Incoming Materials Control

Any organization , big or small, shall look for quality input (materials) from suppliers to have the desired output or use. For this reason, it devises ways to control the incoming materials by having a check system on quantity , quality and readiness for use.

Control on incoming materials is exercised through Inspection by the purchaser.


Need For Inspection:

Inspection is an important aspect of Integrated Materials Management. It is an adjunct to the purchase function to ensure that the incoming materials of right quality are procured for use.

The word quality has numerous meanings. The most appropriate meaning of quality in the present context is “CONFORMANCE TO ORDERED SPECIFICATION & FITNESS FOR USE”, whether for products or services.

Depending upon the nature, criticality & value of items, inspection is conducted either at supplier’s premises or at plant stores after receipt. There are several ways of carrying out inspection

Pre Dispatch Inspection :

This is inspection before dispatch of material. Usually specified in the Purchase Order (PO) , the inspection is carried out at supplier’s premises (works). Supplier gives an Inspection Request (IR) to the inspection agency mentioned in the PO. On receipt of IR, the inspecting officer visits the supplier’s premises along with documents necessary for inspecting such as copy of PO, drawing, specification etc.

                    The following checks are conducted depending on the nature of item:

  • Visual check

  • Dimensional check

  • Functional check

  • Physical testing such as hardness, pressure test, load test etc

  • Electrical and other on-bed testings such as High voltage test, Insulation resistance test etc.


The accepted materials are marked by stamping/punching/stickers/ seal/tag etc as a mark of acceptance, The supplier is asked to deliver the same to the consignee as mentioned in the PO.


Stage Inspection / Final Inspection :

For critical items, it is required to conduct stage inspection of semi-finished items (such as castings, forgings etc) at suppliers premises.

In such cases, the supplier gives an interim Inspection Request to the inspection agency.
During stage inspection, sample is collected by the inspecting officer for Chemical analysis / Physical testing at either their own facility or at 3rd party locations.


On receipt of test results, conformance to specification is verified & clearance is given to the supplier for further processing of the item.
After readiness of the material in all respect & internal checking, the supplier gives the final Inspection Request to the inspection agency. In some critical cases, joint inspection by Indenter & Inspection is carried out at supplier’s premises.

Document Inspection :

Sometimes and usually for very standard ,off the shelf items, inspection can be carried out through the  verification of supplier given certificates such as Material Test Certificate (MTC), Manufacturing Certificate (Mfg. TC), Guarantee Certificate (GC) etc. After ensuring conformance of materials to the ordered specification
in all respect, Inspection Certificate (IC) is issued by the inspecting officer to the supplier.

Stores / Receipt Inspection :

Majority of items are inspected through this route. Materials are received in the receiving bays of Stores. Such items are usually accepted based on visual examination & verification of documents.

Materials in the receiving bay are segregated into several categories, based on their quality control status and destination. Procedures in receiving provide for storage and transport of material in each category.


The major categories are :
  • Awaiting inspection – This category consists of material that has been received and is awaiting inspection before being moved into stock.
  • Acceptance upon certification – This category consists of material that may be accepted pending certification.
  • Rework – In this category are materials that are defective and must be reworked.
  • Return – This category contains materials that are defective and will be returned to the supplier for credit or replacement.
  • Materials to be tested – This category consists of materials which have been received and are awaiting delivery to the using/testing department.

Third Party Inspection :
In case of specialized items, which require special proficiency for inspection, help of third
party inspection agencies is taken.

Statutory Compliances ( IBR, EXPLOSIVE) :
In case of items, which require approval of statutory authority such as IBR (Indian Boiler Regulation), CCE (Chief Controller of Explosives) etc, verification & correlation of documents with the materials is done by the inspection agency before acceptance.

Quality Complaint Redressal :
If materials after issue to the user department is found to be having defects such as dimensional deviation, fitness problem etc, the supplier is asked to

supply free replacement against such defects. If there is a pre-mature failure of the material, joint investigation is carried out by the indenter & inspection agency. If it is established that, the pre-mature failure has occurred due to use of wrong material or faulty workmanship, the supplier is asked to either rectify the defects (if feasible) or supply free replacement.


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