Posts Tagged ‘continual’

Attention automotive suppliers! Be aware of MMOG/LE customer requirements!

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Have you completed your Materials Management Operations Guideline/Logistics Evaluation (MMOG/LE) assessment?

Many automotive suppliers are required by customers to complete the MMOG/LE self-assessment. Some companies are using the MMOG/LE because it is an effective tool for identifying weaknesses in plant operations and an excellent method for continual improvement.

Some of the benefits of MMOG/LE include reduced costs associated with premium freight, obsolescence, inventory carrying costs and administrative costs.

OEM Requirements:
Chrysler Group LLC – All suppliers must complete the MMOG/LE assessment by December 31, 2010

Ford Motor Company – All suppliers are required to submit their completed MMOG/LE between May 1 and July 31 annually

General Motors Company – All tier 1 direct material suppliers will be required to complete version 3 of MMOG/LE by the end of February, 2011

Renault – All suppliers must complete a Global MMOG/LE assessment annually

Volvo – All suppliers must complete a Global MMOG/LE assessment annually

Are company objectives for quality really working as a tool for improvement?

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Part of our top ten series of reasons some companies are not getting the most from their quality system -

Reason #7 – Quality objectives are never changed

One of the key requirements in quality standards such as ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, AS9100 and others is that an organization must establish and measure objectives for quality. Even though this is just one of numerous requirements found in various ISO standards, this one key mandate may provide the most overall benefit to an organization.

Setting objectives for quality throughout the company and monitoring those objectives should provide a useful overview of how well processes are performing. At times, we see companies that establish simple goals and objectives that are too easily met and remain virtually unchanged, sometimes over a period of years. When this pattern of perceived “success” in meeting objectives is investigated, it is often exposed that there is a company culture that assumes it is better to portray a positive than display any type of negative trend to either customers or third party auditors.

This can be a major roadblock in making the quality system a true tool for continual improvement. It often fosters a feeling of apathy in many employees who view the quality system as simple window dressing for keeping the current customer base happy and impressing potential customers. Once this attitude becomes part of the overall organizational culture, it is tough to reverse – but not impossible.

A primary function of top management should be to examine if current objectives and goals are providing a true evaluation of overall performance. The key output of this review should be to establish new goals that may be more realistic in terms of driving process improvement. Just because an organization may not be meeting goals and objectives and an analysis of data may show a negative trend, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is a quality freight train wreck.

By linking continual improvement initiatives and programs to numbers that aren’t traveling in the desired direction shows that the organization is truly dedicated to continual improvement. Once the top management of an organization like that described above makes a strategic paradigm shift in reviewing and understanding quality objectives, good things will happen. It will not only make the company look stronger to customers and auditors, but to those employees who are hoping for real process improvement.

Writing a corrective action when “It wasn’t our fault!”

Friday, March 26th, 2010

When dealing with quality system standards such as ISO 9001, it is important to remember the emphasis put on continual improvement.

A recent event at a client location involved a customer complaint that turned out to be a supplier issue. When encouraged to write an internal corrective action, someone within the organization made the remark “Why should we write a corrective action if it wasn’t our fault? It was a supplier issue!”

At first thought, it sounds like a valid point. The whole situation was caused by the supplier. The organization did everything correctly according to their procedures. They also have a robust supplier management program that, as most felt, would provide a solid system to notify the supplier and request a root cause determination as to how the incident can be avoided in the future.

So why a corrective action? First, every incident involving a customer complaint truly is a golden opportunity to make sure it won’t repeat – no matter who is at fault. If it can happen once, it can happen again. And although people within the organization know that this time it isn’t the company’s fault, there is a high probability that the customer doesn’t care. All the customer knows is that they used a company to supply a product or service and something went wrong. The customer is also probably wondering “If this supplier is used again, what other headaches and heartburn will we encounter?” This can and probably will affect the customer perception of the organization (reference ISO 9001 clause 8.2.1 – Customer Satisfaction).

Secondly, we can’t forget Note 3 in ISO 9001 clause 4.1 – General Requirements that states “Ensuring control over outsourced processes does not absolve the organization of the responsibility of conformity to all customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.” Sure, the supplier got it wrong, but we are still responsible for the product or service we promised to the customer.

Finally, the fact that the organization followed all of their procedures is good, but how do they know that the procedures are right? Have changes in the organization occurred since the procedures were written and reviewed? And if the answer is yes, do our procedures allow for the flexibility of dealing with those changes? There probably is much to examine, explore and revise if changes in operations have been made.

Again, continual improvement should always be the emphasis when the customer isn’t happy. In the end, taking this approach can be the difference between happy or irate customers – not to mention repeat or lost revenue.

When implementing an ISO 9001 system, be aware of the tools that are available!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

The ISO 9001 standard was developed by the IOS Technical Committee 176. The committee has also been part of the development of many other standards to aid in the implementation and continual improvement of a quality management system. Be sure to look at some of these quality tools. They can help your organization implement an effective quality system that will provide real value in a number of areas.

Current standards from ISO/TC 176 and its subcommittees:

• ISO 9000:2005 Quality management systems – Fundamentals and vocabulary

• ISO 9001:2008 Quality management systems – Requirements

• ISO 9004:2000 Quality management systems – Guidelines for performance improvements

• ISO 10001:2007 Quality management – Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for codes of conduct for organizations

• ISO 10002:2004 Quality management – Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations

• ISO 10003:2007 Quality management – Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for dispute resolution external to the organization

• ISO 10005:2005 Quality management – Guidelines for quality plans

• ISO 10006:2003 Quality management – Guidelines for quality management in projects

• ISO 10007:2003 Quality management – Guidelines for configuration management

• ISO 10012:2003 Measurement management systems – Requirements for measurement processes and measuring equipment

• ISO/TR 10013:2001 Guidelines for quality management system documentation

• ISO 10014:2006 Quality management – Guidelines for realizing financial and economic benefits

• ISO 10015:1999 Quality management – Guidelines for training

• ISO/TR 10017:2003 Guidance on statistical techniques for ISO 9001:2000

• ISO 10019:2005 Guidelines for the selection of quality management system consultants and use of their services

• ISO/TS 16949:2002 Quality management systems – Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2000 for automotive production and relevant service part organizations

• ISO 19011:2002 Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing