Proliferation of Standards


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Staff member
Subject: Re: Q: TL 9000 model /Saarelainen/Naish
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 17:28:19 -0600
From: Moderator <[email protected]>
From: [email protected]

It is my understanding from a meeting I just attended on Thursday that TL9000 is currently in the early stages of implementation. As it is being tried there are changes that are being flushed out of it. It is also my understanding that until February of 2000 you can not get an officially recognized certification to the standard even though there seems to be some misunderstanding regarding this within the Telecom industry as well as outside of it.

Several registrars were chosen by their Telecom clients to participate in the first generation of the training and audits to the standard. These registrars are currently issuing certificates but there are not officially recognizable until February of next year. After the first of the year 2000 a number of other registrars will be trained and will be having witness audits as well.

To Markku's comment about the ISO standard versus the proliferation of other standards that are based on ISO, I believe we have failed to meet the original needs and have now gone to a system which renders ISO in a position of less importance. I agree with Markku that we should drop all the industry specific and go back to one standard but in the real world I know that won't happen. Further I think instead of going that way we are going to go the opposite way of adding more and more standards which become more and more diverse and more and more complicated for companies to implement.

As an example of my last comment, I have one client who sells to automotive (QS), Telecom (TL), the government (DS), some medical which is currently not requiring them to go to CGMP but could in the future, some commercial (ISO), and some people who just don't care. There are some others in the commercial who are electronics or electrical, or some other industry that undoubtedly will come up with their own version of the standards in the next few years for one reason or another.

ISO once met there needs for all their clients. They are now having to add QS and TL and whatever comes along. And each new standard requires a minimum of time to evaluate their current system against the requirements and see where they need to add or change or incorporate for that sector of their business. And then comes the time to make the changes. This takes them back to the days where every new customer wanted to impose their own quality system on them as the supplier. Now we are jsut requiring them to meet the various sector requirements which may have started out as simply an add on to ISO but are quickly becoming a nightmare for a company to keep track of which sector this customer comes from. And in addition, they still have to add on the customer specific requirements as before.

They also now have to pay additional money to ensure their system meets all the standards required by the customers. As we move to Y2K ISO and QS does not stay in line with the changes, I will venture to say that down the line AS, DS, TE, TL, CGMP, and whatever other variations spring up will part ways with ISO and each other causing even more problems in implementation and maintenance and increase the costs for the audits.

One has to ask at what point does a company say "Wait a minute! If you want this registration or compliance we will be happy to do it but you start picking up the costs for it." Or as I supect many will do it is written into their overhead costs and spread across all products and all customers and passed on to us the consumer in the increased cost of goods. I for one would like to see the proliferation stopped and all standards replaced with one called ISO which is correctly implemented and audited for. The cost of my goods will go down and I am sure the quality will not suffer as a result.

QS was suppose to provide a better quality system. The big joke is that the big three frequently don't supply the requirements to their suppliers. And many of who have had cars built by the big three know the quality of our vehicles has not improved (and in some cases has gotten worse). And the auto aftermarket doesn't even have to comply so we the consumer are left with programs costing the suppliers more money which is passed on to us and for which we have yet to see any significant improvement in the products we buy.

And AS and DS seem to be no more productive as evidenced by the increased number of problems showing up in product built for both the commercial world (those planes we ride that seem to be having one recall after another recently) and military (why are so many military planes going down as of late?)

I can't speak for the medical world because I haven't seen any major recalls lately so I don't know if CGMP is buying us anything or not.

So what does QS buy any one? What does AS or DS buy us the consumer or the families of the military personnel being killed? And I have to sometimes question ISO for the same reasons when I see registered companies who continue to put out non conforming materials and products and do not respond to requests for corrective and preventive actions.

This is a multibillion dollar process that leaves us consumers with no more for our money and costing us more each day as the standards proliferate. Where and when will it stop?

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