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Asking Stupid Questions

I was visiting a food industry supplier last week on business unrelated to Qadex and I overheard two people, an MD and a Technical Manager, discussing the trials and tribulations of completing supplier self audit questionnaire forms.

“Why do they ask you such stupid questions” said one of the ladies “my products are ancillary to the process yet they ask me to answer questions that are totally unrelated?”

“I know” said the other “it’s just getting beyond reason. We were overwhelmed when the renewals  under BRC issue 6 got started.”

As well as being nosey I couldn’t help putting on my Qadex hat and asking if they got any Self- Audit Questionnaires through the QADEX system.

“Oh Qadex” said the TM “I’d love to know more about them” she said

“When I get asked to complete their SAQ’s I do them first,”

“Why” said the MD

“They are quick and straight forward to do and they seem to know what they are talking about”

“Don’t they hassle you?”

“Not unless my certifications are out of date and then they do it so nicely that you have to be grateful for the reminder”

The exchange left me thinking about the fact that in private as well as business life we are inundated with form filling. To open accounts, download useful information or satisfy the authorities we are filling out forms.

The problem is that so many companies just copy the forms they receive for sending out their own SAQ’s from their own customers. Easy for them, but confusing for the recipient.

Does anyone give prizes for good forms?

If you halve the complexity, double the relevance and apply a pinch of common sense then I’m sure that SAQ’s will be completed quicker. I’m certain you will have fewer embarrassing holes in your supplier SAQ files.

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