Can the documents supplied by the client categorised as customer property??

  • Thread starter hariharakumarm - 2009
  • Start date
H

hariharakumarm - 2009

#1
Hi to all there..:bigwave:

I'm from a software concern which gathers customer requirements and develops applications and websites as per the requirements.

Recently we found that we don't control documents of external origin.

I recently posted a thread asking what can be the customer supplied property for a software industry and got good ideas on it from fellow covers.

Now my doubt is that can these documents that the client supply, controlled under Customer supplied property or should they be treated as documents of external origin..:confused:

In some cases, the client, instead of giving requirements in the form of use cases or functionalities, gives those directly as design. i.e. Detailed Design document. Can this be customer supplied property. Or can we categorise this as documents of external origin..:confused:

Besides this, the client also gives us some sample report format which he expects that the application should generate in form of document. If this undergoes revision how to control this?

And if we are sure that a document which a client supplies us will not undergo any changes, should we contol it?

Kindly clarify..:D Thanks in advance..:thanks:
 
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J

joshua_sx1

#2
…if it is “document” (in nature), then you can control it by treating it as document of external origin…

…if it is required to be incorporated into your product then you can categorize it as “customer-supplied property”…

…again, controlling them would be, of course, in accordance with your established procedures…
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#3
Joshua has it right. Customer supplied property is generally things like special tooling and jigs. Caring for them uses a different approach than that of documents.
 

yodon

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
I agree with Jennifer - if you break "customer supplied property" you have a responsibility to notify the customer to resolve.

In our QMS, we mention control of customer-supplied documents in "Customer Controlled Property" but only as a reference to our Document Control procedures. The section in doc control addresses both customer-supplied and docs of external origin (e.g., standards).

As Joshua said, you do need to control customer-supplied documents (and docs of external origin). We make them read only (minimal protection) and isolate them in folders marked clearly as customer-controlled (or of external origin). Depending on risk, you might want to increase the security (password protect, etc.). One aspect of management you need to consider is how these are used. What if the customer sends an update? How do you ensure that your folks are using the correct revision - especially if hardcopies are printed?
 
V

vanputten

#5
Customer property can include many, many things like documents, equipment, material, even information (intellectual property.)

So yes, a document can easlily be considered customer property.

For me, if you have to return whatever it is, then I would call it customer property. I would use the concept of "Does it have to be returned?" or "Does the customer expect us to maintain the thing, know its status and location, and be ready to return it if asked?"
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#6
Customer property can include many, many things like documents, equipment, material, even information (intellectual property.)

So yes, a document can easlily be considered customer property.

For me, if you have to return whatever it is, then I would call it customer property. I would use the concept of "Does it have to be returned?" or "Does the customer expect us to maintain the thing, know its status and location, and be ready to return it if asked?"
I agree. If a customer gives you a copy of a document or some sort of tool or gage and doesn't expect you to return it, it's not customer "property."
 
J

JaneB

#7
I'm from a software concern which gathers customer requirements and develops applications and websites as per the requirements.

Recently we found that we don't control documents of external origin.

I recently posted a thread asking what can be the customer supplied property for a software industry and got good ideas on it from fellow covers.

Now my doubt is that can these documents that the client supply, controlled under Customer supplied property or should they be treated as documents of external origin..:confused:
Sounds like many of them are source materials that you use in order to develop your applications and websites. Treat them as 'documents of external origin'. The 'do we have to return it?' is a useful guideline - most often people think of physical stuff when they think of 'customer supplied property'.

In some cases, the client, instead of giving requirements in the form of use cases or functionalities, gives those directly as design. i.e. Detailed Design document.
Now there's a definite example of an external document you need to control. Because if they updated the DDD, then you'd want the updated version, not the earlier one, surely?

the client also gives us some sample report format which he expects that the application should generate in form of document. If this undergoes revision how to control this?
The answer to whether it 'needs control' or not, always depends on the particular document (or type of document) but most of all, what its purpose and intended use is.

For each document, you need to establish what it will be used for:
  • is it something you will rely upon as an essential reference, specification, model or similar for what you are creating? IF so - control it. Examples include Detailed Designs, use cases, functional specifications, technical specs, etc.
  • or is it more in the way of a sample, illustration or something to help you understand - eg, what kind of thing they do, the kinds of reports/outputs they get currently, etc. If so, then you may well not need to control them. Examples include samples of their current reports, sample website content, etc.

I've said you 'probably' dont need to control in the last case (the report) but again this depends on its use. If your client is providing you with a report in a particular format and specifying that the application you develop must match this format in every respect, then you would definitely need to control the sample reports that they supply. Because, if they change them (but forget to provide you with the updated ones), then this may mean extra work at your end - wouldn't you want to guard against that? Note that the 'control' can be as simple as stamping them/handwriting on them what date you received them and from who, or via configuration management (eg, storing them in separate date-identified folders) so you can identify a later one received, if need be.

BUT if the reports are just sample reports, and your development process is iterative, and includes providing reports to the client until they are happy with the ones you supply (and sign off on them), then you don't.

Another example - client gives you some documents with content that you load into the website you're building. But it's just stuff for you to use in order to create what you do - the client will review and perhaps make changes to the content and then sign off the final website content - in this case, you don't need to worry about giving back the material, and you don't need to exercise much control over it, because it's a 'work in progress' which will be subject to final review and signoff.


I'm And if we are sure that a document which a client supplies us will not undergo any changes, should we contol it?
Yes, even then if it's essential reference material. (Even if you are 'sure' it won't change, still do it.) Keep the purpose clear - control it to make sure that YOUR product/design etc. is based on accurate information as supplied.

An example of a document supplied by them that you would treat as customer supplied property might be the original of something that you needed in order to take a picture of it, say, and embed that in your application or website, but where you were under obligation to return the original to them. (Probably doesn't happen often!)
Hope this helps.
 
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