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ISO 9000 Registration of Multiple Offices and Sites

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#1
Registration of Multiple Offices

From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:57:37 -0600
Subject: Re: Multiple offices / Buchanan/Kozenko

Listers -- this one reads harsh, but I couldn't help it. The lack of proper understanding (I remember when I had this lack of misunderstanding, so this is a qualified statement) comes from not understanding what a Registrar does in the overall scheme of things, and how treacherous the ISO world can be with "not enough" internal training...

<<Buck Buchanan wrote: << Our Dallas office (Telecom and computer cables manufacturing) is working on ISO9001 registration with completion expected by February. The home plant (Chicago) may not elect to become ISO9001 registered. >>

Chicago must be treated (by Dallas) as a "supplier" under the Purchasing clause; bet Chicago will love that, especially "supplier audits." Once your Registrar finds this weak spot, Dallas will have a difficult time maintaining a quality life.

<< We have changed our name from Southwest NAC, a division of North American Cable, Inc. to North American Cable Company, Inc., Southwest Division. So now we are both the same company -- Dallas will be ISO9001 registered, Chicago not registered.>>

Full Stop: You could "slip one by" the various Secretaries of State by signing up under Texas and Illinois Corporations Commissions using the same name, yet having separate offices, officers and directors, bank accounts, payrolls, and the like -- a "trademark infringement" on your own firm, as it were... this doesn't sound quite up and up to me at first read; in fact, I remember my first "real" job right now, which involved driving the truck to the fish market... Clarify please, are you incorporated or organized under one charter, or two separate charters? Or in other words, what's the actual chain of liability, from the customer up?

<< Many of our products are sold and shipped through the Chicago office, but manufactured here in Dallas (Chicago does very little manufacturing). My question from a meeting yesterday is: What have other companies with branches (some registered, some not) done in these cases? >>

The multi-site "same name" companies that I have dealt with thought this one through (with a little help from their consultant <g>) and decided that it's "all or nothing" in terms of displaying any kind of ISO900x banner to the public, until each and every one of the sites was included in a registration scope. The underlying thinking was, "If we get caught by the marketplace pulling the wool over people's eyes, it would only harm the company twice as bad as any improvement from ISO registration would help it." Another approach, though, would be to use a map that color codes those firms that are, and are not, ISO registered. Blue and Green would fit best in this case too, because colorblind people generally can't differentiate between those two, and the message I'm getting from your post is that this is what your firm wants...

<< Can our invoices and other documents all carry the ISO logo in a prominent location or must we list both addresses on the documents with the logo only alongside the address that's registered? >>

The former would be a violation of the Registrar's policies (promulgated by the Registrar's Registrar...) as it would clearly mislead anyone who didn't have inside knowledge that only half of the two addresses shown were actually registered. Why advertise a lie as part of your quality system? When your Registrar found out you were doing things this way, the Salvation Army would really make a windfall on the paper you'd have to throw away; every printer in town would be happy to, as you re-printed everything correctly. Do it right the first time. And, don't ask your Registrar about this one in advance -- it will telegraph the fact that a strict audit would be in order.

<< Can all products manufactured in the registered plant carry ISO9001 certification, regardless of the route taken to the customer (through the Chicago office)? >>

If products bear an ISO Registration mark (like, a written report by a consultant, which would bear the Registration Mark on the Letterhead), it must be clearly shown that the mark refers to the company's Quality Management System and specifically NOT to the product itself. If a soup can bears a Registration Mark then there's trouble -- soup cannot be ISO Certified/Registered; the company's quality system who makes the soup can be ISO Certified/Registered.

All Registrars have form letters that (essentially) say "refer to the guidelines on Registration Mark use that you received upon your initial Certification, and (without so much as a whimper) destroy all non compliant printings, postings and unauthorized useages immediately. your Registrar may elect to suspend your Registered status as you accomplish this trash task, and don't believe everyone in the industry won't find out about it.

Products are not certified; Entities' Quality Management Systems are certified. There is no middle ground or grey area, and any money your firm would like to bet on a closer exploration of that precept would be better spent as a donation to United Way, the American Red Cross, etc.

With this kind of thinking running rampant in your organization, maybe someone can wrestle its essence on down to the surface of a new no-stick fry pan. You'd make millions.

David Kozenko
 

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#2
More opinions:

-----------snippo----------

From: ISO Standards Discussion <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 09:31:32 -0600
Subject: Re: Multiple Offices /Buchanan/Naish

Buck,

I have had several clients who were registered in some sites and not in others: a couple were distributors who registered their distribution sites and not their sales offices and a couple who did assembly and likewise not their sales office.

First off, the product is not certified in any case. What you have registered is the quality system that relates to everything from the design to the sales of the product. So it would be incorrect in any advertising or on the product to say it is ISO certified to ISO9001. However, you may advertise that the product is designed and built in an ISO9001 registered facility. If the product is manufactured elsewhere you have to be careful what you are saying unless that manufacturing is within the scope of your registration certificate. You can not for example indicate that product which is designed in the southern facility but which is built in Chicago is under the registration unless Chicago is in the scope (and therefore registered) or unless your scope and the procedures treat the Chicago facility as a supplier.

Only sales offices within the scope of the certificate may also say they are registered. For example let's say you have a sales office in Miami, Florida and one in San Diego, California. You can not indicate in your advertising that they are registered as they are not. You also can not put ISO 9000 registered on their business cards unless they are in the audit scope.

However, you can do what most companies do in their advertising which is spell out which facility or facilities are registered. Say you have a full page ad in a business journal. You can show all sites but place an asterisk beside those which are inside the scope of your registration. At the bottom you indicate that this site or sites is/are registered to ISO9001. I have seen companies who have received letters from their registrars for not correctly spelling this out in the advertisement. In addition I have heard but not seen companies who only registered one or two of the product lines and yet implied all lines were within the scope. They also received letters from their registrar to stop or their certificate would be recalled.

The best bet is to contact your registrar and get a copy of their agreement that they send regarding what and how you can advertise. If you have already made a contract with a registrar they should be able to send you this information. If you have no contract you may have to wait until you have one to get this information from them.

One other word of warning only: I have seen one company sue another company and win because they falsely indicated registration for a product line they did not have. They did so because they lost an existing multi-million dollar contract due to the false advertisement. I believe it was settled out of court but the results were big and the contract was re-awarded to the company who sued.

Phyllis

--------------snippo--------------

From: ISO Standards Discussion
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 10:18:13 -0600
Subject: Re: Multiple offices /Buchanan/Kozenko/Pfrang

><<Buck Buchanan wrote:
>> Our Dallas office (Telecom and computer cables manufacturing) is working
>>on ISO9001 registration with completion expected by February. The home plant
>>(Chicago) may not elect to become ISO9001 registered. >>

><<In reply, David Kozenko wrote:
>Chicago must be treated (by Dallas) as a "supplier" under the Purchasing
>clause; bet Chicago will love that, especially "supplier audits." Once your
>Registrar finds this weak spot, Dallas will have a difficult time maintaining
>a quality life.

I believe the above answer is wrong. The posting states that products are manufactured in the Dallas plant and that some products are sold and shipped through the Chicago office. Accordingly, the Chicago office (if anything) appears to be a customer, not a supplier, to the Dallas plant.

><<Buck Buchanan wrote:
>>We have changed our name from Southwest NAC, a division of North American
>>Cable, Inc. to North American Cable Company, Inc., Southwest Division. So now
>>we are both the same company -- Dallas will be ISO9001 registered, Chicago
>>not registered.>>

><<In reply, David Kozenko wrote:
>Full Stop: You could "slip one by" the various Secretaries of State by
>signing up under Texas and Illinois Corporations Commissions using the same
>name, yet having separate offices, officers and directors, bank accounts,
>payrolls, and the like -- a "trademark infringement" on your own firm, as it
>were... this doesn't sound quite up and up to me at first read; in fact, I
>remember my first "real" job right now, which involved driving the truck to
>the fish market... Clarify please, are you incorporated or organized under
>one charter, or two separate charters? Or in other words, what's the actual
>chain of liability, from the customer up?

I believe the above answer is also wrong. It makes no difference whether the two companies are organized under the same charter or not. What matters is that the registered facility uses the ISO logo in a manner which causes no confusion (among either company's customers) as to which facility is registered and which one is not. Their underlying corporate structure is irrelevant.

><<Buck Buchanan wrote:
>>Many of our products are sold and shipped through the Chicago office, but
>>manufactured here in Dallas (Chicago does very little manufacturing). My
>>question from a meeting yesterday is: What have other companies with
>>branches (some registered, some not) done in these cases? >>

><<In reply, David Kozenko wrote:
>The multi-site "same name" companies that I have dealt with thought this one
>through (with a little help from their consultant <g>) and decided that it's
>"all or nothing" in terms of displaying any kind of ISO900x banner to the
>public, until each and every one of the sites was included in a registration
>scope. The underlying thinking was, "If we get caught by the marketplace
>pulling the wool over people's eyes, it would only harm the company twice as
>bad as any improvement from ISO registration would help it." Another
>approach, though, would be to use a map that color codes those firms that
>are, and are not, ISO registered. Blue and Green would fit best in this case
>too, because colorblind people generally can't differentiate between those
>two, and the message I'm getting from your post is that this is what your
>firm wants...

I believe the above answer unreasonably restricts what the Dallas and Chicago plants can do. If the Dallas plant is registered, then it can promote its facility as being registered as long as its promotional efforts do not falsely suggest that the registration also applies to other, unregistered, plants. In addition, the Chicago plant can also promote the Dallas plant's products as being manufactured in an ISO-9000 registered facility even if the Chicago plant is not registered -- as long as the Chicago plant makes clear that they are referring to the Dallas plant and not to themselves. If the promotional materials are truthful and unambiguous, then there will be no question of "pulling the wool over peoples' eyes" and both company's actions would be permitted.

Doug Pfrang
 
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