This report investigates Queensland Rail suppliers' response to the Queensland State Purchasing Policy requirement that all suppliers to the Government have formal quality systems in place by 1 July 1990.
A brief review of literature provides background on current quality management techniques, quality standards, needs and benefits of implementing quality systems, quality in purchasing and the State Purchasing Policy.
A survey of Queensland Rail's largest 226 suppliers (i.e. in terms of the value of goods purchased in 1990/91) was conducted to determine their progress with implementing quality systems, costslbenefits of implementing quality systems, general attitudes to quality, views on the State Purchasing Policy and how they perceive Queensland Rail fulfils its procurement responsibilities.
The study found that most respondents intend to implement formal quality systems, although many missed the 1 July 1990 deadline. It also found significant financial and intangible benefits of implementing quality systems. Most organisations support the intent of the State Purchasing Policy and agree it is successful in encouraging organisations to become more competitive. The major concern with the policy is that government agencies will still award business to the lowest priced offer. Most respondents are happy with the way Queensland Rail fulfils its purchasing responsibilities, although numerous suggestions are made on how to improve documentation, evaluation, conduct of assessments and communication with suppliers. Significant variances between groups of respondents are identified. In general, small businesses, stockists, organisations without certified quality systems and organisations that trade domestically are less receptive to the State Purchasing Policy, experience smaller benefits from implementing quality systems and are less supportive of modern quality management techniques.