Auditing the Complete Supply Chain

The need for supplier audits in the Life Sciences and Food & Beverage industries is becoming more apparent every day. Current reported issues related to suppliers include adverse reactions from over-the-counter products and salmonella in eggs. The root cause of the adverse reactions from over-the-counter products is related to the chemically treated wood pallets that were used for transporting packaging materials and finished products. The root cause for the salmonella in eggs still has not be definitively determined but initial analysis point towards chicken feed. Companies in the Life Sciences and Food & Beverage industries must not only qualify and monitor their suppliers but the supplier of suppliers as well. For the case of chemically treated wood pallets, if the company using these pallets for transporting packaging materials and finished products audited the manufacturer of the pallets themselves they may have disqualified this manufacturer as a vendor. For the case of salmonella in eggs if the companies involved audited and monitored their supplier of chicken feed who knows if there would have been an outbreak of salmonella at this time.

Sparta Systems ourselves is a supplier to companies in the Life Sciences and Food & Beverage industries. As such we open ourselves up to supplier audits on a frequent basis. Over the last six years since I have been at Sparta Systems I have hosted an average of 15-20 on-site audits per year, countless remote audits (questionnaires) and audits by third party auditors like the Parenteral Drug Association / Audit Resource Center.

For those of you that have come to Sparta Systems to perform an on-site audit you know that we are a very open organization and we always welcome our customers to perform supplier audits. At Sparta Systems we understand that no one has a perfect process and we use feedback from supplier audits to continuously improve our internal quality management system.

Sparta Systems sees this as a win-win. The win for Sparta Systems is allowing us to remain the leading provider of enterprise quality management systems. The win for our customers is to allowing them to efficiently manage their quality events in a timely manner.

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