You can establish a general evaluation every 6 months and for the most important suppliers do it every 3 months and modify it according to the improvements you make to the process.

💡 You may be interested in: The importance of Internal Audit 

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You must have these evaluations very well documented and all the corrective actions that are taken when the goals are not achieved, the use of specialized software can help you maintain adequate control as required by Management Systems as in the ISO 9001 Standard.

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