What happens when a manufacturer or equipment vendor has been awarded a purchase order for materials/equipment by a Client? In this blog we look at the steps involved in the source inspection, vendor inspection and expediting services which Brunel provide to companies around the world.
Vendor Inspection Services
1. Early Cost EstimateThe estimated cost of inspection will be provided before the source or vendor inspection commences, based on the purchase order, equipment specifications and fabrication schedule. For a project, the type, location, schedule and total estimated cost should preferably be provided by Client together with all details on scope of materials and equipment.
Brunel provides expediting services to avoid delays in the delivery of material and equipment. Our expeditors are experienced and qualified with regard to production & process techniques and are able to highlight any potential problems.
2. Order ReviewSpecifications are reviewed and if required any clarifications are made with the Client. The extent of inspection required is established, e.g. final, partial or complete. Cost savings can be considerable by the determination of what should and should not be inspected. In some cases, no inspection may be recommended; in others, past experience with the vendor or commodity may indicate a need to vary standard inspection procedures. In order to meet the Client’s requirements, reporting and communication procedures are also agreed at this time.
3. Assignment / Cost EstimateWhen an assignment order is received, individual inspectors with appropriate technical capability and experience are identified and the estimated overall costs are established. Consideration is given to estimated inspection time, travel expenses, supervisory time and whether or not a qualified inspector is near the Vendor’s location, in order to utilise the most appropriate and economical option.
Once the inspector is selected, an estimate is prepared of expected man-hours based on experience with the commodity involved. The estimate is sent by e-mail or fax to the Client, and other involved parties as required.
4. Vendor Engagement
Before work begins, it is important for all parties to have a clear understanding that the vendor is responsible for quality control and to describe the role that the Brunel Inspector will play, and what specifications & procedures will be followed. This may vary from a telephone discussion to a pre-inspection meeting attended by representatives from the Client, Brunel, the engineering contractor and other involved parties.
Source Inspection Visits
Inspection is carried out during visits to the vendor’s premises to monitor QC activities, witness specified tests etc. Visits will be arranged so as not to interfere with production schedules.
5. Cost Control
A very important element of the process is cost control.
Brunel will ensure that the magnitude of the inspection effort and the cost are consistent with the order requirements and the cost estimate. Periodic status reports on inspection costs can be provided to the Client if requested.
6. Release Notice / Rejection Notices
Each inspection visit will usually result in either a Release Notice – indicating satisfaction so far, or a Rejection Notice – indicating dissatisfaction. On progressive inspections a Release Notice releases everything fabricated up to that stage.
After final inspection the order is released. These handwritten notices are issued on the spot to the vendor and copies are mailed to the Client and other interested parties. A Rejection Notice will state the specific quality related feature that does not comply with specifications.
In addition, the Client is alerted immediately of rejections by telephone, e-mail or fax to minimse delays.
Communication procedures are agreed in advance to meet the Client’s requirements.
7. Final Report
Following shipment of the items involved, a report detailing the inspection and giving results of any specified tests or quality variations is issued. Copies of test data will be attached.
8. Inspection Reporting
At the Client’s request, Brunel will provide order inspection reporting in addition to inspection. An inspection report summarizes the actual status of engineering and drawings, material availability, fabrication and the current promised completion date. If desired, Brunel also informs the Client on actual status by telephone, e-mail or fax. Inspection reporting is usually carried out only during inspection visits but at the Client’s request this can also be pre-determined.
An example of a Brunel Inspection Report is available upon request.
9. Inspection Invoice Verification and Payment
Brunel invoices are verified with respect to hours charged and level of expenses. The Client will receive an invoice once a month which considerably simplifies the process. Invoicing details can be adjusted to meet the Client’s needs.