Vendor Quality Assurance

Businesses are obliged to meet many responsibilities in terms of the products and services they introduce into their operations. These include ensuring one’s suppliers meet expectations for essential elements including;

  • Quality systems
  • HACCP Programme Certification
  • Contract Conditions
  • Legislation
  • Insurance conditions
  • Supply Agreements

Managing and administering the safety and quality of suppliers’ products and services, and ensuring expectations are always achieved can be a massive but essential task. It has always been expensive, time consuming and technical. As organisations battle for efficiencies, the ‘risk versus resources’ equation is often unbalanced and sees this function being either poorly performed or significantly expensive.

HACCP Australia now operates a third party VQA Administration scheme on behalf of our client organisations handling the compliance of suppliers in key expectations and manage corrective action requests and close-outs.

The scheme does not require participating companies to have identical VQA expectations and protocols, although there are often similarities. HACCP Australia will typically advise its clients and / or assist with the development of their documented expectations and protocols using ‘worlds’ best practice’ as a basis.

The financial benefits of the programme are realised where common functions are both performed and reported by HACCP Australia for a number of clients across common suppliers.

In the simplest example, rather than reviewing two separate supplier audits and conformance data for two clients, HACCP Australia does this in one exercise passing on only the information which is pertinent to each individual client company and in line with each client’s particular requirements or policy .

Not only is the administration and reporting considerably more efficient and economic, in most cases the number of audits is considerably reduced bringing further savings in the supply chain.

Consider the complexities of information flow of 5 organisations purchasing from just 5 suppliers as below:

The costs, even in this simple model are significant for both the buyers and the suppliers. The HACCP Australia VQA administration model streamlines and removes complexity and cost from a task; now consider this model:

A large number of internationally known organisations use this service in sectors including Retail, Quick Service Restaurants, Catering, Facilities Management and Insurance.

Some clients utilise a purpose developed web-based platform for the information transfers supplied and developed by iCiX (International Compliance Information Exchange). The VQA Administration programme can use this or other alternatives for information transfer which best suit the business.

The issues typically managed through this programme include;

  • Audit Review and analysis
  • Product Specifications
  • Corrective Actions
  • Security Information
  • Certification review
  • Insurance documentation
  • Reporting and trend analysis
  • Close outs
  • Product Receipt Protocols
  • Licences and permits
  • Record Maintenance
  • Supplier and risk profiling

Vendor Quality Assurance is a function that can be easily shared by like-minded organisations without any loss of competitive advantage or confidentiality. It is clear that third party specialist administration of this function can offer significant economies and efficiencies whilst maintaining or improving the supply quality risk profile.