Big 3 can hold your QS9000 registration hostage!

J

Jay Did

#1
We lost Q1, so as you know, our QS9000 went on probation. Our registrar approved our corrective action for the issue, then dropped the bomb on us. According to them, there has been an unannounced one-month old requirement from the Big 3 that requires us to provide evidence that the customer also agrees to remove our QS9000 from probation.

Ok, no sweat. Our CA was very good. BUT....

Ford has used this opportunity to provide additional requirements on removal of the QS9000 probation status. They have required that we meet these unrealted requirements by a certain timeframe. If we do not meet them, we loose QS9000.

Ford has every right to manage Q1 and the business relationship between us. They have every right to deny or extend probation for the issue that caused our Q1 revocation. However, it seems absolutely wrong to me to add unrelated conditions and threaten our relationship with other customers in this manner.

Am I crazy? Has anyone else heard of the requirement or had a similar experience?
 
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J

Jay Did

#3
Okay, let me set this up correctly:

Our Q1 was revoked, so by procedure our QS went on probation. Our assumption was that the management of our QS9000 registration status was now between us and our registrar and that our management of our Q1 was between us and Ford. That was how it worked.

Shame on us for loosing Q1. But as most of you know, the only way to get any attention from Ford is to get into trouble. No one is there to help or answer questions, but they come out of the woodwork if they suspect you did something wrong. And then they email a half-truths or pieces of mis-information to everyone a Ford to justify their existence and it becomes totally unmanageable. But I digress…

So, we took the proper steps to correct the condition that cause the revocation. Our registrar reviewed the corrective action and agreed that we effectively corrected the issue, BUT…

Then they dropped the bomb on us. Unbeknownst to us, a meeting had just taken place between the Big 3 and the Registrars and basically there was an additional hurdle to clear. According to our registrar "probation can only be removed after receiving documented evidence that the OEM has removed the special status for which probation was initiated, or otherwise agrees to removal of the probation"

We were on probation because our Q1 was revoked. Technically, to remove the special status (Q1 revoked) you had to regain Q1. No longer was fixing the problem enough.

Well, there’s one problem right off the bat; According to QS9000, you have either 3 or 4 months (too lazy to look it up right now) to effectively address the nonconformity. However, once you loose Q1, you have lost it for at least 6 months, per their rules. Therefore any supplier that has their Q1 revoked cannot have the revoked status removed in the allotted time. It is up to Ford whether they will grant an extension. The impact if they do not is that you lose QS9000 registration and risk your relationship with all your other customers. That did not happen to us, but I would not want to leave this in their hands again.

There were 2 other big problems for us. The first was that the information regarding this new requirement was unavailable to us until we submitted the corrective action (near the end of the probationary period). The second was that we got caught between Q1 versions.

As we were already Q1 when the “new” Q1 was introduced, we did not have to have ISO14001 until July 2003. So our target for ISO14001 was July 2003. However, once we lost Q1, we had to have ISO14001 to get Q1 back. In other words, we did not have to return to the previous requirements; we had to clear another significant hurdle.

Instead of extending the probation to a reasonable timeframe, Ford gave us 3 months to implement an entire EMS and regain Q1.

The outcome? We made it. Whoohoo.

But I’ll tell you, every interaction with Ford is so abusive that I can guarantee that I will NEVER BUY A NEW FORD AGAIN. The same goes for any (many) of my co-workers that have been touched by their abuse.


Jay
 
#4
Jay Did said:
The outcome? We made it. Whoohoo.

But I’ll tell you, every interaction with Ford is so abusive that I can guarantee that I will NEVER BUY A NEW FORD AGAIN. The same goes for any (many) of my co-workers that have been touched by their abuse.
Interesting and somewhat saddening tale, Jay. Being steamrolled by ones customer is not a pleasent experience. Many of us knows what it feels like, and it is clearly not limited to QS... I suppose it's more a big customer / small supplier syndrome? Have a look at this: Customer Requiring Environmental and Health and Safety Efforts

/Claes
 
Q

Quality101

#5
Abuse from customers.

I had the same experience with Ford. I was a supplier for them for 10 years. I went in to sort some parts and was screamed at for 4 hours while my crew sat outside the office. At another Ford facility (sorting parts) we were kicked out by a union stewert to sort parts outside (snowing) in 10 degree weather. I have 10 years of stories like that. Needless to say I dont drive a Ford.



I had to add the best customer I have worked with is Honda. They were willing to help out with anything that happend, and everything was on the table no song & dance. :agree1:
 
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D

dsmith45

#6
Ford abuses suppliers

Having been in the automotive business for 26 years, I cannot agree more that Ford is the singularly worst of the Big 2.5 in their treatment of their supply base. They talk a great line about "supplier partnerships", but when it comes down to crunch time, we suppliers take the hit, get screamed at, have to jump through hoops and document our butts off, :whip: but they can miss deadlines, forget to perform tasks, and basically do nothing to help themselves, and we're to blame. My father retired from Ford after 30 years [Program Engineer] and I still don't drive a Ford! :argue:
 
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Barahir

Involved In Discussions
#7
You could take just about everything written in this thread and replace "Ford" with "Visteon" and it would still be 100% accurate. We're moving from a QS9 system to a TS2 system and I've been advocating dropping Visteon as a customer before we do to save on the headaches - they're not that big of a customer to us, but we'd have to jump through more hoops for them with regards to a new TS QMS that I don't think there would be any value to continue supplying them.
 
T

TedCambron

#9
Ford Suppliers

It's up to me again to talk about insider information.
Unless your organization's officials have buddies in Ford you will fail as a supplier no matter what you do. On the other hand if the owner of your organization worked for ford and made freinds there, your company can sell them garbage at top dollar. Some of you already know this.
What I suggest is hiring some top level guy from Ford. This is proven. I will not give names.
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#10
TedCambron said:
It's up to me again to talk about insider information.
Unless your organization's officials have buddies in Ford you will fail as a supplier no matter what you do. On the other hand if the owner of your organization worked for ford and made freinds there, your company can sell them garbage at top dollar. Some of you already know this.
What I suggest is hiring some top level guy from Ford. This is proven. I will not give names.

This is a little limited in scope. It is obvious you have had some bad experiences, and Ford certainly causes issues to its suppliers, but there are many good suppliers to Ford who are not working under the table or hiring ex-Ford people.

It is not valid to draw an analytical conclusion based on one or two data points.
 
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