Contract Review - How do you prove it?

Two terms come to mind - "The proof is in the pudding" and "Horses for courses". It really comes down to risk management and the product or service you are providing. Look at McDonalds, they perform contract review perfectly, by repeating the order back to the customer and gaining their acceptance. This is in its simplest form, where a Sales person may jot down on scrap paper what the customer wants, repeat it, scribe a line through it on acceptance and toss it the following day. Computer based systems are also a common method of confirming and accpeting (which then produces a picking list or job card). When quotes come into the picture, you will need a system to ensure you can compare the order to the quote etc. Contract review methodology varies dramatically. Ultimately you must ensure customer satisfaction and no Auditor will argue with that...

Andy Bassett

The checklist seems to be the preferred option after discussing it in the company, and as the idea in general of carefully checking customer orders is new, i also think the checklist is a good idea because in the early stages it will jog their memory to do this properly.

Does anybody have any examples of checklists that they could let me see?

Andy B

Jeff McCrory

At my previous place of work we developed a simple record for the Contract Review record - it was merely the "job" (we were a job shop) being entered onto the mainframe.
Our procedure stated something like "...contract review process is complete when the job is entered on the AS400 (mainframe)."
Simple. No signatures, no additional paperwork and, best of all, compliant!

Alan Cotterell

I agree with Jeff, that completing the entry into a computer program can indicate that contract review has been completed, however this does not really mean that the contract has been analysed for problems - which I think is the real intent of this clause in ISO9000. I think that for a jobbing shop where all work is 'project based', an entry should be made on the project file establishing that the contract has been reviewed by the appropriate functions.
In one company I worked for a 'job release meeting' was held for all projects, before they were released from the sales area to the engineering/design area. Minutes of these meetings were considered to be evidence of 'contract review'.

Alan Cotterell

I noticed reference to using the quote form to prove that contract review had occurred. In the situation where sales people submit a quote for manufacture and delivery of custom built equipment items, this can present a problem. The quote often doesn't represent the item ordered by the customer. Where items are individually designed there is a risk of selling an item which cannot be successfully built. I have never seen this happen, however there have been some very difficult design problems to overcome on some occasions, which could have negated a project.
In this situation you would have near to maximum loss as you would have used up a large proportion of your 'design time'. It is good practice to submit concept designs to a customer for approval, taking note of concessions and extras (design changes).
Contract review needs to be ongoing in some cases up to the manufacturing stages and beyond.

Jim Biz

Our situation may be unique - but here goes
We use our quote form - customer blueprint - which is reviewed prior to processing and include those documents in a "Product package folder".

Acceptance is shown by the accompanying customer PO release. Then the "package"is reviewed for completness by the origional review authority before processing begins.

If all information is verified as correct at that time the package is Stamped "Reviewed"/signed/dated.... and we go from there... all upgrade or ammendment/change information when forwarded by the customer is communicated to the review authority for appropriate change steps. That way we feel we have captured the proof required and also the re-review when necessary aspects...

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