Defined Roles in Small Company

#1
I am working for a very small company. Roughly 30 employees with a two person management team. A potential customer performed a supplier audit that produced a number of findings. Basically, we were told we need to move towards iso compliance if we want their business. Knowing very little about ISO, my predecessor purchased document templates and a software package in order to systematically address the majority of the findings. I am attempting to modify the templates to reflect our organization. The conceptual issue that I am having is that the templates call out Quality, Human Resources, Purchasing, Operations, etc as process owners, decision makers and approvers - we have two people filling all of these roles, i.e, the operations manager is the quality manager, is the engineering manager, the owner is the customer service manager, the HR manager, the purchasing manager, etc. When the procedure says operations will consult with quality to determine it seems a little misleading because functionally it is the same person. I have example manuals form larger companies 100+ but those companies all had traditional departments that were staffed separately. Any help, guidance, examples or nudge where to look is greatly appreciated.
 
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#3
Thank you. Because of the overlap in responsibilities will a more generic "the management team" be sufficient in most instances while defining the management team by titles? I prefer specificity when calling out responsibility for an action, my background is in operations in larger companies, but the goal is to have workable system that reflects reality.
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
I've got half a dozen or more small companies like yours so don't sweat the small stuff and definitely don't create a bunch of dribble and BS that doesn't have any meaning or value except to fill blank space on a piece of paper.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#5
My take is to create a functional organization chart. You'll have quality, production, engineering, etc. Then fill in the names for each function. And "Bob" may wear a bunch of hats. In your procedures, you might have quality and engineering get together as a team. Right now, it might be the same person. As you grow, you'll change the names as appropriate. Otherwise, you'll need to revise procedures as you hire people which can be a pain. Good luck.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#6
Any help, guidance, examples or nudge where to look is greatly appreciated.
The first mistake (by your predecessor) was to buy a canned template. Don't make the second mistake of straitjacking your organization into an artificial system trying to anticipate what an auditor might expect.

Use the "novel" approach promoted by ISO 9001:2015 that requires as little or as much documentation as necessary to effectively run your quality system.

The basic challenge you have in your hands, in terms of complying with ISO 9001 is: what are the business processes you have that can affect product conformity to requirement and customer satisfaction? How do you control these business processes in a way to maximize the likelihood of order fulfillment to customer expectations? That, in a nutshell is what ISO 9001:2015 requires.

Don't let archaic paradigms, including obsolete canned templates hinder you from the big picture. Small business can't afford nonsensical systems and processes.
 

Eredhel

Quality Manager
#7
I'll second that an org chart might help you get a clearer picture. Just make it according to what you have, not what is in the templates. You might try and fit in at a minimum Top Managers, Department Managers, and Operators. You don't have to have that but it's a minimal approach that might help get you unstuck.

When we started building our QMS we had two owners that were Top Managers, 1 Production Manager and 1 Quality Manager below Top Management, and a few operators below the Production and Quality Managers. Everyone above operators wore many hats. Our organizational structure is more complicated now but in the beginning it grew out of something simple.
 

normzone

Trusted Information Resource
#9
Welcome to the forum, [EMSmith]. You've come to the right place.

I agree with all the above, and I'd appreciate it if you'd share the functional org chart with us when you're done (names scrubbed to protect the innocent, of course. Bob1, Bob2, Bob3 should be sufficient identifiers)

I ask because I'm curious to see how it comes out for you. I too work in a small organization .... okay, maybe company is a better choice of word. I took the same approach, about the same amount of people in the building.

The amusing thing is that the guys at the top can't quit experimenting with the structure. Using an alpha revision system, we're on Rev. R now. And as titles get changed up, I still wind up revising the process documentation.

Remind me again, why did I get into this field? Oh yeah, the customer .... :bonk:
 
#10
First look at a functional org chart. Even though quality is showing as open, product conformance to customer requirements is currently being handled by the engineering team - we are in the small volume, engineered to order space. We do not have dedicated quality control or inspection personnel.
 

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