Logistics & Energy is involved in purchasing and sourcing of of services and products in different sectors. Our focus is always a process based on the ISO 19001 purchasing standards requirement
Our Purchasing procedures under ISO 9001 ensure that purchased materials meet the requirements of the purchaser and the final customers. Companies apply ISO 9001 to their purchasing to minimize problems with their products and services. By applying ISO 9001 principles to their purchasing program, small businesses can reduce waste and improve customer service. When applied consistently, purchasing according to ISO 9001 standards should result in continuous improvement in company operations.
The first step for any quality assurance process in purchasing is to use the company organization chart to assign tasks and responsibilities via job descriptions. ISO 9001 specifically requires companies to appoint a person responsible for quality assurance who has a direct reporting path to a top company executive. This employee is responsible for quality matters and coordinates the other functions where they impact quality. Purchasing procedures detail who is responsible for the technical specifications, cost authorizations, issuance of purchase orders and verification of received material.
Purchasing procedures require documentation that ensures the purchased material corresponds to the technical specification and budgeted cost. Procedures typically specify that the purchase order refer back to the relevant parts of the technical specification and require that the purchaser check the current estimates before placing an order, making sure the amounts are within budget. Purchasing procedures that comply with ISO 9001 also specify that the company can only purchase from suppliers qualified for the items on the purchase order.
To purchase only from qualified suppliers, ISO 9001 specifies that companies maintain lists of approved suppliers for each product they purchase regularly. The company must audit these suppliers for compliance with quality assurance standards. For special orders, the company must identify potential suppliers and audit them to find out if they qualify. To audit a supplier, a company can rely on third-party certification that a supplier is complying with the required quality standards. In this case, the audit consists of verifying the certification. For non-certified suppliers, a company can require that the supplier become certified. Alternatively, the company can conduct its own audit to determine whether a supplier adheres to the required quality standards. The purchasing procedures must specify who is responsible for maintaining a list of qualified suppliers and how suppliers can qualify.
Once the company receives the material it purchased, it must verify that the supply is in accordance with the purchase order. Purchasing procedures detail who is responsible for carrying out the verification and the tasks they have to carry out. Typically, purchasing procedures in accordance with ISO 9001 require a verification that the material corresponds to the technical specifications, as referenced in the purchase order.
Sometimes even qualified suppliers ship the wrong material or defective material. The material inspection identifies such problems and issues corresponding reports. Under ISO 9001, such reports list non-conforming items and detail what is wrong with them. The company informs the supplier. The supplier must fix the problem, often by replacing the material or, if the deficiency is not important, by making minor changes. The purchasing procedures detail how non-conforming item issues have to be resolved.
When a company issues a non-conforming item report, the report might specify corrective action that the supplier has to take, or it might leave it up to the supplier to take action that corrects the problem. The purchasing procedures must specify when the supplier must take specific corrective action — for example, to replace the material in case of serious defects. In other cases, the purchasing procedures might specify an evaluation of supplier corrective action — such as performing the incoming material verification again — to see if supplier action has resulted in acceptable material.
The reason for implementing ISO9001 quality standards is to improve company operations with regard to quality output and customer satisfaction. For purchasing procedures, ensuring quality material inputs helps in this goal. Such improvements require continuous feedback on deficiencies in order to fix problems with procedures and verification. Reports on non-conforming items must result not only in a solution to the material deficiencies, but also in a correction of the practices that led to the defect. Suppliers qualified under ISO 9001 must have such feedback in place. They also must be able to demonstrate how they modify their practices to correct problems with supplied material. Purchasing procedures must specify such a process as part of the qualifying process. The continuous improvement feedback loop is a requirement under ISO 9001.