A company thrives as far as its level of specialisation in its core competency. In an era of increased competition, outsourcing non-critical needs is a cost-effective and agile way to operate. Third-party providers for calibrating your equipment need to be competent. You, therefore, need to rigorously assess potential providers of calibration services. Here are some hallmarks that will inform your evaluation.
With the absolute insistence on quality for precision equipment, quality management systems in need of instrument calibration are forced to scrutinise the certification of vendors providing calibration services. The only way to demonstrably prove a provider can meet the quality and competence they speak of is through accreditation. Look for their conformity to ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 17025 standards. Find out what accreditation is essential for your client,s as this has a bearing on your operations. If you have clients who demand compliance to ANSI/NCSL/Z540.3-2006 or even ANSI/NCSL Z540-1-1994, your evaluation protocol will need to weed out providers who don't meet these standards.
Do not forget to scrutinise if a service provider meets the ISO/IEC 17025. Although it may have several converging areas of commonality with ISO 9000, it rigorously vets the competency of firms that generate calibration and testing results. Whatever the case might be, the essential thing to remember is to check any providers against the accreditations that you or your customers require.
Extensiveness of Their Laboratory
Depending on the number of instruments you use and which of them require regular calibration, an ideal service provider must have a lab that can handle most of your vital equipment. From a logistical standpoint, dealing with one company for a majority, if not all, of your calibration services reduces potential complexity.
Customer service also benefits from dealing with a vendor who can handle at least a majority of your vital instruments. You will have one point to escalate problematic issues, which narrows down the process saving you money and time.
Evaluate the turnaround time the service provider can offer to understand how this will affect your operations more clearly. Instruments critical to your process need an acceptable threshold regarding time. Downtime due to delayed equipment will drive up your costs. Include shipping times and out-of-tolerance repair times as well.
Outsourcing services that aren't mission-critical to third parties improves your agility and competitiveness. These providers, however, need to display competence in their calibration services to deliver to your specifications.