No Participation



At this point I wish we had the same problem as the WRESTLING THE BULL BY THE HORNS message. We are trying to implement QS-9000 and as I mentioned before, we have a pretty good structure from our "mother" company to go by. In general people just are not taking this whole thing seriously. It's like pulling teeth to get the policies written. I wonder if there is any way to explain to our employees how important this program will be to us. Our major customers require their suppliers to be registered, yet it doesn't seem to be a concern. They think that if we just get it on paper then that's the end of it. No one thinks about "How will we pass the Audit?". Has anyone been in this situation? Any suggestions on how we can light a fire under this group of slackers??
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Laura M

Are you the management rep? How close are you to "upper management"? Get a timeline with responsibilities. Your upper management has to push it or it won't happen. Keep them informed, don't "hide" vulnerable areas because the mgmt of the area will "get mad at you." No manager wants their area to "be the one." Get a good preassessment, and use it to target the areas that you need help getting fixed. Don't know what kind of help you have, but you need to stay tough. If your org is anything like ours, the middle managers would paint a rosy picture to the big need to let her/him hear the truth. Good Luck.
We also used a "WE ARE READY" banner that we issued to departments that the internal auditors/implementation team deemed ready. That generated a little internal competition that made it fun.


No I am not the management rep. We recently had some employee change overs in the QA department, so our Engineering department is now responsible for all documents and implementation involving QS-9000. I am just part of a department of 4 employees. Rather large company though. Pretty much everyone else just wants Engineering to handle this and let them know when it's done. Tends to be very challenging. We are trying very hard to get everyone involved. We are pretty close to the getting ugly point..

Steven Sulkin

I would agree with Laura-
1-Get a full assessment and make sure the results dont get filtered on its way to management. I would HIGHLY recommend that you bring in a consultant that knows what they are talking about. I can recommend someone if you like. The reason why this is so important is that a consultant adds legitimacy to the report. The consultant will also have more experience than you, able to dig up more critical problems and explain them in terms management will appreciate. The consultant will also be a resource to you, able to provide some consultation a long the way rather than just identifying nonconformances.

2-Once you get management support, make sure ownership is clear- AND IT BETTER NOT BE YOU! There is no way your going to succeed if this is an Engineering project. Its a little tough to divy out the responsibility, but its important. We used element leaders. No matter what method you use, make sure the ownership eventually rests with a manager. If an area isnt compliant, someones butt is on the line and its at a high level.

My only suggestion on how to divy up is by element and department. Note that production ends up with much of the standard.

Anyone else?


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Originally posted by Steven Sulkin:

I would agree with Laura-
1-Get a full assessment and make sure the results dont get filtered on its way to management. I would HIGHLY recommend that you bring in a consultant that knows what they are talking about. I can recommend someone if you like.
I'll recommend me....

Andy Bassett

I would have to agree that on this occassion a consultant is probably the best option.

The programme doesnt seem to be;
1. Wanted
2. Supported by management
3. Clearly led

An external party can possibly supply a clearer picture on the strengths and weaknesses of the programme, be seen as a 'neutral' party, and best of all act as a safe 'Whipping Boy' if the programme brings no benefits. (Marc - there has to be some perks with the job).

I should also mention that i have noticed a phenomena in some companies whereby the listening attention of the management is proportional to the salary of the person talking, ie were giving this guy a lot of money, we better listen to him.

Andy B
Sarah,Make life easy on yourself and your department. As a management rep./auditor you are not responsible for implementing the QSprocess. You (and your department) are only responsible for reporting to management the status.
You and/or your department cannot now or ever convince management that the QS process is neede. That must come from outside sources such as customers (or the loss thereof) and your parent company.
Consultants are effective ONLY if management is serious about the process.
I don't mean to sound too negative, but I have been through three qs9000 registrations and countless government audits over the past 35 years and this is just the way it is.

By the way, you didn't mention anything about training; if you haven't had a lead audtior course and PPAP,SPC,APQP,MSA,FMEA and the courses your customers offer, then you definitly need to hire a consultant.

Laura M

Sam, I think the problem is she is not the management representative - but is responsible. I was responsible for QS, but wouldn't take the job unless they named me management rep. The std. may not require the management rep implement, but that was the reality at my place. Just like the project engineers were responsible for coordinating and bringing a design to production...coordinating resources, eliminating roadblocks, ie implementing was my job. There was no way I was going to do the job and let my boss be the "figure head" management rep. After the system was in place for a couple years, the role changed a bit, but for the year before initial assessment, management definately thought I was responsible for implementing, not just reporting. My management definately did not like just a report of what's not done...I needed to have solutions. Since they usually didn't have a better idea (out of lack of knowledge of the requirements), they told me to go ahead with my idea...that's how I got the management support.


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Staff member
I'm not particularly pushing for anyone to hire a consultant. I do plug myself on my web site, but then again you might guess I would not want others to get a plug - I want any business generated.

To be honest, taken in context, a consultant would probably not do your company much good at this point. Your complaint is that you cannot get anyone interested and motivated (or few people). That is common and my experience is that a consultant cannot help unless the company is ready. The old saying of "...You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink..." comes to mind. I have had clients which simply weren't ready. No one does anything and as consultant you typically have only the power of informing the client that they're wasting time and money. A consultant typically does not have any authority to do anything.

I had a major client a couple of years ago where no one did anything. A couple of months went by without significant progress. I finally bypassed my contact (the Manager of Quality and Reliability) and spend 15 minutes with the Plant Manager. I went through my "I'm quitting" speech (no progress - we're both wasting our time and when you fail you'll blame me). That afternoon a major management meeting was help. The Plant Mgr made it very clear that the program was a priority. He told the group in no uncertain terms that this was their main priority. He also said: "I know it will be difficult - but - I will take the hit on product quality and on any production short fall during the project." Quite a speech. We set up special weekly meetings (on Thursday 11AM to 12.30PM) in our 'war room'. Chairs were removed for the meeting. Everyone had to stand, explain their progress on their systems and such and each person had 10 minutes to do so.

They and I worked quite hard for the next couple of months. The plant manger supplied food and drink around the clock in the 'war room' at no cost. Many of us were there late at night many times. The registration ended up successful and the facility came through the registration audit with only 1 (one) minor nonconformance. We were all very happy. They took me out that night and we had a rousing evening. They presented me with 'trophy' and really made me feel I was part of their 'family'. I still have very, very warm feelings for them.

Yes - consultants do cost a lot of money. However quite often I hear the refrain that "... a consultant came in and when s/he left there was almost nothing done..." The first question in my mind is 'Did management and the facility in general support the program and do what THEY were supposed to do?' We get blamed quite often for not accomplishing anything. Well, there are good consultants and bad consultants. The same goes for doctors, lawyers, plumbers - any profession. But even a 'good' consultant cannot help a company which is not interested. A doctor can't help a patient who will not take the prescribed medicine.

Time is your friend only if you don't have a 'required' date to register by. Some of my clients have the time and some don't. It sounds as if you have plenty of time. If your major customer came to you and said "You have 6 months to register and if you do not register in 6 months all of our business will be transferred to XYZ Company" a different priority would be placed on the program. Harley-Davidson only registered to ISO9000 after the German government sent them a letter with a cut-off date after which they would not allow the import of Harley-Davidson motor bikes. For several years upper management at Harley laughed at the ISO9000 'thing'. After the letter things became serious. Other countries were threatening as well. Kicking and screaming, they finally did succeed (by a hair's width - they were really not ready).

Good luck in your effort! Given enough time, any company should be able to reach a point where they can pass a registration audit.

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 18 February 2000).]


Fully vaccinated are you?
Staff member
Originally posted by Laura M:

Sam, I think the problem is she is not the management representative - but is responsible.
Responsibility without authority doesn't work very often.
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