A customer requests a copy of our Quality Handbook

M

mr. veen

Today, a customer of our company asked to send them a copy of our Quality handbook. My first reaction was: absurd! What do you think of this request? Does anybody has had the same request? And isn't that a violation of privacy?

I am going to ask the customer why he wants it so bad, maybe to use it for their own handbook? Something smells here.....

Kind regards,

veen
 
A

Aaron Lupo

mr. veen said:
Today, a customer of our company asked to send them a copy of our Quality handbook. My first reaction was: absurd! What do you think of this request? Does anybody has had the same request? And isn't that a violation of privacy?

I am going to ask the customer why he wants it so bad, maybe to use it for their own handbook? Something smells here.....

Kind regards,

veen

A customer wants a copy of your Quality handbook or Quality Manual, this is a very common request just send it to them.
 

Al Rosen

Leader
Super Moderator
I use to get those requests and make them routinely. What do you have to hide?

It's a customer just trying to ascertain whether you have a quality system. If the quality manual is too large, see if he will accept a table of contents, or if you are ISO registered a copy of your cert.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
Mr Veen I'm going to take for granted that you are subscribing to ISOI 9001 with the design of your QMS.

Take a good long look at the "Model of Precessed based QMS" in the front of the standard. After you've done so you should be able to deduce that business begins with and ends with the "Customer". Ask yourself a question:
"How can a copy of our QMS handbook in the hands of our customer harm us?"

So what if they may want to copy it for their own system? I would consider it a compliment if someone wanted to copy what I did.

Worry about real issues like actually doing what you handbook states.

BTW...Welcome to the Cove :bigwave:
 
R

RosieA

Hi Mr. Veen,

Maybe it isn't a common practice in the EU, but asking for a copy of a supplier's Quality Manual is pretty common in the US. I'd take it as a compliment if someone wanted to copy the format of mine.

Be sure you stamp it uncontrolled so the customer doesn't have any expectation of you keeping it under revision control.

Depending on the subject matter I have refused to give a customer lower level process documentation that I consider to be proprietary, but the QA Manual is (or should be) general enough in nature to avoid sharing company-specific information.
 
C

Craig H.

RosieA said:
Hi Mr. Veen,

Maybe it isn't a common practice in the EU, but asking for a copy of a supplier's Quality Manual is pretty common in the US. I'd take it as a compliment if someone wanted to copy the format of mine.


Well, Rosie, there are several people who have given me their QM that should feel complimented, then, because I borrowed shamelessly from several. I don't know if anyone has "borrowed" from the several copies of ours I have sent out, but I would consider both myself, those who sent me their manual, and the Covers all complimented.

Mr. Veen, it is not at all unusual for a customer to make such a request. I have even had one or two offer to send me theirs in return, though I wouldn't just come out and ask for it. If you can use your customer's request as a way to open up a dialogue with your customer's QA people, so much the better (hint, hint).

Craig
 

CarolX

Trusted Information Resource
Mr. Veen,

As the others have stated, it is a common pratice for customers to request copies of the Quality Manual. Our customers use it as part of their "Supplier Evaluation" process.

CarolX
 
M

mshell

I have requested that all of our suppliers provide a copy (if available). The response has been outstanding and I have developed business relationships with several of the QA personnel as a result of the request. In fact, I have only had one supplier to refuse my request.

The partnership has to begin somewhere and it seems to me that quality would be a good beginning. :)
 
C

ChrisF

Im a little surprised at the feedback here which is ok because now Im sure to learn something :smokin:
I have never recieved a request for a "copy" of my manual but If I were to, it would not be possible. The documentation (production procedures in particular) contained in our manual is strictly confidential and I would not want it out on the street, not to mention against company policy.
I would and have furnished copies of certificates, table of contents, and specific procedures as requested. I would even let someone come into my office and review the proccedures if they wish.
I dont want to change the direction of the post, but Im curious to know if your companies have several levels of Manual as stated by RosieA.

My company:
Industrial/Medical Gas distributor
95 employees, 1000+ documents/procedures contained in 75 binders.
Oh yeah...did I say it wouldnt be very practical to send it either :p

I inherited this system and am looking for a better way.
 

CarolX

Trusted Information Resource
Hi ChrisF and Welcome to the Cove,

I think most of the responses have refered to their top level documentation...Quality Manual or Policy Manual, not their individual procedures.

And I agree...you wouldn't want to release those procedures or work instructions...that is for internal use only.

CarolX
 
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