Supplier Management

services overview :: supplier management

Managing and Controlling Suppliers

No business is exempt from some level of dependency on outside sources for goods and services, i.e., suppliers, (AKA – external providers or vendors).  Today, suppliers play a much larger role in the complex world of manufacturing and delivery of products, processes and services globally.  The age of specialization is in full swing! Organizations only do what they do best; they try to outsource anything that doesn’t fall into their core competency. That can be a good thing, as long as the organization has solid processes in place to minimize the risk and vulnerability that comes with outsourcing.  There are two aspects to consider when dealing with suppliers, supplier management and supplier control.  So, let’s break that down a little bit.

Supplier Management

Supplier management is the collection of strategic processes applied to your supply base to ensure the best value, i.e., cost, quality and delivery, for your investment into a supplier.  It includes the business processes in place for selection, qualification, validating reliability and longevity, onboarding as well as assessing technical competency needed to support the organization.  This is a high-level approach to outsourcing.


Supplier Control

Supplier control, on the other hand, focuses on suppliers’ on-going compliance to contractual requirements and monitoring performance to Key Process Indicators (KPIs).  The Aerospace industry has defined the requirements for supplier control in the AS9100 standard, clause 8.4 Control of Externally Provided Processes, Products and Service.  More recently, the Aero Engine Supplier Quality (AESQ) Strategy Group, published supplemental requirements in AS13100, clause 8.4.  Both of these standards cover supplier management and control and for many aerospace providers, compliance is required to both of these standards. 


The extent of content in clause 8.4 of these two standards demonstrates the criticality placed on the control of external providers by the Aerospace industry. The requirements are extensive but there is little argument regarding their validity, depending on the supplier.  Suppliers come in many shapes and sizes.  Not all suppliers pose the same level of risk and or complexity.  That’s where things get challenging.  How do you design an effective system that meets the requirements imposed by the standards and fits your needs and budget?


It’s likely that your interest in this topic is related to an organization that has an identifiable group of active suppliers and a set of requirements that is applied to these suppliers.  Perhaps you are somewhat responsible for ensuring supplier performance and/or compliance to requirements.  If so, a suggested starting point is to assess if this set of requirements applied to your suppliers ensures full compliance to customer requirements (AS9100, AS13100, customer specific, etc.).  Concurrently, you need to assess your supplier performance.  Are the appropriate KPIs identified and used to monitor suppliers’ performance?  With this information it’s time to start assessing the effectiveness of the processes in place. Is it compliant and achieving the desired result? 


Our team possess decades of supplier management and control experience and we have a proven track record for helping companies establish a cost effective, complaint system that drives improvement into their supply base.  Our team has worked in Supplier Quality Management for several large prime Aerospace contractors, as well as working for sub-tiers to those prime Aerospace contractors.  So, we know the requirements flowed, the requirements received and the levels of supplier management and control being imposed by your customers.


For interpretation of AS9100 requirements access IAQG Aerospace Improvement Maturity Model (AIMM) located on the IAQG Website (  After reviewing these requirements or to learn how we can assist you in supplier management and control, please reach contact us here.

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