Internal Audit vs. Customer Audits - Can we count Customer Audits as IAs?

Raffy

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Internal Audit

Hi :bigwave:

Our spec says that we have to perform internal audit at least once every year or as needed. Customers are visiting as rampantly and they also performing an audit to the company's quality system.

My concern is that, can we omit the usual internal audit since we were been audited by our customers? In this regard, how are we going to show to the third party auditors that we omit the traditional internal audit?

Audits coming from our customers shows an affirmative result and we have documents to show on how do we track closure of any nonconformance found by the internal auditor of our customers.

Thanks in advance.
Best regards,
Raffy :cool:
 
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#2
Re: Internal Audit

Raffy said:
---X---
My concern is that, can we omit the usual internal audit since we were been audited by our customers? In this regard, how are we going to show to the third party auditors that we omit the traditional internal audit?
---X---
Best regards,
Raffy :cool:
Hullo Raffy,

Sorry.... In one word: No.

If we're talking ISO9001, this is one of the shalls. Another shall is that you have to plan an audit programme, "taking in to consideration the status and importance of the processes and areas to be audited, as well as the results of previous audits".

Now, I'm certain that you know your company and its processes far better than any customer or third party auditor. You will find things they cannot possibly find.

/Claes
 
D

David Mullins

#3
Yes you can - if you are satisfied with regard to the scope of the audit, that elements x,y,z are covered, that processes are examined etc, then why not.

Personally I'd put an internal audit report over the customer/external report (like a cover sheet), stating what the outcomes of the audit were, noting NCRs raised, etc, and YOUR system can then follow the actions through just like any other internal audit NCRs.

I'd wouldn't have a problem with it, so long as you didn't rely entirely on externals, and were evaluating your system and processes yourself to a responsible level.
 
#4
Jim Wade said:
---X---
All you need to show is that you have control over the utsourced process.
Yep... That's one possibility, of course. And David is right too: If the customers are considerate enough to cover your entire audit scope.

/Claes
 
B

Bill Ryan - 2007

#5
My question is "Are your customers going to continue to "visit you rampantly" and audit to your QMS?

One of my fears with relying on your customers' audits is that you will end up with differing "requirements" from each one of them which could (would?) lead to an unmanageable system.

Unless your customers are that exceptional (please send them my way!!), they have you as a supplier because you are the "experts" and would rely on your expertise to keep your systems under control with the caveat of continuously improving them.

I would tend to go along with Claes' first reply - you know your business more thoroughly than your customers do and if you don't keep an "internal eye" on it, looking for "improvement opportunities" and at least maintaining "status quo" (yuck), you will have customers visiting for different reasons.

Just my take on it.
Bill
 
#6
Bill, yuo said;
"One of my fears with relying on your customers' audits is that you will end up with differing "requirements" from each one of them which could (would?) lead to an unmanageable system."

Excellent point. That's the present condition with QS and it will be the future condition with TS.
We supply products to the U.S., European and far east auto market, and not one of them have the same requirements.
 
#7
Scope and Schedule

There are requirements on how often to audit (based on the status and importance and the results of previous audits). My question is can you show that the "customer" audits are consistent enough to meet this requirement? Also, the intent of the auditing is to make sure you know your complete QMS is working. Are the audits being performed at intervals and detail enough to allow this?

I would tend to think that using customer audits would not have enough "planning" to meet your needs (let alone the requirements). What you could do is to tailor your auditing to fill in the gaps.
 
#8
Audit methods

You can meet the 'audit' requirements via management reviews and/or process improvement team activities.
Jim, you've brought this up before. I'm not confident that these activities alone would meet the need (I'm not talking about meeting the requirement, I'm talking about meeting the need). Having said that, perhaps the methods used to collect the data for the management review might do the trick.

I think the key here, and you would agree, is not to think of audits as the same method that the registrar uses. "All roads leads to Rome", and you can take any number of them you wish as long as you arrive in Rome when you are finished.
 
B

Bill Ryan - 2007

#9
db & Jim

While I agree with your "tailoring" comments, I don't know that I buy into "losing" the walkaround type of audit. Where do you get the input from for the management reviews and/or process improvement team if you don't get out on the floor and assess what is going on??

Bill
(Prepared for the incoming bombs)
 
#10
While I agree with your "tailoring" comments, I don't know that I buy into "losing" the walkaround type of audit. Where do you get the input from for the management reviews and/or process improvement team if you don't get out on the floor and assess what is going on??
Prepared for the incoming bombs
No bomb Bill. I happen to think the walkaround type of audit is a very valuable tool. I use it almost exclusively. My comment is that toooooooo many times we do something because that is the way we've always done it. It might be beneficial to think about alternative methods to supplement the conventional. The more ways we look at something (within reason) the better our understanding will be.
 
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