Change Approval Requirements - Does every change need formal customer approval?

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#11
Learning of your customers plans and how changes to your product could make those plans more successful is an essential service to your customers.

I suggest they’ll receive this service from you or one of your competitors.

Keeping your customer apprised of your upcoming changes is a great way of broaching this subject and continually improving your service for creating more successful customers. If that is part of your company’s mission.
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#12
Hi John, thanks for your input.
We indeed practice what we preach and keep the customers closely informed about all our running and upcoming changes. The issue again is whether every change requires a formal customer approval.
According to all I read so far, there is no such ISO or other requirement and everything relates to what contracts stipulate. I'm sure not one company is asking for every single internal change its customers for approval. I'm convinced everyone is evaluating the possible impact of the change and tries with a business mindset to minimize what needs to be communicated depending on what its customer may, or may not, uncover.
As @Ninja's negative experience points out, good (read successful?) companies know how to select when and what to communicate avoiding the risk of being classified as "too high maintenance".
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#13
One of my clients convinced themselves that changing the color of a semiconductor from black to clear needed no customer approval.

...after all, they argued, the spec was silent as was their adopted system standard.

Guess if their robots later had a problem with this change.
 
#14
John,... good example from a bad customer analysis.
Just for my personal interest: were you/your customer aware of this color identification importance (visual recognition), or was this uncovered after many stressful days of errors?
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#15
It was over two decades ago that the customer complained.

Investigating this complaint, my client discovered that their semiconductors' specs must include color.

Both parties learned from this episode and updated their specs accordingly.
 
#17
The products are not changed. No dimensional, optical or functional impact. We informed the customer, but don't expect this to require a formal approval.
Extensive trials, sample checks and capability calculations on 125 parts consecutive (PpK / CmK / Sigma capability) were done and showed all dimensions are extremely close to the mean dimension and capabilities well above the standard acceptable values).
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#18
Jim, as direct answers to some of your questions:
We produce a socket outlet with USB charging ports. we own the designs and development. Our OEM customers are buying a finished product on which we only adapt laser printing marking and colors of external visible parts according to their wish. The change we want to introduce is a shift form half automated to full automated injection moulding for one of the plastic parts.
I believe however, Correct me if I'm wrong, the answer to my question has been given: there's no international standard prescribing the change request/notification rules. It is a customer contract requirement and/or gentlemen's agreement based practice.
The reason I asked (twice) for elaboration is that there are industries and customer situations where change notification is required in some instances. At least nominally you have no obligation to notify in your situation, but I would certainly examine the relevant customer contracts to be sure.
 
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