Posts Tagged ‘requirements’

CQI-15 and CQI-17 – new assessments join the family of CQI documents

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

A recent update from AIAG has announced that the new (CQI-15) Special Process: Welding System Assessment and (CQI-17) Special Process: Soldering System Assessment are now available in both hard copy and electronically as e-documents.

According to the AIAG update, “CQI-15 and CQI-17 focus on continual improvement, emphasizing defect prevention and the reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain. The Soldering System Assessment helps frame a common approach to a soldering management system for automotive production and service part organizations, while the Welding System Assessment does the same for welding management systems. In addition, both assessments support the automotive process approach in ISO/TS 16949.”

These documents join the family of other CQI assessment documents that include automotive supplier self-assessments CQI-9, CQI-11 & CQI-12 for heat treating, plating, and coatings. The assessments are part of the customer specific requirements for ISO/TS 16949. Chrysler will require CQI-14 self-certification from suppliers in 2011.

For more info on these assessments, contact G3 Solutions today!

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!

Document control – it can be easier than some may think!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Recently, I was perusing through a quality discussion forum and the question was asked “Is it ever a good idea to organize and name your company’s files, documents, procedures, work instructions, and other items according to the numbering system of ISO/TS requirements?”

I am always horrified when a company starts constructing a quality system based on a standard rather than their own internal processes. Standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO/TS 16949 should be used as a guide for the construction of the quality system and not the reason for its existence. These types of “let’s satisfy ISO first” quality systems have a tendency to become thought of as documentation for “that annoying ISO stuff!”. This can eventually lead to documents being ignored, or worse, rewritten and uncontrolled in order to be thought of as more relevant to their use.

There is no prescriptive method for numbering or naming your quality system documentation. Usually, simple revision date codes or numbers can be used to provide a level of control needed to meet requirements.

Make your documentation easy to use by somehow identifying it with the process they are associated with to provide a more relevant and effective understanding of their use.

For more tips on document control, contact G3 Solutions today!

New (or maybe rumored) Corrective and Preventive Action requirements! Make sure your system is up to speed!

Friday, May 8th, 2009

In order to accommodate the rumored additional changes to ISO 9001:2008, you will need to incorporate the following form into your organizations Corrective and Preventive Action system. It is also rumored that these requirements will affect additional standards such as ISO/TS 16949, ISO 14001, AS9100, ISO 13485, ISO 22000 and various other standards.

Free download: iso-mil-hf-car-par

The downloadable form was developed by members of the military to facilitate the documentation of key personal issues into a corrective and preventive action format. If you have any questions or require any help in the application or requirements of this form, please contact G3 Solutions. We will do our best to aid in the development of your quality management system and sense of humor.

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

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

In Part 2, the definition of objective evidence was clarified and examples were given. The ISO/TC 176 guidance document on ISO 9001:2008 continues to clarify and explain how conformity with the standard can be achieved. It goes on to state:

“Objective evidence does not necessarily depend on the existence of documented procedures, records or other documents, except where specifically mentioned in ISO 9001:2008. In some cases, (for example, in clause 7.1(d) Planning of product realization, and clause 8.2.4 Monitoring and measurement of product), it is up to the organization to determine what records are necessary in order to provide this objective evidence.

Where the organization has no specific internal procedure for a particular activity, and this is not required by the standard, (for example, clause 5.6 Management Review), it is acceptable for this activity to be conducted using as a basis the relevant clause of ISO 9001:2008. In these situations, both internal and external audits may use the text of ISO 9001:2008 for conformity assessment purposes.”

By examining the intent of the standard, it is clear to see that a good amount of flexibility was built in to allow a company to make the standard work for them. A big fear of ISO implementation is the phobia of having to change an organization from top to bottom to have it meet requirements. The guidance document put out by ISO/TC 176 does a great job of putting these fears to rest.

For more help with ISO standards, contact G3 Solutions today!

The ISO 9001 Quality Manual – how useful is it?

Friday, March 6th, 2009

It is always amazing to see how many small companies construct a lengthy quality manual and then question whether or not it provides any real value. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than it should be and the question is quite valid – how useful is it?

The first thing that an organization should realize when constructing a quality manual is that there is no single prescribed way for it to look. The requirements are plainly stated in ISO 9001:2008 clause 4.2.2. According to the “Introduction and support package: Guidance on the documentation requirements of ISO 9001:2008″ (Document: ISO/TC 176/SC 2/N525R2) created by ISO Techincal Committee 176:

Clause 4.2.2 of ISO 9001:2008 specifies the minimum content for a quality manual. The format and structure of the manual is a decision for each organization, and will depend on the organization’s size, culture and complexity. Some organizations may choose to use the quality manual for other purposes besides that of simply documenting the QMS (Quality Management System).

A small organization may find it appropriate to include the description, processes and methods of its entire QMS within a single manual, including all the documented procedures required by the standard.

Large, multi-national organizations may need several manuals at the global, national or regional level, and a more complex hierarchy of documentation.

The quality manual is a document that has to be controlled in accordance with the requirements of clause 4.2.3.”

Nowhere in the standard or in the guidance document does it state that the organization must regurgitate the standard and replace the word “shall” with some type of term as “we do…”.

The best quality manuals are always written specifically for the company (NOT templates) and contain the scope of the manual, reference or inclusion of procedures and SIMPLE, employee-friendly process descriptions that clearly show the sequence and interaction of key company processes.

How does your quality manual stack up? Log in and sound off!

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