Cannon Quality Group has pioneered the concept of the Shared Supplier Audit. CQG founder Nicolle Cannon had the idea some years back when she noticed that so many of her client companies were auditing the same suppliers. Especially for start-ups and emerging medical device companies, sending scarce resources out to a supplier for an audit is hard to do.
Why not consolidate multiple audit days from multiple customers into one audit to save everyone time and money?
We’re excited to announce two new Shared Supplier Audits for spring 2020: Steri-Tek in Fremont, CA and Nelson Labs in Salt Lake City, UT, both to be conducted in May.
In a shared audit, Cannon Quality Group pools together a number of companies who need to audit a particular supplier and performs the audit at one time on the behalf of the participating clients. Clients are consulted beforehand on the agenda, and each participant gets a customized report at the end.
We’re dedicated to lowering the cost of innovation in the medical device world, and creating a shared audit day at a key industry supplier is just one way to make the hurdles a start-up faces more manageable. A big advantage to the shared audit is that suppliers have started embracing them as well.
Jeff Sauter at Steri-Tek in Fremont, CA, has experience hosting both solo audits as well as shared audits performed by Cannon. Steri-Tek is a high-volume E-beam/X-ray contract sterilizer and the requests for audits are significant in terms of the support burden.
“For us as a supplier, it saves an incredible amount of time to consolidate multiple customer audits into one,” says Sauter, “but from a customer perspective we also know that their resources are being well spent by participating in a Shared Supplier Audit. I can’t emphasize enough that for many customers, especially smaller companies, joining a shared audit is a wise use of limited resources.”
Steri-Tek’s experience during the audit has been positive: “With any audit, being ready to answer any question is key. Cannon is known for the quality and thoroughness of their audits, so as a supplier you know it’s not going to be an ‘easy’ desktop type of audit. Any findings they have are constructive and allow us to improve upon our own QMS. It’s really no different procedurally from a solo audit, or from an FDA or notified body audit for that matter.”
For clients of a shared audit the results are no different from a solo audit other than it is much more cost-effective. Clients do not know who the other participating companies are, and no confidential information is shared between clients.
If you need other suppliers audited or if you are a supplier and would like to explore the possibility of hosting a shared audit of your facility, we’d love to hear from you!