Stringent Supplier Selection, Testing and Monitoring
Before becoming corporately approved, a supplier must go through our rigorous approval process. First, all potential suppliers must complete a Supplier Self-Assessment Survey, which is used to review the supplier’s quality system. Questions are based on the ISO 9001 standard, general business practices, supplier capabilities and social responsibility.
As applicable, on-site audits are then conducted by trained Fastenal employees. These audits are used to collect physical evidence indicating that the supplier is capable of consistently producing conforming products. Virtually everything is reviewed, including employee training processes, production techniques and capabilities, and the quality assurance techniques that are implemented in the supplier’s facilities.
Pre-shipment testing is performed by our accredited labs, when applicable, on all new products as well as existing products provided by new suppliers. Products must meet our test requirements in order for the supplier to become an approved vendor for that particular product line. Testing is based on product requirements defined by the Fastenal Product Standard (see “Fastenal Product Standards” below), customer drawings, and published consensus standards.
Supplier quality is monitored, as applicable, through random inspections, supplier score cards, and quarterly meetings. Product is randomly tested in our labs each month to ensure that our suppliers are continually providing high-quality product. The level of scrutiny applied to each supplier is based on their past performance, how much we spend with them, and how critical the parts are that we’re purchasing.