Customer Audits and Guides

JodiB

Still plugging along
#1
Customer is auditing us

We are having a supplier audit this week. They are sending three people over and are proposing to divide us into three groups to meet with them. The HSE Mgr. will meet with one person to go over HSE issues, I will meet with one person to go over QMS issues, and they want to meet with our VP Operations and Technical to discuss our operational and engineering procedures.

My question is whether the VP (who is quite competent and can answer whatever they ask although he knows jack about QMS or ISO 9001) should be talking with this person without me being there. Not because I'm on an ego trip or anything but the usual practice for a third-party audit is to have a second company representative along as a "guide". I've never been involved in a supplier audit. - Actually, this is a Potential Supplier audit.

This VP tries to cut me out of everything that (according to the other thread I started) a QM should be involved in: supplier problems, equipment failures, document control ( I find out today that he "issued" a procedure for his dept. months ago and used a project engineer in his dept. to sign the QA box !), etc. Am I being paranoid that this feels like another way of demonstrating that he operates on his own outside of the quality dept. ? Am I being practical in wanting to hear how he responds to their questions?
 
Last edited:
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
E

energy

#2
Supplier?

Lucinda,

I know that the standard wants a customer/supplier relationship. But, a Supplier auditing you? Like, if they don't like you, they won't sell to you? Your company must want his/her product pretty bad. We try to get suppliers because of their price, but all they want is a credit report. Never heard of it. Am I missing something?

As for not being in on the audit, don't sweat it. I got politely kicked out of a potential customer meeting a couple of weeks ago because I was being honest on the timetable projected for ISO Certification. The "experts" there apparently told them something different, prior to calling me in for verification. My ex-boss, sitting along side of me, tapped my knee under the table and motioned with his thumb towards the door. Rude? Sure. Do I care? No. There was no rehearsal so I told the truth. Would I have said otherwise? Absolutely. One can always fall behind schedule. :vfunny: If you're not part of it, you aren't responsible for its success or failure. Just hurt feelings, which like bad gas, passes quickly. Don worry bout dit!:ko: :smokin:
 
J

Jim Biz

#3
Been there done that!!

Lucinda:

Only worry about the things you can change & let the top level folks hang themselves if that's the way it turns out....

Upper level folks I've dealt with tend to tell the potential customers whatever it takes to get their business --- even if they know for a fact that they have no intention of following up on what is said during the visit. (supplier audits are not nearly as demanding & formal as an audit from a registrar)

If after awhile "IF" it becomes evident to the customer that the information they have is not the whole truth. Top level folks lean directly on the Qa guy or Mgt rep to pick up the pieces for them.
 
L

Laura M

#4
I'm thinking you're the supplier here - but I see the confusion.

Don't worry - if the guys that don't know the QMS get asked a question about it, they will ask you later why you didn't tell them.

See ya & good luck,

Laura
 
M

M Greenaway

#5
Lucinda

In my experience these audits are not undertaken against any particular standard, often they are done 'ad hoc' against what the customer (assuming you meant customer audit) thinks is important to him.
 
J
#6
Re: Customer is auditing us

Lucinda said:

I find out today that he "issued" a procedure for his dept. months ago and used a project engineer in his dept. to sign the QA box. ..... Am I being paranoid that this feels like another way of demonstrating that he operates on his own outside of the quality dept. ?

Lucinda,
Are you ISO certified?

Sounds like this area is due for a doc audit. Then when you find this procedure issue a NC for not having the procedure properly approved. It should be interesting to see his CA.

No I don't think you're being paranoid. This manager needs to be reined in some. Not completely sure how you can do this but you'll probably need some high powered help. (like his boss)

James
 

E Wall

Just Me!
Super Moderator
#7
Been there recently...

We recently had Lucent Technologies audit us (they are the customer - we're the supplier). They also had several people here and split out the interviewing into 2 teams.

We were pretty stretched out, but basically everyone was told that if they weren't 100% sure they would be answering a question correctly (clarification issues only not a matter of 'we don't do this what should I say') - to contact either the QA Mgr or me and wait until one of us was there to assist.

It worked out pretty well. Was VERY intense. They weren't auditing our compliance to any standard. They had their own developed 'best business practice' questionaire that is audited to.

It is a good reality check to have a customer come in and say hey These are the things that are important to us. This supports our efforts to develop our system beyond basic compliance to the ISO standard.

Eileen
 

gpainter

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
I am the ISO Coordinator for our company and am usually involved in potential customer audits. Usually the Salesperson calls me in. It is really hard for companies to see beyond the compliance/quality aspect of ISO and realize that it is the way you do business. Sometimes as stated in a post they are afraid of honesty. It gets very frustrating at times, but keep :) All of the audits that I have been involved in were ISO/QS based with additions. Generally the customer brought the Purchasing Manager, Engineer,Quality Manager and an Auditor.
 
Last edited:

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#10
Lucinda,

If I understand correctly, I think you have a potential customer coming to visit you -- from the potential customer's viewpoint, they are doing an audit of a potential supplier (you), correct?

Assuming the above is correct, I say let the jerk VP of Ops and Technical meet alone with the potential customer. If I know you from your posts, you have taught him the correct ways to do things and taught him where to get answers to any questions about anything related to the QMS, so he has no legitimate gripe to you for not doing your job properly. I see him as a maverick who thinks he can do whatever he wants outside the system whenever he wants to to "get the job done". (Been there, lived thru that). So, if the auditor sees the VP's shennanigans and he gets nailed for it this may be what you need to get him reigned in a bit. Or, he will quickly realize his bacon is in the fire and come crying to you to help him during the audit claiming something like "Lucinda is really great -- she handles all of this stuff herself". At which time maybe he'll realize the value of playing by the rules in the future -- but don't count on it.

Good luck!
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
S Obligation to accept customer audits? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 23
Genofear Customer wants to audit our supplier audits - seems inappropriate General Auditing Discussions 11
M Utilizing ISO and Customer Audits for Internal Audits Internal Auditing 14
S Excipient Manufacturers - Supplier Risk Assessments when they refuse Customer Audits Supplier Quality Assurance and other Supplier Issues 5
P CSR (Customer Specific Requirements) in TS 16949 Audits - Always required? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 27
J Audit Programme - Include CB Audits, Customer Audits, Supplier Audits? General Auditing Discussions 18
ScottK Using Customer Audits as part of the Internal Audit Plan for ISO9001 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 12
P Can External Audits by Customer be treated As Internal Audits AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 21
M Silly customers - Customer On-Site Audits US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 28
I How to measure internal auditees' performance during customer audits? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 7
ScottK How does your organization react to customer audits? General Auditing Discussions 16
N To Register to ISO 9001 or Not To Register? Will customer audits be reduced if we do? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
S Customer Satisfaction and Internal Audits Internal Auditing 3
A Internal audits on CSR (Customer Specific Requirements) - Look at Ford's Behemoth Internal Auditing 1
Raffy Internal Audit vs. Customer Audits - Can we count Customer Audits as IAs? Internal Auditing 25
A Should Customer Complaints trigger Internal Audits? Customer Complaints 6
B Retention Samples when Customer Leaves Pharmaceuticals (21 CFR Part 210, 21 CFR Part 211 and related Regulations) 1
M Email Template that go to a customer and then get returned to us for RMA/Warranty Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 1
B FCA US Customer Specific IATF 16949- Critical Characteristics 8.6.2 Customer and Company Specific Requirements 0
D ISO 13485 8.2.1 and 8.2.2 - Customer Feedback and Customer Complaints ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 5
J Customer Complaint Response 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 3
V Quality review Meeting with Customer for complaints we received Customer Complaints 6
D IATF16949 - Interpretation of Customer Requirements clauses Elsmar Cove Forum Suggestions, Complaints, Problems and Bug Reports 2
D IATF16949 7.5.3.2.1 Record Retention - Our Product or Customer Product? Elsmar Cove Forum Suggestions, Complaints, Problems and Bug Reports 1
S Customer Specific Requirements (CSR) not signed/approved IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 17
B FCA US IATF 16949 Customer Requirements updates Customer and Company Specific Requirements 3
G Same parts but new customer - What will the auditor ask me? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 2
R Customer Satisfaction importance in companies with Government/Public Administration as main customer? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 11
G Self Assessment Audit from a new potential customer General Auditing Discussions 3
P Customer Corrective Action Requests in OASIS? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 4
Ooi Yew Jin Customer E audit preparation Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 2
qualprod Managing a "special" customer into the QMS? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 10
C Certificate of Conformance Form - COC for each customer a controlled document? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 2
R Who is the customer in the ISO/IEC 17025:2017? ISO 17025 related Discussions 1
BeaBea ISO 9001 Customer Feedback Methods - What has worked for your company? Service Industry Specific Topics 16
T Root Cause Failure Analysis - Not following Customer packaging Specification Problem Solving, Root Cause Fault and Failure Analysis 5
V Customer Print Specifications on PFMEA FMEA and Control Plans 13
S Issuing of CoC to Customer in a Word or Excel format ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
D Design Transfer Template capturing Customer Specific Requirements Other Medical Device Related Standards 3
W Direct to customer export of medical device (class I: prescription lenses + frame) US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2
S How to treat a customer complaint ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
I ISO 9001:2015 Section 9.3.2 C1 "customer satisfaction and feedback from relevant interested parties" ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
JoCam Labeling to Customer Requirements EU Medical Device Regulations 1
T Advice needed - Environmental MS - unwritten but customer requests policy document ISO 14001:2015 Specific Discussions 5
Q Customer Satisfaction through On-Time Delivery ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
Pau Calvo PPAP customer requirements in the APQP APQP and PPAP 25
T Nonconforming product at customer detected by a routine inspection by field service Nonconformance and Corrective Action 9
0 PPM calculation of customer complaints for PMS Customer Complaints 10
A Definition of customer in ITP (Inspection & Test Plan) Contract Review Process 3
I MSA requirement for 5 Micrometers + CP changes need customer approval? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 2

Similar threads

Top Bottom