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ISO 9001 - Customer Approval of Design Changes

#1
We just recently went through our ISO 9001:2008 certification audit and a NC was issued for 7.3 Design Control. It seems that our sales group are having difficultly getting customer approval on new and changing designs to their product. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can have the customer provide approval of changes or new designs without having to do too much chasing. I was thinking email verification or sometype of label approval.
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: ISO 9001:2008 Customer Approval

We just recently went through our ISO 9001:2008 certification audit and a NC was issued for 7.3 Design Control. It seems that our sales group are having difficultly getting customer approval on new and changing designs to their product. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can have the customer provide approval of changes or new designs without having to do too much chasing. I was thinking email verification or sometype of label approval.
If Customer has to approve the new design or design changes then is the customer the design owner ? Why don't you exclude 7.3 with due justification and be done. If you are doing some bits towards his new design and suggesting changes to any existing design., then it can be pretty well covered in customer related process and planning for product realization.
 
#3
Re: ISO 9001:2008 Customer Approval

If Customer has to approve the new design or design changes then is the customer the design owner ? Why don't you exclude 7.3 with due justification and be done. If you are doing some bits towards his new design and suggesting changes to any existing design., then it can be pretty well covered in customer related process and planning for product realization.
Great answer! If the customer has design change authority on all the products you supply, then why are you even registered to ISO 9001 WITH design? You will even save money in the long run because the audits are shorter. Your CB shouldn't be registering (with design) you if you aren't design responsible, and they're taking your money from you unnecessarily!
 

ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
Re: ISO 9001:2008 Customer Approval

....or stop requiring customer approval if you can.

----------------------
assuming you are a design place and customer approval is required before production can start (as I've seen in many printing and labeling type opeations where copy needs to be approved)....

Before you do anything look for the root cause.

Where is the hold up?
Is it at the customer or the sales team or the design group.
Look at the chain of custody of the approval documents and see where the gap is.
Maybe you need to work out better communications with the customer, take sales out of the chain of custody, and go direct from design to customer rep.

just some thoughts.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: ISO 9001:2008 Customer Approval

We just recently went through our ISO 9001:2008 certification audit and a NC was issued for 7.3 Design Control. It seems that our sales group are having difficultly getting customer approval on new and changing designs to their product. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can have the customer provide approval of changes or new designs without having to do too much chasing. I was thinking email verification or sometype of label approval.
It is critical to understand what is the process between you and your customer for the product design cycle. This might be one of the cases where the design is done in a collaborative way between you and your customers and both parties have partial responsibility and ownership for the product design. If that is the case, where your organization has partial responsibility for the design, you can NOT claim exclusion to 7.3.

As for your challenge in getting customer's approval to design changes, that is a common problem in the industry. Many customers deliberately delay sending formal approvals to suppliers, many times, for bad reasons, such as the ability to reject incoming products for failure to comply with "old specs". What you can do to change the situation depends very much on how much leverage you have with this customer. For example, you could hold shipments to this customer until they have formally provided you with the approval on design changes. Chances are, this option would be rarely exercised. But remember, if you ship products without customer's formal approval, they could use that against you, if they want to. And, from a liability perspective, your organization could be found in a court as making unauthorized change to a product, what could be extremely detrimental to your company, in case of injuries (or worse) by users of the product.
 

al40

Quite Involved in Discussions
#7
Email would work as long as you keep it a as a record and state somewhere in your process this is how they sign off on designs. Also you could use an engineering cord memo for approvals as well. As said before "do what you say and say what you do".

Best regards,

Al40
 
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