What to focus on when conducting supplier audits?

What to Focus On When Conducting Supplier Audits

A supplier audit is essentially an examination of a supplier’s compliance with industry regulations. This includes things like health and safety as well as proper production procedures. A supplier audit covers a wide range of topics and practices. As a result, they are frequently tailored to the company’s needs. As a result, it may be tailored to each business, from food to electronics. 

It is essential to know about Supplier Audits. Due to the unique nature of audits, they can be performed by an organization’s internal staff or by a third-party organization, which is more typical. Audits should be performed every two years to ensure that the provider is up to par.

Supplier audits come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

In terms of how they are carried out, supplier audits can be divided into three categories. These are the types: 

  • Announced audits

This audit entails notifying suppliers ahead of time that an audit would be done. Before the inspection, both sides must agree on this, leaving adequate time for preparation. Although this method is practical, it may lack authenticity because problems can be hidden before the chosen date.

  • Unannounced audits: 

Unannounced audits occur when the date of the inspection is unknown. This is a popular inspection method since it provides insight into the on-site day-to-day operations and practices. 

  • Desktop audits: 

A desktop audit does not necessitate a site visit by an inspector. This, on the other hand, is mainly concerned with ensuring that the supplier’s documentation and certificates are current. These can include certifications such as ISO 9001, which verifies their quality management system to guarantee it meets the required and agreed-upon standards established by the organization in collaboration with suppliers and industry regulatory organizations.

  • Procedure for Auditing Suppliers

A Supplier audit is tailored to the organization’s needs; it may alter from inspection to inspection. However, there is a general guideline that is followed. A typical “announced audit” and the processes that follow are outlined below:

  1. Questionnaire and pre-inspection meeting for the audit

This entails gathering information on the provider and the processes and procedures in place. Allowing for the creation of a clear purpose and a list of objectives

  1. Choosing a team

A team will be formed to best suit the audit type. These employees will be picked based on their experience with this audit type to conduct the inspection properly.

  1. Suppliers are notified of the audit.

After a team is chosen, the supplier is notified in writing (with several months’ notice) to prepare. The following information is also included in written notifications:

  1. The audit’s objective
  2. Inspection dates and times
  3. Names and contact information for the auditors
  • Meeting to discuss the inspection ahead of time

This includes giving the auditors a quick introduction and finalizing any adjustments to the inspection schedule. Following the adjournment of the meeting, the auditors will examine the brief, utilizing a checklist based on the original aims and objectives.