Importance of the MESH Sourcing Audit

What is a sourcing audit?

Sourcing in today’s complex marketplace can be an overwhelming task for any buyer. The challenge lies in identifying reliable suppliers, evaluating their capabilities, and building trustworthy relationships. In response to these hurdles, sourcing audits are a crucial solution to streamline procurement and ensure the highest quality standards. This article explores the benefits of the MESH Sourcing Audit, its superiority over traditional procurement directories, and why it is indispensable for successful and stress-free sourcing experiences.

Sourcing audits hold the key to credibility in supplier selection. Conducted by qualified quality auditors or sourcing engineers, these evaluations provide buyers with firsthand insights into a supplier’s effectiveness, controls, and processes. The auditors’ expertise enables them to assess the supplier’s capabilities accurately. By ensuring that buyers have access to genuine and verified information, sourcing audits build confidence in the procurement process.


Why use a MESH Sourcing Audit?

The logic behind the MESH Sourcing Audit is clear-cut and compelling. In a marketplace teeming with suppliers seeking attention, some may exaggerate their capabilities. Procurement directories relying solely on supplier-provided information can fall prey to this predicament. However, sourcing audits cut through the noise and deliver objective evaluations based on on-site observations. This method eliminates the risk of unforeseen issues, ultimately saving buyers from costly delays and unwanted surprises.

The necessity of sourcing audits is significant. The prospect of investing resources into a partnership with a misrepresented supplier can evoke stress and anxiety. These emotions can be particularly detrimental to quality, sourcing, and sales organizations where the stakes are high. Opting for the MESH Sourcing Audit provides peace of mind as buyers make informed decisions, fostering clarity and promoting mutual satisfaction in the manufacturing process.


What is in the MESH Audit?

Below is an example of what you are able to see in the MESH Portal when viewing a supplier profile. You are able to see details of their portfolio, capabilities of the supplier, and information on the audit. 

The MESH Audit is a 7-Section assessment, including various aspects of a quality systems audit. Check out the questions in each section and some imagery that is required.

  1. At the time of the plant tour, was the manufacturing activity at a high, medium, or low level?
  2. Does the product flow well from process to process?
  3. Are work instructions and inspection instructions visible at every workstation? Are the instructions consistent with the products being built during the assessment?
  4. Do work instructions include photographs and graphics in addition to verbal descriptions?
  1. Does the company support lot traceability while maintaining lot testing data?
  2. At what general percentage of capacity utilization is the plant operating currently?
  3. If custom tooling is required, (e.g. plastic injection molding) does the company manufacture the tooling in-house?
  4. What is the primary production planning tool that the company uses?
  5. What is the company’s on-time delivery performance over the past two years?
  1. When was the last surveillance audit? 
  2. Does the company have a formal corrective action process to solve manufacturing, technical, or quality problems?
  3. Does the company have a formal material receipt inspection process the measures/tests incoming material to technical requirements? Are regular records kept of this inspection process?
  4. Does the company have a formal finished foods inspection process that measures/tests finished goods to defined performance requirements? Are regular records kept of this inspection process?
  5. List the major pieces of testing and measuring equipment.
  6. Please rate the company’s formal calibration program for testing instructions and calibration devices. 
  7. How well does the company segregate non-conforming material (NCM). Note how it is done in the production area, in inspection areas, and in storage areas. 
  1. Please rate the company’s formal APQP or project management procedure for starting new projects in the plant. 
  2. Is the supplier prepared and able to provide whatever production samples and pre-production test reports required by the customer?
  3. Describe the engineering team’s English skills (especially written ability). 
  4. List the design tools the company uses. Highlight the tool that the company most frequently uses (i.e. CAD, CAM).
  1. What is the typical lead time of the company’s product? (Lead time is defined as the time between receiving a customer order and shipping the same order).
  2. Please rate the export experience and support the company currently possess? Please list the customers where major export of the company’s production is made in the comment section. 
  3. Please rate the suppliers packaging experience, particularly in export packaging. 
  1. 1 or more videos of the inside of the plant.
  2. 1 or more videos displaying the outside of the factory.

Why is it important to use the MESH Sourcing Audit?

At the conclusion of a MESH Audit, suppliers are given a MESH Rating on a scale of 1-5 to determine its ability to meet the standards of the audit. Ratings are listed next to the suppliers names in the MESH portal so buyers are able to easily identify the quality of the supplier. Buyers are able to also go and review the audit to see what aspects of the audit the suppliers did or didn’t fulfill to determine if they are compatible as business partners. 

While other procurement directories may offer supplier information, the absence of the MESH Sourcing Audit is a significant drawback. Without these comprehensive evaluations, buyers risk partnering with suppliers who overstate their abilities, leading to unsatisfactory results. Sourcing audits distinguish themselves by providing reliable, transparent, and unbiased assessments of suppliers’ strengths and weaknesses. This contrast highlights the superiority of sourcing audits regarding supplier evaluation.

The MESH Sourcing Audit is invaluable for buyers seeking to procure from reputable suppliers. Embracing the MESH Sourcing Audit empowers buyers to make informed decisions and forge trustworthy partnerships with suppliers. As buyers navigate the global marketplace, the choice becomes clear – embrace the power of sourcing audits and unlock the true potential of procurement. By avoiding pitfalls such as inaccurate supplier information and unexpected setbacks, the MESH Sourcing Audit leads the charge in promoting successful and stress-free sourcing experiences.

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