Is it possible to audit the device supplier, should you need to do so? What guidelines would be used for the audit (i.e. ISO/TS16949: Quality Management Systems – Automotive Suppliers – Particular Requirements for the Application of ISO 9001:2008? Or internal requirements?)
Auditing a supplier can provide valuable insight into their manufacturing discipline,
process control, and quality control and assurance. Auditing can build confidence in the supplier’s capabilities and likelihood that they are delivering product that meets your mission’s requirements. It also give insight into how effectively the supplier can respond and resolve issues, should you receive defective product.
That said, audits take time and money to conduct, whether the supplier is on- or off-shore. You also need to know what to look for and ask for, if the audit is be worthwhile. Additionally, contracts, non-disclosure agreements and other arrangements may need to be established in order for an audit to occur.