ISO/TS 16949 CBs & Auditors not following up on the schedules

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
It doesn't seem difficult to me either, but apparently it was for Crimpshrine13's CB.
Our CB has had numbers of issues in the past 3 - 4 years, and it is mostly organizational issue I believe.

The head of technical team (veto power authority) suddenly left the CB about 2.5 years ago, and the CB left his email address active without no one checking his email, so numbers of unfinished matters were keep piling up on his desk without anyone dealing with it. Just a few weeks prior to that, I learned that there were people in technical team who were doing the quoting (the veto power authority person forwarded me to them after some discussion and with technical interpretation - which they never replied to me either).

It was a few months later when I checked with client service manager what was going on because my email did not get replied, and that was when I was being told that he was gone and that they had other clients having the same issue (email not being responded for months).

After he left, another person took over his position, but he didn't seem to be able to figure this out. We were on the same 3-year contract, without Rules change and without our scope change, and on the 3rd year they all of sudden started telling me that they needed to audit additional day. This was why I started talking to other people to check if this was true because when I read the Rules book, it didn't sound right and I wanted to know if my interpretation was right before I was going to challenge the CB.

The CB technical team still could not figure this out right, so I had to contact IAOB and they forwarded me to VDA because our CB's head office is in England and the governing body is VDA. After I brought up this issue to VDA, they spoke to the CB's head office in England, then they contacted their U.S. office. It was the next day they finally emailed me with correct audit days (this whole process took whole 2 months - if it wasn't for us to contact VDA, it probably took longer or did not get resolved and we ended up being over-charged).

We've dealt with these sort of issues (not only this, but many others) that made us wonder if this CB's technical team is truly capable of making right decisions and correct interpretations. The CB's head office apparently didn't like the fact that I actually contacted VDA and they suggested to go through their formal complaint register system, but their method of handling these issues just wasn't working that I had to go to VDA.

I don't think it is very difficult to figure this out, but they apparently have some sort of organizational issues (maybe resource issues?) that is causing this type of problem. :( The only thing we can do at this point is to contract with other CBs, which I already started seeking other sources. We've also dealt with other problems with this CBs for years, but we just can't go on like this every year, having issues like this just before the audits only because they're dragging their feet to respond to clients or not having the good explanations to the clients.
 

Crimpshrine13

Involved In Discussions
Solution for limited resources. :lol:
(broken link removed)

It's funny how IATF talks about the competency of the auditors, but that's not what I see from our CB.

Not to mention that the exams for the auditor certification is increasingly becoming tough in recent years and that many auditors had quit and only limited numbers of auditors are available out there, I don't know how this quality system can survive like this.
 

Great Scotch

Starting to get Involved
It's funny how IATF talks about the competency of the auditors, but that's not what I see from our CB.

Not to mention that the exams for the auditor certification is increasingly becoming tough in recent years and that many auditors had quit and only limited numbers of auditors are available out there, I don't know how this quality system can survive like this.

The TS16949 is a good system and effective if done properly.
There are some reputable and bigger CB if you look around and they are willing to help if they are paid well. You have the option of making a feedback to their management if their representing auditors aren't helpful enough. It is of good foresight to invest in a good CB who helps to maintain your quality system. Keep a good working relationship with them. Don't take NC like a punitive measure but rather an opportunity for improvement. Don't blame staffs for NC but rather concentrate on the processes.

eg. if a staff had been signing over drawings that are poorly done by the design team like forgetting to define certain tolerance, not knowing what sort of tolerance to use, then, perhaps it is time to look at 6 Resource management, maybe you need to see if 6.2.2 had lapses or you might need to improve your 6.2.2.3

It will help than to pin your blame on the design team. Unless of course if the staffs have a character/integrity issue, otherwise, it normally will sort out the problems.

If possible, engage a customer with process auditor certification to do a process audit at your premises (normally, customers who enforces annual process audits will engage you themselves at least once a year, does a process audit for you, for FREE!!). why a customer and not a CB? Because a customer will have intimate information of your competence, your PPM, your problems, 8D, PPAP and all that. And he will be more familiar with the processes since he is buying as a customer, knows your product. Don't hold back and argue for the sake of avoiding NC. Listen to what he has to say at the end of the audit. He will usually find out underlying problems a system audit cannot capture. The customer's auditor is usually not there to find NC to beef up his KPI. His job is more to ensure his KPI is met. And your competence will directly lead to that which translates to his year end bonus. :agree1:
 
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