My supplier surveys services

Supplier surveys (also called vendor surveys or supplier assessments) are carried out when a client wishes to ensure that a supplier has the necessary facilities, equipment, processes and human resources in place to develop and provide the products or services the client needs.

Pre-award surveys are commonly performed to verify that a supplier or subcontractor has the necessary capabilities and control systems before any substantial contract is awarded or orders placed. Compliance surveys may be performed on an ongoing, periodic basis to verify that a supplier takes steps to maintain the required capability and continues to operate suitable monitoring and control systems. Supplier surveys are a valuable source of information in the vendor selection and ongoing evaluation process.

Supplier surveys normally include some assessment of the supplier’s quality management system, and in that respect have features in common with quality system audits; but often the scope is wider and is concerned with verifying that suppliers can meet contractual as well as quality requirements, such as may be stipulated in specifications and purchasing documents. Surveys may seek to check information that the supplier has already provided to the client, perhaps in response to a questionnaire or Request for Proposal.

What I will do for you

I will carry out a survey in accordance with any specific instructions you provide, but typically I will

  • examine the supplier’s contract review process to determine the rigour with which the supplier assesses its ability to meet the obligations of contracts or orders before accepting them;
  • investigate the supplier’s heritage and past experience of developing and delivering similar products to those sought by the client;
  • review the supplier’s design facilities and the education, training and experience of design personnel;
  • examine the production planning, control and capacity management measures that the supplier has in place;
  • determine which are the key vendors and subcontractors used by the supplier, and the purchasing controls it exercises over them;
  • review the supplier’s storage areas, production facilities, conditions, equipment and support activities (production engineering, laboratories, etc.);
  • verify the status of any product approvals or quality system certifications claimed by the supplier, and review the quality system it operates;
  • assess the measures and methods in place for staff training and development, and the nature of the records kept.

Overall, I will seek to confirm whether the supplier has the technical resources, process capability and production capacity to satisfy your potential or ongoing requirements.

I will prepare a report for you using your own forms or report format if available; otherwise I will provide a report to you in my own style and covering the agreed survey subjects.