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How to Increase the Value of Your Supplier Audits

July 13, 2020 by Angelo Scangas

Every audit is an opportunity for improvement

A manufacturer’s ability to maintain high-quality products and regulatory compliance depends largely on its suppliers’ own quality-related activities. Supplier audits can be an important tool for manufacturing organizations to ensure their suppliers are consistently delivering high-quality parts, materials, components, or ingredients for their finished products. Leveraged correctly, supplier audits can identify, address, and prevent problems in a supplier’s product quality or processes before the problems spread.

When to conduct a supplier audit

The audit process and timing varies depending on its purpose and who’s conducting it, but for life sciences manufacturers, there are generally three instances when a supplier audit is called for, no matter the company or industry:

  • When you have a new supplier without enough performance information available. If your organization is working with a new supplier and there isn’t historical data to evaluate risk—in terms of quality, delivery, or service, all different aspects of supplier performance—that supplier would automatically fall into the high-risk category that should require a supplier audit.
  • When an existing supplier isn’t performing well and you want to help it improve. This may be an existing partner supplier whose product quality isn’t what it should be. A supplier audit is an opportunity to identify areas where a supplier can improve, so an audit is applicable if your organization is willing to participate in helping the supplier improve its quality and performance.
  • When a supplier is critical to supply-chain reliability and the organization. Preventive audits are necessary if a supplier is critical to your organization. For example, the supplier is highly regulated and would be shut down by a failure of its regulatory system. Even if the critical supplier is performing well, the high risk and criticality of the supplier to your organization means you must continuously monitor its systems and processes.

Read the full article here: How to Increase the Value of Your Supplier Audits