What are the Purchaser’s and Supplier’s responsibilities in ISO 9001?

Quality Assurance is concerned with consistency of quality and an agreed level of quality. To achieve these aims an organisation must be firmly committed to the fundamental principle of always supplying the right quality of product or service. Equally, a purchaser must be committed to the fundamental principle of only accepting the right quality product – especially when quite a number of problems associated with a product’s quality are usually the fault of the purchaser!

What is the responsibility of a purchaser ?

What happens when insufficient information provided by the purchaser ?

Obviously the purchaser can only expect to get what he ordered. It is, therefore, extremely important that the actual order is not only correct, but also that the purchaser provides the product or service provider with all the relevant (and accurate) information required to complete the task. There is little point in trying to blame the product or service provider when the finished deliverable doesn’t come up to expectation because of an unsatisfactory design provided by the purchaser. In certain cases, (for example when the requirements of the item cannot easily be described in words), it could be very helpful if the purchaser was to provide a drawing as a form of graphic order (i.e. a WI!). In such cases, this drawing should contain all the relevant details such as type of material to be used, the material grade or condition, the specifications that are to be followed and, where possible, the graphic order/drawing should be to scale.
If this approach proves impractical, then the order would have to include all the relevant dimensional data, sizes, tolerances, etc., or refer to one of the accepted standards.
What happens when insufficient information provided by the purchaser ?

Importance of a good specification provided by the purchaser :

Having said all that, it must be appreciated that the actual specification being used is also very important for it sets the level of quality required and, therefore, directly affects the price of the article. Clearly, if specifications are too demanding then the final cost of the article will be too high. If specifications are too vague or obscure, then the supplier will have difficulty in assembling, or even designing, the object or may even be unable to get it to work correctly.
How to prepare specification ?

Quality Vs Price :

The choice of product or service provider is equally important. It is an unfortunate fact of life that purchasers usually consider that the price of the article is the prime, and in some cases, even the only consideration. Buying cheaply is obviously not the answer because if a purchaser accepts the lowest offer, all too often they will find that delivery times are lengthened (because the manufacturer/supplier can make more profit on other orders), the article produced does not satisfy their requirements and, worst of all, the quality of the article is so poor that they have to replace the device well before its anticipated life cycle has been completed.
If a product or service provider has received official recognition that the quality of his work is up to a particular standard, then the purchaser has a reasonable guarantee that the article being produced will be of a reasonable quality – always assuming that the initial order was correct! Official recognition is taken to mean that an organisation has been assessed and certified to a recognised quality standard such as ISO 9001. In other words the level of quality can be proved.
Quality Vs Price

What are the supplier’s responsibilities ?

The term ‘supplier’ relates to organisations that produce products or provide services. The supplier’s prime responsibility must always be to ensure that anything and everything leaving their organisation conforms to the specific requirements of the purchaser – particularly with regard to its quality.
The simplest way of doing this is for the supplier to ensure that their particular office, production facility or service outlet fully complies with the requirements of the quality standards adopted by the country to which they are providing this service and the country to which they intend supplying the component, equipment or system.
What is responsibility of supplier ?

Most used ISO standards in the World:

To do this they must of course first be aware of the standards applicable to that country, know how to obtain copies of their standards, how to adapt them to their own particular environment and how to get them accepted by the relevant authorities.
Every country has its own set of recognised quality management standards by which suppliers can be assessed and certified. The following are the most frequently used certification and guideline standards used within most of the countries :
  • ISO 9001: Quality Management Systems. Requirements;
  • ISO 14001: Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for use;
  • OHSAS 45001: Occupational health and safety management systems.
what are iso standards

Evaluation of Supplier :

In addition, the supplier will have to provide proof that they are supplying a quality product. This is actually a ‘measurement of their Quality Control’ and usually takes the form of a supplier’s evaluation, surveillance and audit. The evaluation is carried out by either 
  1. The prospective purchaser of the product or 
  2. An accredited body (such as Lloyds, BSI, SGS or ISOQAR) and which, if successful, will allow the supplier to proudly display a compliance certificate and to use the recognised ‘quality mark’ on its stationery and marketing literature.
Evaluation of Supplier

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