Supplier Certification

Verifying that a vendor operates, maintains, improves, and records effective processes to satisfy the customer’s needs is known as Certification. Requirements such as price, quality, delivery, flexibility, maintenance, safety, and ISO quality and environmental standards are all possible.

The purpose of supplier certification is to ensure that the product or service meets specific requirements, usually related to quality or environmental standards.

Third-party assessors verify that the supplier meets the required standard and issues a certificate if successful. Certification can be used as a means of qualification for tendering, and may also be a requirement of customers.

A number of different schemes and standards are in use, including ISO 9000 (quality), ISO 14001 (environmental), BS 25999 (business continuity), and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety). The scheme used should be appropriate to the product or service being supplied.

There are several benefits to supplier certification:

  1. Improved quality of product or service – Certification helps to ensure that suppliers operate to a defined standard, which in turn leads to improved quality of the product or service supplied.
  2. Reduced costs and improved efficiency – Certification can help to reduce costs by identifying and eliminating poor-quality suppliers, and also improve efficiency through improved communication and coordination between supplier and customer.
  3. Increased customer confidence – Certification can provide customers with reassurance that the supplier meets specific quality standards.
  4. Improved access to markets – Certification may be a requirement for doing business with certain customers or in certain markets, so it can give suppliers a competitive edge.
  5. Enhanced image and reputation – Certification can help to build a positive image and reputation for the supplier in the eyes of customers and other stakeholders.
  6. Increased business opportunities – Certification can help to open up new business opportunities for the supplier.
  7. Greater control over the supply chain – Certification can give suppliers a greater degree of control over the entire supply chain, from raw materials to finished products.
  8. Improved safety – Improved safety is one of the main benefits of certification to health and safety standards such as OHSAS 18001.

There are also some potential disadvantages to supplier certification:

  1. Costs – Certification can be expensive, especially if third-party assessors are used.
  2. Timeconsuming – The process of obtaining and maintaining certification can be time consuming, particularly if multiple standards need to be met.
  3. Bureaucratic – The process of certification can be bureaucratic and inflexible, which can lead to frustration on the part of suppliers.
  4. Subjective – The assessment criteria used by third-party assessors can be subjective, which can lead to disagreements between suppliers and customers.
  5. Inconsistent – The application of different certification schemes and standards can lead to inconsistency and confusion among suppliers and customers.

In spite of these potential disadvantages, supplier certification is becoming increasingly common as more companies recognise the benefits it can bring. It is an important tool for ensuring quality and compliance with environmental, health, and safety standards, and can help to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of businesses.

Related Links

Supplier Certification Definition – Operations & Supply Chain Dictionary
Logistics-related certifications and standards – Logistics Minded
5 Supply Chain Certifications Every Professional Needs – IndustryStar Solutions
ISO 9001 Certification for Logistics Quality Management – Kanban Logistics
The ABCs of Supplier Diversity Certification – Supply Chain Management