The process of qualifying suppliers envisages several stages.
During the qualification of suppliers, depending on how critical they are, questionnaires are sent requesting information on how organize their design, manufacturing or testing processes, as applicable, to check compliance with the minimum requirements established by IMA. For highly critical suppliers, this “self-certification” is also checked on site by means of an audit performed by IMA.
During the relationship with the supplier, performance is measured in terms of quality, price and delivery, summarized in a vendor rating: it is an established methodology which allocates scores that make it possible to measure purchasing performance. Component suppliers are periodically given a vendor rating calculated on the basis of three parameters (in order of importance): quality, delivery, price.
Periodically, IMA carries out audits at suppliers. Depending on the results, IMA establishes corrective action or improvements, and how to pursue them (e.g. by increasing visibility of suppliers’ processes and aiming for joint preventive action, or penalizing suppliers financially if they do not reach their goals).
RANGE OF RATINGS
Over a range of ratings from 0 to 100, where 60 is satisfactory, the average score of core suppliers was 73 for the custom-designed components in 2017 (68 in 2016) and 75 for catalogue components (78 in 2016).
At the end of 2017 the suppliers qualified through the IMA method are 200:
55 of assembly and wiring
36 of third-party machines
62 of design and documentation
47 of technical assistance
For custom-designed component suppliers, IMA has developed another method of qualification with the aim of spreading the culture and level of suppliers with regard to quality issues and then transfer part of the testing of mechanical components to them.
In addition to providing a level of qualification of suppliers which ensures the quality of supplied components, this method also provides for their training by IMA’s testing staff. At the end of 2017, 37 suppliers have been qualified for self-control.
In addition, a qualification activity began in 2017 to ensure compliance with the hygiene requirements and contain the risk of contamination for parts that come into contact with the customer’s food or pharmaceutical product.
At the end of 2017, there were 26 suppliers qualified for supplying parts that come into contact with products.
An important category of suppliers is represented by personnel of third-party companies who work directly at IMA’s plants: these relationships are governed by contracts that meet the standards set by law and require the Contractor to provide IMA all the guarantees required by laws on safety, health and safety, social security, insurance cover at work, regular payment of contributions, etc.
In 2017 IMA carried out a review of existing contracts with its suppliers in order to verify and pursue the best possible transparency and compliance with the law. In particular, this activity involved contracts with suppliers who work at Group companies: IMA intends to ensure that these suppliers are genuinely organized in terms of contracted services, with a view to a production result that intended to implement above all the aspect of the vendor’s autonomy.
Third-party companies also must agree to make their workers comply with IMA procedures and regulations, including the Code of Ethics.
To date there are no further specific environmental or social requirements used in the qualification of a new supplier, except as provided for aspects related to safety and protection of work both during the document collection phase and during the visit at the supplier’s premises, evaluating elements such as the technical-professional suitability of the company examined, the fact that they pay their employees and social contributions regularly.