Dock to Stock

Suppliers, supplier management

Q: I have been tasked with implementing a dock to stock policy. Does an expert have any advice or information to share towards forming a dock to stock policy?

A: To begin, here is a brief definition of dock to stock (DTS):

Dock to stock is a receiving method whereby materials are delivered directly to point of use (storage or manufacturing), skipping the normal receiving inspection.

For most organizations, parts which are given a DTS status are those which have been “proven” to be compliant. It is common practice to perform a receiving inspection on the parts for a minimum of five deliveries (some companies choose 10).

After a supplier has proven to deliver a compliant product five times, that individual item/part number is given DTS status. It is then general practice for production/assembly departments or line personnel to verify compliance as needed. If a product is found to be noncompliant, it is put on a contingency list and must prove its validity again — usually through five to 10 compliant shipments before it is returned to DTS status.

Keep in mind that the DTS process is rarely used in some industries/companies. For example, a company certified to ISO 13485 (medical devices) would not use DTS due to FDA regulations — here’s an excerpt from 21 CFR 820.80 (b):

“Receiving Acceptance Activities: Incoming product shall be inspected, tested or otherwise verified as conforming to specified requirements.”

In short, determining how many acceptable shipments to qualify a supplier for DTS status is up to the company. Requesting a certificate of compliance with each shipment can tend to encourage a supplier to ensure their own quality, as does a yearly audit of the supplier’s facilities (if appropriate).

I hope using the guidelines above will help lead you toward your goal.

Bud Salsbury
ASQ Senior Member, CQT, CQI

Related Content:

Chinese OEM Reduces Returns With Improved Product Testing, ASQ case study

Cost-Effectiveness Based Performance Evaluation for Suppliers and Operations, Quality Management Journal

Ask A Librarian

ISO 9001 Electronic Records

Reviewing confidential files, training records, human resources filesQ: I have a few questions about employee training records.  My company is certified to ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems–Requirements, and we are considering transitioning to electronic records. However, we don’t know what the requirements are from an ISO perspective. Specifically, we want to know:

1. Do we need to retain hardcopy originals, or can we just keep the scanned electronic copies?

2. Does a record need to be in each individual’s file, or can there be a spreadsheet, cross reference-type matrix?

3. How long do they need to be retained?

4. Are there different requirements for environmental and safety type training records?

A: Thank you for contacting the ASQ Ask the Experts Program. Responses to your specific inquiries follow:

  1.  You may retain records in any format or media you desire.  You do not need both hardcopy and electronic.

2. You may use a spreadsheet matrix.

3. Retention times are your determination. Consult with the corporate attorney as to any requirements from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to protect yourself if there is a lawsuit (assuming your organization is located in the United States).

4. Check with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding requirements for these records.  These are outside the scope of ISO 9001.

George Hummel
Voting member of the U.S. TAG to ISO/TC 176 – Quality Management and Quality Assurance
Managing Partner
Global Certification-USA
www.globalcert-usa.com/
Dayton, OH

Related Content:

Browse the articles below, or find more open access articles and resources about documentation practices in ASQ Knowledge Center search results.

Geometrica Builds ISO 9001 QMS on Wiki, ASQ Knowledge Center

Geometrica, a manufacturer of domes and free-style structures, used a wiki to document its ISO 9001:2008 quality management system. The company attributes its fast track to certification—nine months from beginning to certification—to the ease and efficiency of wikis. Read the case study.

Consultants’ Style: Sometimes Less Is More, Quality Progress

Many small to medium sized organizations hire consultants to help them attain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 registration. Consultants who base their advice on the organization’s existing practices and do less documentation are usually more effective. Ten companies share their experiences. Read the article.

Explore the ASQ Knowledge Center for more case studies, articles, benchmarking reports, and more.

Browse ASQ magazines and journals here.