With customer service being its first priority, Acklands-Grainger’s objective is to anticipate and satisfy the needs of our customers with the broadest range of stocked industrial, safety and fasteners.
Servicing various integral parts of the industry, Acklands-Grainger has to make sure that quality is never compromised. Part of our customer service program is to ensure that not only we supply first class MRO products but to also go a step further and make sure that we take a proactive role in meeting and exceeding industry expectations.
As part of that commitment, we have intensified requirement and developed a Vendor Quality Assurance Program to assist in creating a total quality system. This total quality system includes the approval, monitoring and maintenance stage of vendor retention. It includes three stages:
1. Approval stage is the first of the three stages. This is where a supplier is evaluated on whether they are capable of becoming an approved vendor to Acklands-Grainger. Suppliers enter a contract which stipulates that all products supplied to Acklands-Grainger will confirm to all applicable laws and regulations in Canada.
2. The Compliance stage insures that the vendor continues to deliver all the needs of Acklands-Grainger, including quality, adherence to contractual agreements and conformance to industry standards and regulations. Periodic audits are performed on Acklands-Grainger vendors by the Vendor Compliance Manager, to ensure that products are being manufactured with optimum quality control.
The main areas that vendors are audited on are policies, legislations and standards, incoming raw material, manufacturing, final test, pack and ship, environment, health and safety, product recall and pricing. The objective is to have a system of risk assessments and risk controls that depicts where suppliers stand with respect to compliance.
The audits are score based and vendors are monitored against industry standards and compared to other vendors to ensure that Acklands-Grainger’s products are manufactured based on the highest expectation in the industry.
As part of our proactive approach to quality assurance, audits are performed on vendors in a random order. This is to ensure that all areas of the industry are monitored and controlled. However, there are times that an audit is required to be performed as a reactive measure in replying to a recent issue or a government or industry regulation. For this purpose, a decision matrix has been created to help determine some the reasons when Acklands-Grainger should be considering auditing a vendor. Some of those reasons could include performance flaws, quality deficiencies and certification requirements.
3. Maintenance, the third stage of the program, is where we ensure that the vendor’s performance remains at an acceptable level. During this stage, ongoing correspondence takes place with the vendors to ensure that they receive updates regarding government and industry changes, adhere to the new changes and continue to operate at the highest level of quality possible.
Our commitment to quality is ongoing. The processes that have been implemented ensure that our products adhere to all Canadian standards and regulations.