Purchased materials, services and equipment represent a dominant share of our value chain. As such, effective and efficient supply quality management is crucial to success. It is important that all of our suppliers understand the value and commercial benefits that are delivered with a well managed, high quality supply chain. We must secure that our supply base delivers products and services that are on time, as specified in quantity and of the best quality. This must be done safely, with integrity and in compliance of our rules and regulations as well as with all applicable laws.
We use SAP Ariba to on-board Suppliers to our network. The supplier onboarding consists of the following mandatory steps:
- Create a SAP Ariba account
- Register in our network after receiving an invitation via email
- Get your company qualified to conduct business with us
SAP Ariba is a business platform for Suppliers to collaborate on. Study the Supplier Quick Reference Guide for using SAP Ariba to get familiar with more detailed steps you as supplier need to take and to find answers to common questions. SAP Ariba is our main business platform for suppliers to collaborate on and allows us to manage:
- Contract Management
- Supplier Life cycle Management
- Supply Risk Management
All suppliers who do business with us or who will take part in eAuctions need to be registered in SAP Ariba.
Our suppliers are an extension of our operation and it is key that our suppliers are fully committed and able to meet our stringent requirements for quality, compliance, sustainability, health, safety and environment (HSE) and business ethics. To secure this we have a thorough supplier qualification process, divided in two main parts:
- Company qualification (who we buy from)
- Product/service qualification (what we buy)
Only suppliers that pass both these process steps can supply to us. Our suppliers must comply with our requirements and standards, while being committed to making continuous and sustainable improvement in a transparent way.
A complete qualification is achieved with a company qualification plus the product or service qualification. The company qualification qualifies the supplier as a whole and ensures that their standards are meeting our requirements.
Supplier Qualification is completed through our SAP Ariba collaboration platform and some suppliers will also be audited on site or remotely. In general, all suppliers must be qualified however some low risk and/or low spend suppliers are exempted from parts or all of the qualification process as long as they are committed to our safety, integrity and quality principles.
The qualification process is an integral part of our supply base management process and it is the entry point for suppliers and contractors who want to deliver products and services to us and our customers. Our target is to have a fully qualified supply base, where we can be sure that every supplier and contractor working with us is fulfilling all our requirements.
Supplier Quality Assurance Agreement
For our existing and future suppliers, we expect high quality level product, on time delivery and full legal compliance. The Supplier Quality Assurance Agreement informs our suppliers in detail about our expectations and to secure full commitment to our minimum quality expectations.
Content of this agreement summarizes the processes which a successful operation should involve. Some examples of key topics include quality management system, process controls, quality & test records, supplier required notifications, non-conformity management.
By agreeing to our supplier quality assurance, suppliers commit to fulfill the requirements related to quality which aims to prevent supply incidents and ensure a smooth operation.
A supply non-conformity is the expression of dissatisfaction for products or services that we have received from our suppliers. It is important to solve these cases quickly with the required mitigating actions and to consider each incident as an opportunity to improve concerned processes going forward. This is only possible with clear communication and strong collaboration with our suppliers.
Each non-conformity is shared with a supplier given a non-conformance report. This report will help our supplier to understand and analyze the problem to define root causes. We may require our suppliers to follow the 8D problem solving methodology where relevant.