Every once and while our company will need to find a rare or hard to find item on the web. Due to the rarity of the item we sometimes need to look at sites that are not a typical supplier. So how would you go about approving a supplier such as Amazon or EBay since they are more like a distributor then a supplier and utilize a large pool of other retailers/sellers?
Approving a distributor is meaningless whether the distributor is Amazon or EBay. The requirement is under Section 8.4.1 of ISO 9001: 2015. Consider that the supplier is the manufacturer of the item (product) being bought on the web. The user needs to approve the use of that item – not the supplier.
The last paragraph under Section 8.4.1 reads, in part: The organization shall determine and apply criteria of the evaluation, selection, and monitoring of performance, and re-evaluation of external providers, based on their ability to provide processes or products and services in according with requirements. This means that the organization determines the requirements, documents those requirements, and follows the establish requirements. The requirements here, I suggest, are to approve the supplier based on the supplied item meeting the organization’s needs – specifications.
For example, Home Depot or Lowes is a distributor (source) of a hex-nut that is infrequently used. The hex-nut has a specification, thread size, length, etc. The requirement then would be that an inspection of the hex-nut confirms it meets the predetermined requirements. This is all documented.
For more on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.