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3 Steps to Improve Supplier Quality in Your Supply Chain

Posted by Oscar Combs in Aerospace, Alloys and Metals, Automotive, Blog, Chemical, Construction, Distribution, Food and Beverage, Laboratories, Logistics, Manufacturing, Medical, Oil and Gas, Public Agencies, Technology 02 Apr 2019


Quality, health, safety and environmental management systems, such as ISO 9001, ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 require organizations to establish criteria for their suppliers. Supplier quality extends beyond getting the lowest cost, or fastest delivery on a part or service. Supplier quality is a supplier’s ability to deliver goods or services that will satisfy customers’ needs, as defined by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). If your organization incorporates outsourced parts and services into your final products and services, supplier quality is critical to your organization. This article will outline three steps to take to improve supplier quality in your supply chain.

1. Perform Supplier Evaluations

The first step any organization should take to improve supplier performance is to perform supplier evaluations. Supplier evaluations can be developed based your identified criteria for supply chain management, or from the criteria based on your Management System Standard. Evaluating suppliers, before procurement of their products or services, can have long-term benefits in your supply chain. If your organization is struggling with how to evaluate your suppliers, The ISO 9001 Group’s professional and experienced Certified Lead Auditors can help.

2. Develop an Approved Vendor List (AVL)

Once the supplier or vendor has been evaluated, the next step will be to begin selecting suppliers based on their results from the supplier evaluation. Vendors or suppliers that meet the criteria of your management system, or your company’s established criteria, can be included on an Approved Vendor List (AVL), or Approved Suppliers List (ASL). The purpose of the AVL or ASL, is to ensure your organization is only using suppliers that meet established criteria.

3. Conduct Supplier Audits

Developing a planned supplier audit program can provide many benefits to your organization. One benefit of having a supplier program, is that it can help you meet the requirements of your management system standard. Conducting supplier audits can also help you identify opportunities for improvement in your supply chain. If you are experiencing late deliveries, poor quality of products or services or other issues with your suppliers, these can be identified in a supplier audit. Performing audits on your suppliers ensures they are operating according to your established criteria.


If you are experiencing issues with your supplier quality, performing supplier evaluations, developing an Approved Vendor List (AVL) and conducting supplier audits, can assist with improving supplier performance. If you lack confidence in the quality of your outsourced products or services, how can you be confident in your final product? Implementing these 3 steps can help you improve the performance of your critical and non-critical suppliers. For assistance with conducting supplier audits and evaluations, please contact us at iso



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Victoria Ontiveros | Project & Office Coordinator 

Victoria earned her BS from Texas A&M University with an emphasis in communications.  She oversees office operations and is the first point of contact for all new and existing clients, which means that she is responsible for ensuring that an excellent level of client service is maintained. She provides marketing and administrative support to ensure that office operations run smoothly and efficiently.  Above all, Victoria is committed to providing the best experience for The ISO 9001 Group’s clients.

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