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The Purchasing Process
(Related To The ISO 9001:2000 Standard)

By: Neal D. Stiemert


One of the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard is the Purchasing process. This month, I will provide you with some ideas to satisfy the requirements for this element of the standard. The procedure provided this month is for the purchasing process, next month I will provide you with a procedure for supplier control.

ISO Requirement:

(Key requirements are in Italics)

7.4 Purchasing

7.4.1 Purchasing process
The organization shall ensure that purchased product conforms to specified purchase requirements. The type of extent of control applied to the supplier and the purchased product shall be dependent upon the effect of the purchased product on subsequent product realization or the final product. The organization shall evaluate and select suppliers based on their ability to supply product in accordance with the organiation's requirements. Criteria for selection, evaluation and re-evaluation shall be established. Records of the results of these evaluations and any necessary actions arising from the evaluation shall be maintained (see 4.2.4).

7.4.2 Purchasing information
Purchasing information shall describe the product to be purchased, including where appropriate

  a)   requirements for approval of product, procedures, processes and equipment;
  b)   requirements for qualification of personnel; and
  c)   quality management system requirements.

The organization shall ensure the adequacy of specified purchase requirements prior to their communication to the supplier.

Section from The Widget Company Quality Manual


Purchasing Process
The Widget Company controls the purchasing process to ensure purchased product conforms to requirements. The type and extent of control is dependent upon the effect of the purchased product on the final product.

The Widget Company evaluates and selects suppliers based on their ability to supply product in accordance with Williams and customer requirements. Criteria for selection and on-going performance evaluation is established and defined in operating procedures. The results of evaluation and on-going performance evaluations are recorded.

Purchasing Information
Purchasing information describes the product to be purchased, including where appropriate:
  -   requirements for approval of product, procedures, processes and equipment
  -   quality management system requirements
  -   requirements for qualification of personnel

The Widget Company ensures the adequacy of specified requirements prior to their release to the supplier by reviewing purchasing information prior to release.

Verification of Purchased Product
The Widget Company performs receiving inspection and testing and/or other verification activities to verify the quality of purchased product.

Where The Widget Company or a customer proposes to perform verification activities at the supplier's premises, The Widget Company specifies the intended verification arrangements and method of product release in the purchasing information provided to the supplier.

Sample Procedure:

The Widget Company
Operating Procedure

Title: Purchasing

No. XX           Rev. A

Approved by:     Little Johnny               nbsp;             Date:     6-15-04            


This procedure applies to materials and services purchased by The Widget Company from outside suppliers that affect the quality of the products sold to The Widget Company customers.


Purchasing requirements are identified for Purchasing in the following ways:
  -   Computer gneerated requirement report
  -   The Widget Company personnel notify purchasing that a requirement exists


Purchasing checks from the approved supplier list for a supplier to place the P.O. (purchase order) with.

No - go to 3.1
Yes - go to 4.0


A supplier is sourced in accordance with The Widget Company supplier control procedure.


Purchase orders shall contain all necessary purchasing information to clearly communicate all requirements to the supplier.

Purchasing information shall include the following, as necessary:

- Procurement specifications - Quality system which applies: ISO 9000, MIL-Std, etc.
- Quantity - Packaging/shipping requirements
- Certification requirements - Provision for Acme verification of purchased product
- Price - Expected delivery date
- FOB point-freight charge  

If the purchased product is a standard item with the supplier, communication of the supplier's part number is sufficient purchasing information. A purchase order may be delivered to the supplier by phone, fax, mail or EDI. Each buyer reviews and approves their purchase orders prior to release to suppliers.


Material is received in accordance with The Widget Company receiving inspection and testing procedures.


No - go to 6.1
Yes - go to 7.0


Receiving notifies Purchasing that damage or a discrepancy exists. Receiving notes the problem on the receiving documents and sends the documents to Purchasing.


The responsible party (shipper or supplier) is notified that damage or a discrepancy exists.


The material is released to stock.

  1.   In the event that an emergency situation arises for materials or services that cannot be supplied by an approved supplier, Purchasing has the authority to place orders with a supplier not on the approved supplier list for a period of thirty (30) days.
  2.   In the event that the Widget Company or the customer wants to verify the quality of product at the suppliers location, it shall be stated in purchasing documents.

End of Document

Here are copies of the Purchasing sample documents in PDF format:

  Sample Purchasing Section in a Quality Manual
  Sample Purchasing Procedure

I hope this information helps you with your transition. Feel free to contact me with any questions at 800-959-0632.

Neal Stiemert
Independent Quality Consultants, Inc.

About the Author

				Stiemert Neal D. Stiemert is President of Independent Quality Consultants, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University school of business. Neal is an ASQ certified quality engineer, a certified lead auditor and has over 24 years of management, auditing, consulting and training experience in the quality profession.

Neal has served as an examiner for the Minnesota Quality Award, an SPC instructor at Purdue University and an officer and committee member in the Chicago and Minnesota sections of ASQ. Neal also conducts registration audits for Smithers Quality Assessments and SAI Global Assurance Services.

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