Customer audit

Despite the presence or absence of ISO 9001, ISO 45001, IATF 16949 and many others certificates in the company, despite the pandemic, customer audits not only continue to be carried out, but the number of customer audits is also growing.

What is the reason for it?

In our opinion, a consumer audit is carried out for 3 main reasons:

What is the purpose of a customer audit?

  1. Make a decision in favor of future cooperation or non-cooperation
  2. Conduct a planned assessment of the current supplier
  3. Analyse together the causes of defects, delivery delays, poor quality of service, etc.
  4. Assess the supplier’s capabilities for a future project.

As you can see from the listed goals, consumer audit for a company is a serious business, possibly with consequences. Therefore, for those companies that care about the results of a consumer audit, it is very important to thoroughly prepare for the audit.

Preparation for a customer audit – what does it mean?

The good news is that every company has a management system that most likely works well. The customer does not go to the hopeless suppliers with an audit, and the customer audit is not the first stage, but rather the final stage in the supplier’s assessment.

The bad news is that almost all management system practices take time to “catch on”. It will not be possible to adequately introduce quality management methods in a couple of weeks, unless the audit of the customer is carried out by a completely inexperienced auditor.

In this regard, the concept of preparation for a customer audit depends on three factors:

  • the scope of customer requirements that will be verified in the audit
  • how much time the company has to prepare for a customer audit
  • the initial state of the company’s management system

What should the preparation for a consumer audit be started with?

  1. Find out what the consumer representative will audit.
  2. Insistently request that a customer audit date be agreed in advance.

Customer requirements can be contained in a Quality Agreement, very often in a checklist. An example of an excerpt from a customer audit checklist is given below:

Priorities in preparing for a customer audit

  • If the audit of the customer is coming very soon, and you can’t shift it any way, then you should concentrate on the following topics:
  1. order in production and storage areas
  2. identification and isolation of nonconforming components, finished products
  3. records of inspection / testing in the entire chain of product creation (incoming control, interoperational inspection, inspection of finished products)
  4. technological and control instructions
  5. well organized handling of complaints and claims from consumers
  6. well organized handling of consumer orders: registration of orders, production planning, communication about order details
  7. observation of the main rules of labor protection (PPE, order with fire extinguishers and emergency exits)
  • The customer audit usually considers conformity with the second priority:
  1. availability of documented processes of the quality management system (documentation management, internal audits, improvement process)
  2. availability of a well-organized and traceable waste management process
  3. an established process of service and maintenance of equipment
  4. personnel competence management
  • The last block is the development and operational implementation of those processes that do not exist in the company at the present time. Such frequent processes are management processes and analytical processes (they are emphasized in the latest revisions of the QMS standards: ISO 9001, IATF 16949, ISO 13485). In the practice of OREX, such processes are:
  1. change management
  2. management of outsourcing processes
  3. continuous improvement process
  4. risk management
  5. knowledge management

It is in this order that OREX prepares its customers for a customer audit. As a result of such cooperation, we always achieve results.

If you have to undergo a consumer audit or, on the contrary, develop a system for monitoring suppliers using audits, then contact our company. We have a huge experience (please read the review!) and our own know-how.





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