Posts Tagged ‘implementation’

Customer satisfaction – the art of making the customer feel like they matter!

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Past the half way point in our top ten countdown of quality system nightmares -

Reason #5 – Customer satisfaction data is not analyzed, or even collected!

Whenever the subject of customer satisfaction comes up in quality system implementation, there is never a neutral or apathetic response from top management. Some are gung-ho on getting data and finding out where they stand, and others will wince in pain knowing that the big blowout last week with that top account will end up as a documented exercise in finger pointing. Everyone will have their personal take on gathering data, including just who should be solicited for feedback and who will analyze it.

”Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”
- Donald Porter V.P., British Airways

Often, those management team members that have direct responsibility for on-time delivery and zero defects may think customer satisfaction data is not necessary, especially when there has been a recent positive trend in both of those metrics. If the customer is getting defect free product and on-time delivery, what could possible be wrong? Why would anyone complain?

If you read ISO 9001 clause 8.2.1 – Customer Satisfaction, it states “…the organization shall monitor information relating to customer perception as to whether the organization has met customer requirements.” This can mean a lot more than good product on time. Your customer may have many issues regarding such matters as communication, response time to questions or concerns, or other service related items.

One of the most comical remarks we’ve heard from the ranks of top management is that “We don’t want to ask anyone now – we just sent out a lot of bad orders that are coming back!”

Waiting for customers to be in a really good mood should not be a part of information gathering criteria. How the company ranks in customer satisfaction is not the important thing. What a company is doing in response to customer satisfaction is the primary concern.

In fact, great customer relation-building opportunities await if customer satisfaction data is collected during times of product crises. Demonstrating that customer opinion matters, whether good or bad, and then actually acting on that information through such methods as corrective action, increased contact or even new process implementation will convey the message that no matter how negative a customer experience was, the customer is supreme!

For some creative ideas in measuring customer satisfaction, contact G3 Solutions today!

Congratulations! You are now in charge of creating an ISO 9001 system – now what?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Quite often, the G3 staff is asked to recommend a plan of action for people who find themselves in the position of “being volunteered” to put together an ISO 9001 (or any other ISO 9001-based standard) system for their company. Unfortunately, for employees that have little to no experience with quality standards, this can be an overwhelming task. We recommend the following steps:

Step 1 – Before you can plan what to do, you and the management team need to know what is required. Start with an overview training session on the standard for yourself followed by a session for top management. Strongly emphasize that the standard is process based and highlight the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model. All parties involved in the implementation must realize that the standard has a couple of key principles that are referenced all throughout the standard – customer satisfaction and continual improvement. The ultimate goal is to make all customers happy, but the method of getting to that goal is by the continual improvement of your processes. This is where top management needs to make a little paradigm shift – customer satisfaction means more than a reduction in phone calls from the customer yelling about something that wasn’t just right. It certainly means more than assuming a customer is happy if they continue to give orders for more products and services. Remember, customers can multi-task by giving your organization a new purchase order while giving a new supplier the thumbs up for the next order. By the time some realize the customer isn’t happy, it can be too late.

This is where continual improvement comes into play. By knowing what your customers think of the level of service and value they receive from your organization, your company can initiate the proper continual improvement objectives that can reduce or eliminate the problems and issues that can make their way to the customer.

This is why you need to get all of top management involved. Everyone must get a clear view of the big picture. Having a quality management system (QMS) based on the appropriate ISO standard should become the implementation of a quality philosophy and roadmap for doing things right. Stress that it is a quality management system by which the company will operate and oh, by the way, it just happens to comply with the ISO standard. After that, don’t mention the letters “ISO” – just QMS. Companies that implement systems based on the need to meet ISO requirements often find that employees put an emphasis on doing things just to meet the standard as opposed to improving the process.

Additional steps will be discussed in future posts. Visit g3iso.com for more info.

For AS9100, familiarity with OASIS is a must!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

If your organization is working on the implementation of AS9100, AS9110, or AS9120, the OASIS (Online Aerospace Supplier Information System) database resource is essential as an information tool. Maintained by SAE International, the system provides aerospace supplier certification and registration data that includes information on accreditation bodies, the certification bodies accredited for the scheme, auditors approved for the aerospace scheme and certified suppliers.

To use this resource, you must sign up and register. There is no charge to do this – sign up and registration is free. Simply go to www.sae.org/oasis and the on-line instructions are easy.

For more info or help with OASIS, contact the experts at G3 Solutions.

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

Identifying Environmental Aspects for ISO 14001

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

During ISO 14001 implementation, the most important exercise a company will go through is identifying all possible environmental aspects. Without a proper and thorough examination of all processes, functions and grounds of a facility, the rest of the environmental management system (EMS) is an exercise in meaningless documentation.

Once all aspects are identified, a determination must be made as to what aspects are significant and if they are within the organizations ability to control. This is best conducted through some type of risk analysis format such as a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) type review of the aspects.

If the process of identifying all environmental aspects of your company’s activities is becoming a daunting task due to limited or stretched resources, contact the experts at G3 Solutions today!

ISO 9001 – It is time to put the “document nightmare” perception away! (Part 1 of 3)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Although it is true that ISO 9001 does require documented evidence for many requirements, this should not be interpreted as needing a new document for everything you do. Many times companies can modify existing documents to provide evidence of conformity to ISO 9001 requirements. Standards such as ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, ISO 13485, ISO 14001 and others have additional requirements for added documents, but the same strategy of modifying existing documents can be used for a majority of those additional demands.

In the ISO 9001 guidance document “Introduction and support package: Guidance on the documentation requirements of ISO 9001:2008 Document: ISO/TC 176/SC 2/N525R2, October 2008″, it states “For organizations wishing to demonstrate conformity with the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, for the purposes of certification/registration, contractual, or other reasons, it is important to remember the need to provide evidence of the effective implementation of the QMS. Organizations may be able to demonstrate conformity without the need for extensive documentation.

There are other recommendations for document control which we will list in future posts. Just remember that the standard gives you an incredible amount of flexibility in putting together your documentation. If you would like additional ideas on how you can control your ISO documentation, contact the experts at G3 Solutions today!

ISO Implementation – Get People Involved!!

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The proper implementation of any quality management system should invole all employees in some manner, regardless of the standard. Many times it is common to see procedures and work instructions developed by personnel who do not (or have never) been part of that function or process. This can be one of the biggest mistakes a company can make in implementing a quality system.

One of the key principles that ISO 9001 and many other standards were based on is the involvement of people. People at all levels are the essence of an organization and their full involvement enables their abilities to be used for the organization’s improvement.

The resulting output of employee involvent can provide numerous benefits, such as:

  • Motivated, committed and involved people within the organization.
  • Innovation and creativity in furthering the organization’s objectives.
  • People being accountable for their own performance.
  • People eager to participate in and contribute to continual improvement.

    Applying the principle of involvement of people typically leads to employees:

  • understanding the importance of their contribution and role in the organization.
  • identifying constraints to their performance.
  • accepting ownership of problems and their responsibility for solving them.
  • evaluating their performance against their personal goals and objectives.
  • actively seeking opportunities to enhance their competence, knowledge and experience.
  • freely sharing knowledge and experience.
  • openly discussing problems and issues.

    Let us know what you think – sign in and voice your opinion.

  • Visit our wesite at www.g3iso.com today!

    Getting real value from quality system implementation

    Thursday, February 12th, 2009

    A well-functioning quality management system can provide real value and cost savings in a number of ways. One of the most important requirements found in ISO 9001-based standards such as ISO/TS 16949, AS9100 or ISO 13485 is the requirement of section 5.4.1 – Quality Objectives. The section states “Top management shall ensure that quality objectives, including those needed to meet requirements for product, are established at relevant functions and levels within the organization. The quality objectives shall be measurable and consistent with the quality policy.” This can be a great opportunity for the management of an organization to determine what exactly should be measured and analyzed to drive continual improvement and profitability.

    One of the better measurements that every company can monitor is the cost of poor quality. Some standards such as ISO/TS 16949 make it a requirement. This measurement can be applied to any organization regardless of whether they provide some type of durable good or a type of service involving intellectual property. When a company examines the true dollars spent in scrap and/or rework, the resulting data can be an eye-opening epiphany.

    Check back soon to see more postings on quality objectives. Visit our full website at www.g3iso.com today!

    Implementation of ISO 9001 and other standards – planning is key!

    Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

    As with any project, having a solid plan to follow will usually be an accurate indicator of whether the project will flounder or finish on time. Implementation of quality standards such as ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949, AS9100, ISO 13485 and others are no exception.

    When beginning implementation of an ISO standard, key questions must be asked. Here are a few for starters:
    • Will the project involve one site or will it include multiple facilities?
    • What types of activities will be covered under the scope?
    • Do we need to make exclusions for such items as design, servicing and special process verification? Will exclusions be allowed, depending on the standard?
    • Will the implementation team need formal training?
    • How well are key processes identified?
    • What company measurables are in place? Are they adequate? Can they be linked to continual improvement?
    • Do we need some outside expertise?

    This is only the beginning. Once these questions are answered, projects and assignments can be distributed to the proper personnel. It is important that key project milestones and activities have realistic due dates and that those dates are monitored.

    Most importantly, the involvement of as many employees as possible in the implementation/documentation phase is critical. Employees that are involved and are solicited for input during the project generally take more ownership of policies and procedures. This helps to create a “quality culture” throughout the organization.