SUPPLIER-DRIVEN TESTING AND QUALITY

Supplier-driven testing programs generally follow this type of workflow:

  • Supplier submits sample and test request form (TRF) to lab, referencing applicable testing requirements and standards;
  • Lab performs testing according to lab SOPs and published standards;
  • Failing tests may lead to resampling/resubmission by supplier;
  • Report for passing tests sent by lab to supplier;
  • Final report sent by supplier to brand for documentation purposes.

BRAND-DRIVEN TESTING AND QUALITY

Brand-driven testing programs generally follow this type of workflow:

  • Brand initiates test request according to sampling plan in brand guidelines;
  • Test request form (TRF) prescribes all tests and specifications, cross-referenced to published standards and brand guidelines;
  • Supplier completes TRF and submits with sample to brand-approved lab;
  • Lab verifies testing requirements, third-party certificates/waivers and lab reports; initiates corrective actions with brand for any discrepancies;
  • Lab completes testing and submits test report to brand with copy to supplier;
  • Brand initiates any corrective action through supplier for remediation/closure.

 


Supplier- vs Brand-Driven Testing and Quality Programs

Characteristics of a healthy, resilient, quality-driven testing program:

  • Brand publishes guidelines defining sampling/testing plans and specifications tailored to its products, based on standards, end uses, risks;
  • Iterative sampling and testing programs optimized for full test coverage while minimizing non-detects on highest-risk materials and parameters;
  • Brand pre-approves and contracts directly with labs;
  • Suppliers accountable for performance of all its sub-suppliers;
  • Brand validates random sampling, third-party certificates, all lab test results;
  • Supplier submits test request and sample to lab based on manual guidelines;
  • Brand submits periodic, double-blind audit samples to lab as part of quality assurance program;
  • Brand maintains and shares supplier scorecards, real-time performance data, benchmarks, corrective action loops.