Supplier audit

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Supplier audits , also known as customer audits , are a special type of audit ( quality audit , product audit , hygiene audit , environmental audit , ethical audit , integrated audit, etc.) of certain parts or the entire management system of an organization (company, producer, service provider).

The customer or an auditor commissioned by the customer examines and evaluates the organizational and, if necessary, technical performance of his supplier. In doing so, current services of the supplier are first determined using an actual basis and compared with the target status contractually agreed between both parties. In this audit, all improvements to the management system, personnel and technical equipment that are required in the customer's opinion are recorded. The supplier is then requested to carry out the necessary measures to optimize quality management within a fixed time frame. With these measures, the customer wants to ensure that the products purchased from the supplier (supplied parts, services, etc.) are provided by the supplier to a consistently high standard. The audit can also focus on individual technical or organizational areas of the supplier, with the aim of e.g. B. to improve trust, environmental friendliness, traceability , purchasing of raw materials, manufacturing tolerance , sensitivity to customer expectations, logistics or hygiene. In business-to-business business, it is common for discerning customers to qualify potential suppliers by means of a supplier audit before placing an order. Orders are only placed after the corrective measures have been verified by the supplier. The customer strives for positive, continuous supplier development ( continuous improvement process ) through supplier audits in order to optimize the quality and efficiency of his own processes and products through consistently good performance by the supplier. In addition, the supplier audits are repeated at regular intervals in order to lead the supplier to a constant further development of his management system and his services. The strived for improvement of the relationships between customers and suppliers has become an essential success factor in the management-oriented " Kaizen ".

The results of customer audits can be a key factor in the customer's assessment of a supplier .

Implementation along the supply chain

Incidents in the textile industry such as building collapse in Savar Upazila has called (2013), the more than 1,000 lives, the role of audits along have supply chain (supply chain) rather than just the immediate suppliers moved (Tier 1 supplier) to the fore . Supply chain management approaches are therefore increasingly taken into account in the audit. Wieland and Handfield (2013) propose an audit of management systems, products and suppliers for this purpose; In particular, auditing must also include suppliers to suppliers.

Difference to certification audits

Supplier audits are not to be confused with certification audits by certification companies such as DQS or Germanischer Lloyd , with the aim of obtaining a certificate for the quality management system (ISO 9001) or another set of rules ( IFS , SA 8000 , BRC , Sedex, etc.).

Individual evidence

  1. Masaaki Imai: Kaizen - The key to the success of the Japanese in competition , Wirtschaftsverlag Langen Müller, Herbig, 8th edition (1986), pp. 252-257, ISBN 3-7844-7287-7 .
  2. Andreas Wieland and Robert B. Handfield (2013): The Socially Responsible Supply Chain: An Imperative for Global Corporations Supply Chain Management Review, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 22-29.