Ensuring capable quality delivery is fundamental to success. Determining suppliers' capabilities to meet customers' requirements is a foundation to ensuring this success. Frequently it is not easy for overseas buyers to represent themselves fully when buying materials from off-shore. 3o fills this gap with its quality management team that works with our customers as an extension of our customers' in-house quality management teams.

It has been our observation that when buyers have bad experiences buying from off-shore it can frequently be attributed to a lack of rigour in implementing effective quality management systems with new suppliers that are: too far away to easily work with, speak a different language, don't understand the specification or product application.

At onset 3o works with its customers to clearly define their requirements and ensure they are understood. Typically this involves a detailed specification of products that would include the following engineering information:

Engineering Specification

  • Samples
  • Drawings (including critical dimensions)
  • Standards and legislative requirements
  • Material specifications
  • Process and finish specifications
  • Packing specifications
  • Functional testing requirements
  • Mating parts
  • Visual standards

All aspects of the specification are translated into the suppliers’ local language to enable them to understand the requirements without the need for supposition or error in judgement.

All of 3o’s suppliers are required to pass our Supplier Quality Assessment. This assessment includes a number of qualitative and quantitative criteria that look at a supplier’s quality systems as well as other fundamental components of their business process. This assessment is used in conjunction with our customer’s own assessment requirements.

Working with our customers and suppliers, we establish a detailed list of problems that are known to occur during a product’s manufacture. This information is used to establish a list of critical, major and minor potential defects that, used in conjunction with agreed AQL levels, create the supplier Quality Control Plans. 3o’s quality team and our suppliers review the output from Quality Control Plans during and after products’ manufacture.

3o’s quality management processes are agreed with our customers to ensure we are able to act in their best interests at all times.


  • SQA – supplier quality assessment
  • FMEA – failure mode and effect analysis
  • Pilot sample audit
  • QCP – quality control plans
  • Unannounced process and product audit
  • Pre-shipment inspection
  • QRF – quality response forms

During sample manufacture and prior to production, 3o works with suppliers to undertake conformance testing to certify product conformity to the required standards.

Whilst it is the ambition of all buyers to achieve zero defects, it is frequently not a reality. 3o aims to work with its suppliers to improve all aspects of supplier performance. 3o uses a Quality Response Form to document defect root causes and necessary corrective and preventative actions to ensure problems do not reoccur. We also work with suppliers to manage the process and corresponding actions when dealing with non-conforming products that have entered the supply chain.

3o’s customer base has varied levels of performance requirements and we engage suppliers who can meet or exceed our customers’ requirements. Our supplier quality assessment program grades suppliers’ ongoing performance and our ethos is one of continuous improvement.