Supplier change notifications are a way for a supplier to notify their customer (your organization) about a modification to an existing ingredient, packaging changes, or other changes for which they are required to as per their supplier agreements. The supplier typically sends this notification as an email. Vault QMS has built-in tools for processing supplier change notification emails. This makes it easier to get supplier change notifications into the system, triage the record, and allow you to determine if a Change Control or other Quality Event is required.
Supplier Change Notification Automation
When configured, Vault QMS uses an Email Processor and an Inbound Email Address to automate the intake of supplier change notifications. Using organization data derived from Person records, Vault populates the Supplier and Supplier Contact values on the resulting Supplier Change Notification records.
After intaking a notification, the system automatically matches follow-up emails and joins those Email records to the Supplier Change Notification record as Supplier Change Notification Emails. Vault adds any attachments to the Supplier Change Notification record. In this way, the Supplier Change Notification becomes a complete repository for emails related to a single notification event, making it easier for you to review its impact.
Email Processor Execution
When the Create Supplier Change Notification email processor executes, the email processor determines whether there is already an applicable Supplier Change Notification record by checking the
References, in the email’s header information.
If there is no existing applicable Supplier Change Notification record, Vault attempts to create one and auto-populates the Supplier Contact information in one of the following ways based on your organization’s email forwarding or redirecting configuration:
- Auto-Forwarding: This occurs when the email system forwards the email from a user’s inbox to Vault. Vault evaluates such emails as coming from the user’s inbox, for example,
email@example.com. To find the Supplier Contact, Vault attempts to parse the first
Fromemail address in the body of the email and determine if that matches to a Person record in the Vault. The system will not attempt to look at other
Forwardedmessage blocks in the email. It will only process the first one it finds.
- Auto-Redirecting: This occurs when the email system redirects the email from a user’s inbox to Vault. In this case, Vault evaluates such emails as coming from the original sender, for example,
firstname.lastname@example.org. This type of processing requires that the list of known senders is represented by Person records in Vault. Vault looks up the email address of the sender against Person records and, if found, intakes the email. If the sender is not in the system as a Person record, the email will not be processed.
If the email is processed, Vault populates the resulting Supplier Change Notification record with relevant information.
Viewing Supplier Change Notifications
Supplier Change Notification records are available to view from a custom object tab or Business Admin > Objects > Supplier Change Notifications. These records contain information about the email activity which initiated them:
|Email Sent Date
|A DateTime value.
|Sender Email Address
|Plain text of the sender’s email address.
|Links to the Person Record with the email address of the sender. If the email processor finds more than one applicable Person record, it leaves this field value blank.
|Links to the Organization record of the Person in the Supplier Contact field. The email processor only populates this value if the Organization record is Active.
|Plain text of the email’s subject line.
|Includes files attached to the original email as well as any followup emails, up to a limit of 50 files.
|Vault Email Inbox Address
|The Vault email inbox from which the original email was sent to.
Message-ID value from the latest email’s header.
|Root Message ID
Message-ID value from the original email’s header.
Email Body & HTML
In the Original Email Body section of the Supplier Change Notification record details page, Vault renders the email for viewing in its original language. In some situations, special characters may not render as they might in an email viewer. Click on the HTML icon to view the HTML text of the original email body.
The Attachments section contains the original email file, and any files attached to the original email or any follow-up emails, up to a limit of 50 files.
Processing Supplier Change Notifications
While processes for supplier change notifications differ across organizations, the example below takes advantage of the automation described in this article.
- Initial Setup: Your organization creates Organization and Person records in Vault QMS for each potential supplier contact that may initiate a notification, and a Vault Admin configures Vault QMS to automate notification intake.
- Notification Initiation: A known supplier sends a supplier change notification email to the designated contact at your organization. Your organization’s email server automatically forwards or redirects the email to Vault QMS’s email processor. Vault automatically creates a Supplier Change Notification record and begins tracking emails related to this event.
- Notification Follow-up: Your organization communicates back and forth with the supplier and all related emails and attachments that are part of the same email thread are collected in the Supplier Change Notification record.
- Impact Assessment: You evaluate the impact of the notification via your organization’s processes, potentially by creating Impacted Sites or Impact Assessment records. You send them through their assessment workflow and determine whether a Quality Event, such as a Change Control, is necessary.
To view Supplier Change Notifications and perform impact assessments on them, you require a security profile which grants you the following permissions:
- Read, Create, and Edit permissions on the Supplier Change Notification object.
- Read permission on the Email, Person, and Organization objects.