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JodyC

#1
I have recently been hired as Quality Manager for a small aerospace machine shop to put ISO Certification in place. ISO isn't new to me, I've been through processes with two other companies so I understand what it takes.
I am not getting any cooperation from Owner/President of company, i.e. can't afford it, don't have time right now, telling me yes then not backing me up to others. I have been employed here for only 2 months and am very frustrated/concerned. I am a persevering person, however, when the big boss won't comply is there really any reason to stick around??? This is my first time posting, but have gleaned much information from the sight so far.
I have been in the manufacturing/quality business for 30 years and have never run into such an issue. It is not just me who knows how difficult, unreliable the owner is, I have heard many stories. Any ideas on how to knock a door in this wall, vere around it, throw a ladder over the top, would be much appreciated.

You should also know, there is NO quality control in place, a few forms(no one has been required to use), no procedures, a Quality manual that is very lacking for ISO standards. The owner is frequently gone and leaves no one in charge, bad mouths everyone when something goes wrong. Actually, after writing this all down, I believe I've answered my own question....

Anyone looking for a quality person????? Production management, engineering experience too : ) I would still love any input if you have some...

Thanks for the assistance,
Jody
 
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Craig H.

#2
Well, Jody, welcome! And a heck of a first post.

In short, "show me the money". Gather your evidence and show the honcho how the situation is costing him now, and how it could cost him everything (in aerospace? sheesh) if the situation continues.

Greed and fear can be powerful motivators.
 
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chaosweary

#3
Hahaha, welcome to our world, now for some of my greatest unshared quality secrets:
1. Since he won't step to the plate you will have to. Trust me most company owners and CEOs are like this...sorry to burst any bubble or be a buzz kill, I am sure some fellow covers have their Massiah stories but for the most part the above is true.
2. If you still want to work there then hold a large meeting with the top management under the Owner, then tell them what to do, and what needs to be done and that they or their designee will be the project managers to get the cert items done for their particular areas. For real, it works.
3. Market it by using posters and flyers, communicate it and give it life, otherwise there is a good chance people won't think its real.
4. If you get a calls from the Owner tell him what needs to be done, they are not quality professionals and don't know any better. They are looking to you to be the expert.
5. Put together the management review piece for him, tell him if he doesn't do the appropriate actions the company cannot/will NOT get certified.
*Remember, resistance is Futile, no compromises on how they can get around doing something- you are the expert, they are not, you will tell them what is needed to comply.
*Value add - The sell is that the customer can always choose a supplier that is certfied, and that the market demands the certification for play. (I am in a global company that would not even glance at ISO if it was not for the customers / market)
*Keep powerpoints to no more than 10 slides...lots and lots of pictures / flowcharts.
*99% of the time of the reason you are there is not for improvement, but because the customers are asking for ISO certification. Make sure you give the boss what he really wants, whether thats real value or improvement or just the certification in order to sell to the market, not MORE, not LESS.

If your company is like mine, and I am sure it is, selling quality, no just using the word quality is a total turn-off to management. Play hardball and play it straight. Get to the root cause of why they want ISO in the first place and fill the need.:agree:

But foremost, have fun with it! The owner is giving you the power to implement, take authority! They will follow like sheep!
 
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Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#4
Hahaha, welcome to our world, now for some of my greatest unshared quality secrets:
1. Since he won't step to the plate you will have to. Trust me most company owners and CEOs are like this...sorry to burst any bubble or be a buzz kill, I am sure some fellow covers have their Massiah stories but for the most part the above is true.
2. If you still want to work there then hold a large meeting with the top management under the Owner, then tell them what to do, and what needs to be done and that they or their designee will be the project managers to get the cert items done for their particular areas. For real, it works.
3. Market it by using posters and flyers, communicate it and give it life, otherwise there is a good chance people won't think its real.
4. If you get a calls from the Owner tell him what needs to be done, they are not quality professionals and don't know any better. They are looking to you to be the expert.
5. Put together the management review piece for him, tell him if he doesn't do the appropriate actions the company cannot/will NOT get certified.
*Remember, resistance is Futile, no compromises on how they can get around doing something- you are the expert, they are not, you will tell them what is needed to comply.
*Value add - The sell is that the customer can always choose a supplier that is certfied, and that the market demands the certification for play. (I am in a global company that would not even glance at ISO if it was not for the customers / market)
*Keep powerpoints to no more than 10 slides...lots and lots of pictures / flowcharts.
*99% of the time of the reason you are there is not for improvement, but because the customers are asking for ISO certification. Make sure you give the boss what he really wants, whether thats real value or improvement or just the certification in order to sell to the market, not MORE, not LESS.

If your company is like mine, and I am sure it is, selling quality, no just using the word quality is a total turn-off to management. Play hardball and play it straight. Get to the root cause of why they want ISO in the first place and fill the need.:agree:

But foremost, have fun with it! The owner is giving you the power to implement, take authority! They will follow like sheep!
I understand the defense mechanism approach you are applying here. I think you did a great job of explaining how to deal with a bad situation. Sounds like you understand it well.

The question that I am curious about is, do you like working in that kind of environment? Do you really want to stay in that? Or, do you hope to look for a more enjoyable post at some point?
 
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EColby

#6
I had to check to see if I wrote that original post because it sure sounds like my situation. I've actually "stuck it out" for 18 months in my company and unfortunately, things haven't improved much. It really does start with company leadership and if you cannot get that committment, you're pretty much doomed. I

f you aren't up for the challenge of trying to move a mountain, I would start looking for a new job now rather than doing what I've done. Now it's going to be even harder for me to leave because I feel somewhat invested, especially with the employees that do care and do try to work within a quality system.
 
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chaosweary

#7
I understand the defense mechanism approach you are applying here. I think you did a great job of explaining how to deal with a bad situation. Sounds like you understand it well.

The question that I am curious about is, do you like working in that kind of environment? Do you really want to stay in that? Or, do you hope to look for a more enjoyable post at some point?
Actually I don't mind the environment. I have no degree (2yrs of college), and make 60K a year and I am too impatient to go back to school. I am actually training someone with a PHD in chemistry in environmental auditing :D. Top it off with a recession, my age and I am not so saleable. I get to travel around the world for free and do a job no one else wants or cares to know about so I am the "subject matter expert". I really do like it. I thought I would out-grow the dream of running a topless bar back from when I was a teenager but never did, that combined with very conservative conditions in the U.S. kind of puts the other "option" out as well! :lol:
 

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Admin
#9
JodyC,

It’s a tough spot to be in (although your location is rather nice). Just be sure to head down to the ocean to clear your head as the occasions arise.

Well, I doubt that you’ll change the owner. Another classic situation where the owner wants something but only knows how to get the results he needs by beating folks into submission. Don’t be a victim. However, there may be some opportunities worth exploring. For instance, could you contract work with him to install the QMS he needs and establish audit/training opportunities later? In this case, you’ll have the intimacy of the system while other poor souls have to operate within it. And with inevitable turnover, you probably will have a steady side gig to boot. Of course, you would need to establish your own permanent desk and chair somewhere, but this would allow you the opportunity to find the kind of place you feel your deserving of (I’m with Helmut here) while knowing that your not permanently held hostage.

In the end, you might find a good place to work while creating a side gig that could provide some creative opportunities and development for yourself. Carlsbad is anything but an inexpensive town, so hopefully you can remain gainfully employed while establishing yourself elsewhere.

Regards,

Kevin
 
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Pazuzu - 2009

#10
Don't try to move the mountain, be the mountain!
I would disagree. Being a mountain in the face of another results in a stalemate. Instead, be the river at the feet of the mountain. Adapt, cut new paths, and flow around. It is paramount that the "mountain" sees where quality leads.
 

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