Saturday, October 25, 2008

China Supply Chain Management -- What's Old is New.

When people find out I work in China, they often want to know my opinion on the most recent China-related quality issue. My first thought is always "when did companies stop managing their supply chains?"

I know that each event is different, and there's usually plenty of blame to go around; however, according to ISO 9001:2000, section 4.1

"Where an organization chooses to outsource any process that effects product conformity with requirements, the organization shall ensure control over such processes. Control of such outsourced processes shall be identified within the quality management system."

ISO 9001:2008 will clarify that "the type and extent of control to be applied to these outsourced processes shall be defined within the quality management system."

Also, ISO 9001:2000 section 7.4.3 Verification of purchased product:

"The organization shall establish and implement the inspection or other activities necessary for ensuring that purchased product meets specified purchase requirements.

Where the organization or its customer intents to perform verification at the supplier's premises, the organization shall state the intended verification arrangements and method of product release in the purchasing information."

I'm not claiming that purchasing product in Ningbo is the same as purchasing product in Flint, MI. Nor am I claiming that ISO 9001 is universally applied in China (I'll post on that at a later date). Many of my clients are small companies that don't have ISO 9001 certification.

I'm also one of those China experts that likes to write articles about my fail-proof techniques for insuring success with your sourcing operation. But let's be very clear, ISO 9001 has long required companies to manage their supply chains, no matter where they are. In short, the challenges for managing your supply chain are different in China and the US, but the requirements are exactly the same.

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