Forced NOT to meet End Customer Expectations - Corrupt Third World Country

#1
A service company which is 100% dependent on a huge international operating company is preparing to get the ISO 9001:2015 certification. There is no production of any products involved, also no design. Every single step, all service manuals, training, everything is provided by the principal. The principal itself has an ISO certification and is requesting the contractor to get one as well.

It is not really rocket science to create a quality management system but since the company is located in a corrupt Third World country there are some difficulties.

Some requirements of the ISO are contradicting to the actual working conditions. The principal for example is forcing the contractor to make sure that customer expectations are NOT met let alone exceeded. Because more money can be made if customers are cheated.

But actually the customer in this case is the principal. So to meet the actual customer expectations the service company must not meet the customer expectations of the principal, right?

How to deal best with such a situation?
 
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
Re: Forced not to meet customer expectations

Welcome to the Cove!

Ouch. :mg: That is a truly unfortunate-sounding scenario.

I welcome others' input here, but what I am hearing you say is the customer (are you a toll manufacturer for a single customer?) provides all specifications.

That said, if there is something illegal taking place such as melamine included in raw materials for food stuffs, which has caused organ failure in end users, your QMS is based on what you have.
 
#3
Re: Forced not to meet customer expectations

Thank you Jen for your thoughts.

Fortunately no physical harm is done to anyone. It's about servicing devices at third-party locations. And the principal wants the staff of the contractor to find certain defects at certain parts of the devices to be serviced. That way the third parties are forced to replace the "damaged" parts more often than actually needed. For findings there's even a commission paid.

So since the principal is the customer should I write a document describing how to declare a part of a device that is 100% okay for defective?

What would an auditor say finding a document like this? I mean I never found a word about morality in an ISO related document...
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#4
Re: Forced NOT to meet Customer Expectations - Corrupt Third World Country

A few points to consider:

1. ISO 9001:2015 requires an organization to consider the needs and expectations of relevant stakeholders. So, obviously, the end customer's expectation that a service/repair will not be performed intentionally fraudulently to boost the supplier's profits should be taken into account.

2. Some "ISO type" documents such as AS9100D and the IATF16949 have now "requirements" in place for "ethical conduct" and/or anti-corruption practices.

3. Dealing with a customer that is so blatantly unethical and agreeing to be an accomplice in the deal is, in itself, a very poorly managed risk. If there are written communication pieces in which the customer directs the supplier to cheat on the service process to increase profits, you are at risk. In the USA, there would be federal laws being broken if the "principal" (as you call it) are instructing the service suppliers to cheat.

So, all in all, we have to keep in mind that ISO 9001 would never be an antidote for all things unethical. An organization, hell bent on unethical practices, will not be deterred by a voluntary standard.
 

Big Jim

Super Moderator
#5
Re: Forced NOT to meet Customer Expectations - Corrupt Third World Country

I'll pass on the same advice I would give anyone that finds himself in an unethical company. Cover your tail and RUN. Get out of there. The sooner the better.
 
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