To maintain supplier assurance levels, industries are making the jump to remote audits. With added information and communication technologies (ICT), remote audits enable quality and compliance teams to play an active role with ongoing supplier activities without disrupting critical operational areas.  

The benefits of remote audits include lower costs, no travel restrictions, no logistical constraints, better use of resources and the ability to continuously monitor suppliers.  

Supplier Audits Ensure the Highest Level of Quality 

With the increased reliance on global suppliers, companies are looking to increase collaboration and transparency across the value chain. Now it is critical to maintain and streamline the supplier process using a single repository of suppliers.  

Utilizing a supplier module allows for quick onboarding eliminates multiple paper surveys. The supplier management module collects, tracks and manages required supplier documents providing real-time status on the dashboard. Risk-based supplier audits can be scheduled, allowing suppliers to update certificates, specifications or instructions for use (IFUs), and other documents in one location, enabling users to communicate bill of material (BOM) needs.  

Once the appropriate criteria are evaluated, auditors can generate a formatted report that includes the written audit observations of good practices and risks and problems identified. This report forms the basis of the discussion about the audit results and findings. An audit management system provides reporting capabilities that also generate trends and metrics against data gathered across reports. For example, using a system that can track multiple auditing groups, risk and prioritization can be rolled up and used to determine the prioritization of resources across groups, not just on a siloed basis within each group.  

Suppose a quality incident is related to a supplier. In that case, the supplier portal allows real-time communication between the company and the supplier to resolve the issue and quarantine any suspected material or finished goods, providing more significant supply chain reliability. The ability to quickly add, monitor, and remove suppliers will significantly impact the company’s ability to reduce the cost of inadequate quality. 

Keep Supplier Quality Top of Mind with Remote Audits  

Resiliency has proven to be a key criterion in the supply chain. Those with an electronic system in place were further along in their digital transformation journey; however, organizations can still catch up.   

The key to performing remote audits successfully is divided into six areas—plan, schedule, perform, report, action and close-out.

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