by Emily Hill

Supplier performance management: Auditing at Carillion Direct Services

Nigel Mangnall, Head of Quality and Compliance at Carillion Direct Sourcing, working from Shenzen, China, kindly shared how he has optimised supplier management practices over the past two years by harnessing auditing technology. 


About Carillion Direct Sourcing  - Global Sourcing Solutions

Carillion plc is one of the UK's leading integrated support services and construction companies. Carillion Direct Sourcing is their extensive sourcing operation with operations in the UK, Middle East, North America and Asia.

Carillion Direct Sourcing provides a range of services, including vendor sourcing, technical project management, embedded logistic and container management. With a large portfolio of suppliers, managing the quality of products procured is critical to a sustainable supply chain and their reputation. For this reason, Carillion Direct Sourcing also conducts factory audits for quality, environment, social accountability, engineering and quality assurance in dynamic and challenging environments.

Harnessing technology to support Carillion Direct Sourcing to capture, automate and monitor ongoing supplier performance has been essential to their success. 

In this interview, Head of Quality and Compliance at Carillion Direct Sourcing, Nigel Mangnall, discusses how he has utilised technology to accelerate growth, embed a culture of quality and to improve supplier relationships. 

managing supplier performance

Interviewed by Gemma Baldan, Key Account Manager and Emily Hill, GRC Digital Marketing Executive at Qualsys. This podcast, Slideshare and interview transcript is ideal for auditors, procurement professionals or managers who want to gain more insight into efficient auditing practices and wish to improve supplier performance. The interview discusses how EQMS Audit and Inspection Manager has improved service delivery, implementation and offers evidence to justify the business case of deploying EQMS.

We have included a Podcast, Slideshare Presentation and the Interview Transcript



Listen to the podcast:

In this 20-minute podcast, Nigel Mangnall shares his advice, stories and experience of the performance of his suppliers and his workforce by using EQMS Audit and Inspection Manager.

Click here to listen to the audio.




View the Slideshare presentation:

In this Slideshare presentation, we summarise 17 key lessons Nigel Mangnall has discovered after using EQMS Audit and Inspection Manager for two years. 

Auditing the Supply Chain with EQMS Audit Manager:



Read the interview transcript:

Please note that it has been edited for clarity

This is the transcript from the interview with Nigel Mangnall in January 2016. 


How would you say Audit Manager helps CDS (Carillion Direct Sourcing)?


The best thing is that it helps me to keep control.


Previously, with the paper system, we sent engineers out, and although they knew what to do and what to check for, it could be four or five days down the road before I saw a report.

So, I would be reliant on receiving an email or a phone call if they had a problem. With EQMS Audit Manager, it is no later than at the end of the day that QE's can get back to WIFI. That means I can see a report as soon as those results are uploaded.

EQMS Audit Manager helps me to keep control over what is going on, especially when you consider that my staff are Chinese and it is difficult for them to start to talk with confidence to a Westerner.

"I can look at personal performance and I can review suppliers' performance."

EQMS Audit Manager is a database so it helps me to monitor what is going on. I can look at personal performance and I can review suppliers' performances. This helps me to know whether suppliers are getting better, worse or staying the same.


We have a rather large audit, which EQMS Audit Manager copes with. I was surprised about that.

The audit covers the quality side of the business, the business side of the business, the environmental side, health and safety, and there is a certain amount of risk assessment, compliance, and corporate social responsibility. All of this covers the audit of a factory. And it works.

QE's take EQMS Audit Manager into the field and they get their way through the audit without any problems. 



At the beginning of this project, you talked about your requirements for a system that ensures products are being made to a certain standard.

If something is going wrong in a factory or if some of the goods aren’t perfect, then it is important to get the supplier to fix it there and then. So you are now using findings and actions in the iEQMS Auditor app. 


If it is a very large value or if the risk is high enough, we will send an engineer to that company and he will be there for five days a week. This is a daily inline audit.

It will be a patrol inspector who makes sure that what should be happening is right and that ensures we can nip any problems in the bud.

"We have tied in all of our sourcing team so ultimately there is someone responsible from the supply chain who gets that action if you like and gets that action from the supplier."

The problem I had before we had the findings on the app was that the Quality Engineer then had to be sure that he had a laptop as well his i-pad. He then had to be able to get online to actually raise the finding. As you can imagine, the Quality Engineer could be away for 10 days, so it was very difficult for them to report faults in findings.



Once QE's could do this on EQMS Audit Manager, it was a lot easier. We now know when we get a big project that we can classify the types of findings that we are going to be raising or we suspect we are going to be raising. This means we know if we are getting repeat problems and we now have a fair understanding of what a supplier is like.

On other projects where orders are of lesser value or we have worked long enough with the factory, we would do the PSI. Again, if they are raising findings that are in the AQL then they just close them out. If they are out of acceptable quality levels, then we can obviously stop the shipment. So it works both ways.

We have tied in all of our sourcing team so ultimately there is someone responsible from the supply chain who gets that action from the supplier. It is a closed loop. 

"You've set that question in stone and it can't be forgotten." 


What would you say are the top three benefits of using EQMS? 


The benefit for engineers is that you can not forget something. You send an engineer with a piece of paper and a checklist, and he can get distracted on the way.

With EQMS Audit Manager, the Quality Engineer has got to look at his i-Pad and he’s got to physically see a question. This means that before he leaves, he can instantly see that something hasn’t been addressed and things can not be left. You’ve set that question in stone and it can’t be forgotten.

Another benefit for me is that it is data and I like big data. As long as I can get people putting in the data in the same way, then it is good data I can use to understand what is happening with my suppliers and my staff. This means that I can monitor how well my staff are performing and how well my suppliers are performing. 

For me, I think the other benefit is that because I have 12 quality engineers, I can use EQMS Audit Manager as a calendar so that I know where they all are. I used to have an Outlook Calendar where they all had to put their movements on. But in many ways that has now become defunct as I can now look on this schedule and I instantly know where they are. 


3 EQMS Benefits: 


  • QE's can't forget anything
  • Data is entered consistently. 
  • I know where QE's are. 




When you first decided that there was a need for EQMS, Gemma told me that you led the project, you were the game changer, can you offer any advice for others in the same situation?


My sincere advice is that you really need to take your time with it. This is because you don’t realise how big and powerful EQMS Audit Manager is. 

"This means I can look up data for anything from how many suppliers we have in a certain category and a type, how much work we have done and how many findings we have found against certain suppliers."

So my best advice is to take your time. Take each section in the order that Qualsys tell you to look at them. Think very hard about what fields you need and what data your company needs in that section. And plan time to learn it.auditing_in_factories-for-supplier-management.png

I think it is important that you don’t sit there and think it's all come in from Qualsys and it is perfect and we’ll go. Although you will be able to use it, you will end up finding better ways to use the system.

That is my advice, learn the system step by step. 



Previously to that, before you got EQMS, is there any advice you would offer to other Quality Manager's on how you can get people involved in putting together a proposal for getting EQMS? 


I looked at a lot of very Chinglish reports. They are all very large and full of pictures. The main issue was getting the time to look at the reports. In two weeks time I would say...

"Please tell me we didn’t ship that! ... and we had..."

So, Colin, my Director and I, had a discussion. We knew there were systems like EQMS Audit Manager out there. I looked through 4 or 5 suppliers. I looked through free apps. And EQMS narrowed itself down and we were still here. That is in essence how it happened.

Once I understood what it was I was looking for, the more it narrowed itself down. optimise supplier performance


Did you have to go and present what you wanted to Colin and say I think we needed this because, or was he understanding from the beginning?


Once we knew what we wanted and we got to saying we’re going to potentially do this, I did write a justification report.

Then I just gave that to Colin and I guess he gave it to the board at CDS and requested to spend the money, because obviously we needed iPads.

"Without a doubt, EQMS saves me time."

I didn’t have any trouble with it. Without a doubt, the system saves me time. I look at the time that my quality engineers have now, and I know they have more time than they had before.


Do you think they can do more in a week now than before they had the app?


Yes, because I can give them more work. Generally speaking, if I had sent someone out for four days, they would’ve spent two days of that writing it up. And nowadays, at the end of each day, he will be spending the last half an hour of the day just sending it through. EQMS Audit Manager allows them to focus on the actions and the findings, rather than focus on writing the report.

"It allows them to focus on the actions and the findings, rather than focusing on writing the report."

Because the Quality Engineer is not thinking “I’ve got to create a report”, it’s just a case of “That’s already done, what have I got for tomorrow?” He quite simply has to make sure actions are closed.


That makes sense. So percentage time saving for an engineer, what do you think it might have saved him?


I think it would save four hours an audit.


So it’s probably four hours an audit plus your time writing it all up.audit_findings_kpi_dashboard eqms


Obviously the audit is the audit, and the Quality Engineer has to ask the same questions. The biggest saving is obviously that I’ve got it there and it is clear. I don’t have to rely on it being retranslated or rewritten. Because, again, what I suffer from is a handwritten checklist in Chinese.

"The biggest saving is obviously that I’ve got it there."

At the start of our process, we develop a product specification which has every area we are going to check. From that, comes the audit checklist. Previously the audit would have been hand written in Chinese. But at some point that needs to be retranslated back to English to create a report. Now, I don’t have any of that.


Everything is in English, so it’s all there.


Half of our office does material sourcing so we start with a request for a product. They will ask several supplier's for quotes and then request samples. We'll send off the samples for the customer / project manager to approve it.

In the meantime, we’ll then create a product specification. The specification then gets approved by the supplier and by the customer. From that, the specification requirements and audit questions go onto EQMS.

"The Audit QE’s can’t change their minds, they can’t go somewhere else, it’s fixed, nothing is lost in translation or misunderstood."


So, with EQMS now, all those questions are in and fixed. The Audit QE’s can’t change their minds, they can’t go somewhere else. It’s fixed. Nothing is lost in translation or misunderstood. That is where EQMS helps a lot. When Quality Engineers click “Finish, Synchronise,” that is the audit finished and synchronised. It’s not a case that they’ve got to spend the night uploading photos from their camera and writing up all of the auditing findings. They don't need to work out of hours so it saves a lot of time. 


Did you used to have to pay overtime everytime they worked through the night?


It depends. If I want a report and they’ve not left the factory until 6 o’clock, then I had to pay them overtime because I need the information. 

"The system removes a certain amount of ambiguity."


In terms of quality, how would you say the system has helped you to improve quality standards?


The system removes a certain amount of ambiguitiy. I can take a QE who has never done an inspection before, and tell them to look at something previous on EQMS. From that, QE's can look through that product specification and the product questions so that they can get an understanding of why that question is there.

EQMS Audit Manager enables them to view detail for each of the questions. It is all together in one place and they are not having to look through an archive full of folders somewhere on our system. That helps from a quality perspective.supplier-auditing


And that also helps to standardise the way you do things.


What also helps from a quality perspective is that the system helps to justify the score. We have a rather large audit so EQMS helps to justify the score given. 

"Before, the scoring was subjective."

Previously, the scoring was subjective. With the system, it helps to prevent it from being subjective, because we can tailor the system and give a reason why.


It is accurately measured.


More about EQMS Audit Manager: 

EQMS Audit Manager is an integrated auditing system which improves business management procedures, policies and actions. The auditing system is used by a wide variety of organisations to get better control over information, management and compliance. 


Auditing on the iPad


Tags: Audit Management Software, Supply Chain Management