ISO 9000 in Mom and Pop Shops - What are the simple concepts?

ISO 9001 implementation by a novice. Is it possible?

  • Yes

    Votes: 22 88.0%
  • No

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • Yes, but only with the help of a consultant.

    Votes: 2 8.0%

  • Total voters
    25

apestate

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
I would like to start a elementary thread intended to help solidify the concepts of ISO 9000 management in the mind of the novice.

My mind.

I am implementing ISO 9000 in a screw machine shop of 15 employees. One of our largest customers is a manufacturer of filtration systems, so we cut them hydraulic pistons, retainers, pins, fittings, needles, spacers, and so forth. These parts go into filtration devices that go into automotive applications, and our customer is pursuing TS16949.

This shop is disorganized. An ISO 9002 based system was put into use at one time, but the coordinator was fired for misconduct. After that, with no enforcement, and no encouragement, the system went lax.

I don't know how much I'm getting from these procedures. They are written poorly, and instructions are mixed with policy and what should be in the procedure itself.

I have some very basic questions regarding things that probably seem intuitive to the most of you.

1) We do not control set up information. What level of control do machine setup procedures need to exercise? I'm sure it doesn't have to be step by step, but I'm sure any changes to the information needs to go through a defined procedure and the proper authority. Is this correct?

2) How many procedures should I record? Should I cover everything addressed in the '94 standard?

3) How do I use procedures in the overall process?

4) How could I gain access to a successful and proper documentation system to get meaningful insight into how this thing is actually done, or done well?

5) Our customer is TS16949, and they have mandated that we become certified to ISO 9001. In the future, do you expect any requirements will be mandated that will require another effort of this scale? We're doing SPC, FMEA, APQP and PPAP, I have the standards for those and the standard for MSA. That's not a problem. If, however, for any reason a customer mandated TS16949 for this 15 person lo-tech shop, I don't see us providing parts to that customer. Is this a possibility?

Anyway, I think I'm making good progress and I'm ready to start releasing some of the procedures that are relevant on a day to day basis. I have plenty of work to do, and I'm thankful for this forum. Apparently, this is the best resource on the internet. I hope I'm not asking to use it in a manner that was unintended.

--Erik
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
#2
Erik, First of all welcome to the Cove :bigwave:

I am a consultant, however, I think any organization can achieve registration without any assistance! There is a thing called a "learning curve" though. A consultant can help shorten that curve, and also give guidance in how parts of the standard are interpreted. Remember, even consultants had to go through the learning curve. Now, they use that curve to assist you.

I don't know how much I'm getting from these procedures. They are written poorly, and instructions are mixed with policy and what should be in the procedure itself.
This is not unusual. However...

Anyway, I think I'm making good progress and I'm ready to start releasing some of the procedures that are relevant on a day to day basis.
You have just gained a major step in the curve. This is a critical point. If a procedure, or any other document, is not relevant, then it shouldn't be there.

level of control do machine setup procedures need to exercise? I'm sure it doesn't have to be step by step, but I'm sure any changes to the information needs to go through a defined procedure and the proper authority.
Here is where common sense must blend with the standard. The amount of control needed is up to you, but there has to be sufficient control to ensure your processes work as planned. AS far as changes....it only makes sense that changes must be controlled and authorized. Otherwise everyone would be making changes that they want, and you lose control. As far as questions 2 & 3, use common sense. Don't over document!!!

How could I gain access to a successful and proper documentation system to get meaningful insight into how this thing is actually done, or done well?
Check with shops in your area. Ask to see what they do. Perhaps several shops could start a weekly meeting and go from there. But bare in mind that what works for one shop may be a disaster for another.

On question #5, only time will tell what your customer's require. When they give you a mandate, you must decide the next step. If you build a good system that works for you , then if you must upgrade to TS, it should not be a major problem.

I hope I'm not asking to use it in a manner that was unintended.
Your questions are great questions. This is the manner that the Cove was intended to be used. I think anyway. You are off to a great start!

Hope that helps. We look forward to future posts. :agree:
 
B

Bill Ryan - 2007

#3
Erik -- Welcome!

I don't have much to add to Dave's responses to your questions. One other "option" I might suggest is to read through other threads in The Cove which might be related to specific questions you might have. There are many good links to get you to various sites as well as the combined knowledge of all the Cove members as questions/issues are "discussed" (sometimes, rather bluntly :rolleyes: ).

You have truly "stumbled" across a wonderful resource. One of the underlying themes I continually come away with from each visit, is the KISS methodolgy as it seems we can all get too wrapped up in the detail and not consider what actually works for OUR company.

I'm off the soapbox now and just want to assure you that answers or a potential direction are only a post away at The Cove.

Good luck.

Bill
 
#4
Hullo Eric,

Your second post is just as good as your first one. Keep them coming man, keep them coming

db's reply is great too, and I have only this to add to his and Bills replies. Have a good look at ISO9001:2000 clause 4.2.1, note 2:

The extent of the quality management system documentation can differ from one organization to another due to
a) the size of organization and type of activities,
b) the complexity of processes and their interactions, and
c) the competence of personnel.


/Claes
 
M

M Greenaway

#6
Erik

Sounds like you are caught in the mind trap of the 1994 standard, which used to tell us to have a procedure for this, that and the other.

I suggest you get up to speed with the 2000 edition of ISO9001, and understand the concepts of the process approach.

As you have rightly identified, along with the writers of ISO9001, documented procedures are not the be all and end all of successfully managing quality. In fact they detract from the real purpose of the system, and are beurocratic and largely useless. Maintaining documents is no longer what it is all about.

You now need to think in terms of your process, that is the activities that turn inputs into outputs. Look at the inputs and outputs before deciding on the controls you might need. A documented procedure is just one form of control (and not terribly effective). Also look at your resource, if they are skilled men then again they dont need documents telling them how to suck eggs.

Yes a novice can set up a system, but it requires obvious learning and familiarisation with the ISO9000 standards, and their underlying concepts - which should not be beyond the average person.
 
K
#8
Been there, Done that.

The first ISO 9000 system I implemented (1987 standard) was in a screw machine shop of about 12 employees. I used the ISO standard not with the goal of registration, but because it was a good framework. When one of our customers required us to register we called a registrar.

As far as setup procedures, step by step was considered training. Verification points and requirements were documented. First piece acceptance criteria etc.

Procedures were only as detailed as required to ensure each person doing the job did it the same way. In a small company that makes for one page procedures.

Welcome to the Cove and good luck.:bigwave:
 

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
#9
good advice

good responses for you, erik. I'll add a few cents worth....

Training and skills verification can cover your set up..you don't need procedures for an exp. set up guy/machinist...you may need a process flow that lists CTQ points and shop/customer specific requirements...........and the customer's drawing, your route sheet/records...etc.

Use the SCOPE portion of your process/procedure/flow diagram to define this.
Input says "this is where this starts and what we need to begin"
Out put is the what is accomplished/recorded/finished after the "process' is complete.

Don't be afraid to say, this doesn't apply here (in full or in part). Don't make work just to have something there. Don't do it unless it adds some sort of value/consistency/clarity or drives the CI effort.

I find small shops do well with flow charts and the simplest of systems

the benefit of a consultant is he knows the alternative ways (HOPEFULLY) to approach systems, and can see straight on which one is suited for you...KISS absolutely.

As far as the stuff that is poorly written,,,,TRASH IT. Its easier to start over than try to fix something.
 

JodiB

Still plugging along
#10
Erik,

I'm just going to add some small general comments:

Barb is right, trash the poor documents and rewrite them to suit your purposes. Often companies have levels of documentation and general policies are in one level and the explicit type of how-to-do-it is in another. Both are useful to the new employee in finding out what the company expects, but the how-to-do may be something that he/she might still refer to on a regular basis to do the job correctly.(Like an asembly chart or quotation chart or even a checklist that lists the step-by-steps of the tasks) So you might split out the info you have in your bad documents into these two types.

Ex. Document Control - one procedure discusses how the company manages document control on a large basis (we identify need for new document, we write a document according to proc. xx12, we obtain approval for doc by proper authority before using, we number our documents this way, etc.) and then you may have supporting procedures that tell exactly 1)how to write a procedure 2)how a document is distributed 3)etc.

There are some mandatory written procedures req'd by ISO 9001:2000 but the rest are left to your discretion and needs. If you feel that written policy and/or explicit instructions are necessary then write them down. Otherwise don't, because maintaining docs is burdensome.

I found examples of quality procedure structures online by doing searches. AMES research center had a good example. Not sure if it's still available online.
 
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