When it comes to sourcing products or services from suppliers, it is essential to ensure that there is a general quality agreement in place. A quality agreement is a contract between the supplier and the buyer that outlines the quality expectations, responsibilities, and procedures for ensuring consistent quality. This article covers the key elements of a general quality agreement for suppliers.
1. Quality expectations and specifications
The quality agreement should specify the product or service requirements, including the quality standards, tolerances, and acceptance criteria. It should also outline the testing and inspection methods that will be used to verify compliance with these requirements. The agreement may include a detailed list of the materials, components, and processes that will be used in the production or delivery of the product or service.
2. Roles and responsibilities
The quality agreement should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both the supplier and the buyer. This includes the responsibilities for quality control, quality assurance, and quality management. The supplier should provide a designated contact person for quality-related issues and be responsible for ensuring that their products or services meet the agreed-upon quality standards.
3. Non-conformance and corrective actions
The quality agreement should address the procedures for handling non-conforming products or services. This includes the process for reporting, investigating, and resolving any non-conformances. The agreement should also specify the corrective actions that will be taken to prevent recurrence.
4. Documentation and record-keeping
The quality agreement should specify the record-keeping requirements for both the supplier and the buyer. This includes the documentation that will be required to demonstrate compliance with the quality requirements. The agreement may also specify the retention period for these records.
5. Audit and inspection rights
The quality agreement should include the procedures for auditing and inspecting the supplier`s quality management system. This includes the right of the buyer to conduct audits or inspections of the supplier`s facilities, processes, and procedures to ensure compliance with the quality agreement.
In conclusion, a general quality agreement is essential for ensuring that suppliers meet the quality requirements of the buyer. It helps to establish a clear and mutual understanding of the quality expectations, responsibilities, and procedures. By including these key elements in a quality agreement, both the supplier and the buyer can work together to ensure consistent quality and minimize the risk of non-conformance.