First of all, to answer this question it must be defined what is considered a vendor.
For the purpose of this FAQ, a vendor is defined as a company providing a specific design and manufacturing that design – a so-called vendor item.
Further to this vendor item:
- it is anticipated that the design details of the vendor item may not necessarily be known by the DOA holder;
- consequently, this approach is feasible only for low risk items.
The cooperation of the DOA holder with such a vendor must be described in the Design Organisation Handbook as part of the Subcontractor Control process.
The Subcontractor Control process for vendors, as a minimum, should describe how the DOA holder:
- assesses the criticality (risk) of the vendor item;
- defines the interface with the vendor;
- controls the design configuration of the vendor item.
The Subcontractor control process for vendors can be a form of high level control, based on technical specifications, and a verification process ensuring that the vendor item meets the technical specification, and having in the contract with the vendor an effective mechanism for information about changes - both ways. The DOA holder’s procedures should identify an appropriate entry point into the documentary system (e.g. DO/PO arrangement, contract, quality plan, handbooks, common applicable procedures, working plans, etc.).