Reality Check - Can we pass a registration audit with this kind of turnover?

J

Jeri Mackay

#1
Hi,

I need opinions, or information based on past experiences, from the forum members. Here is my situation:

I was hired in May of 2002 as a QA manager with the task of getting the company ISO registered by March 2003. Initially it didn't seem like such a task but since my start in May we have had eighteen people leave the company (10 fired, 8 quit). Might not sound too bad but right now we are without a operations/production manager, warehouse manager, purchasing manager, assistant controller, (our controller is only pt) product manager, and I just found out today our director of engineering is leaving.

During our PAS the auditor said we did need to include the design and development component which no one had worked on before so I am getting this started from scratch. I expect we will have replacements for the Operations and Warehouse manager after the first of the year but what is the reality I can pass a registration audit with this kind of turnover?

Jeri
 
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E

energy

#2
More info

jeri,

At first blush, you appear two have to chances. Slim & None. But, a lot depends on the state of your documentation, training, identification of processes and all those other goodies that standard requires. Personnel coming and going isn't so much an ISO concern as it is a Morale issue. How many total employees are there? Losing 18 isn't as bad at a company employing 500 as opposed to one with 50-60 employees. Don't fall into the trap of promising registration by any certain date. You need complete employee buy in. Take it from me, really. Management wants the badge, but with 10 firings, I'm not sure if they are ready for the sacrifice. Either, they are cleaning house, or the company has real problems. With another 8 leaving, it only gets worse. The positions eliminated are important ones. An efective training program should take care of new employees. You say you have had a Pre-Assessment? Was there anything else besides design you have to address? Without a clearer picture of the company climate, it's difficult to venture a guess. Just Be careful.:ko: :smokin:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
C

Carl Exter

#3
Hi Jeri

Well, my feedback based on my experience is that you're either going to be a hero and favorite-son-figure, or you're might need an updated resume.

Losing key managers may actually work towards your favor in that ISO, supposedly, is a self-propelling system that is independent of the individuals working in it. So if you have documented processes that the staff follow, even minus a manager, that should look really good to an auditor.

Best of luck to you and happy holidays!:)
 
J

Jeri Mackay

#4
Thanks Energy,

Our company has 90 employees and it was the President who promised the board and owner we would be registered by March -this was prior to my accepting the position.

The other findings which were significant were three majors dealing with the procedures and practices of human resources, para. 6.2.2 Competence, awareness and traiing and communication of managment goals (all our documentation is in english and almost all our production employees are non-english speakers). Our HR manager is on materinty leave which complicates this because no one else is trying to address any of these.

At this point I don't know if I should have a sit down with the President and relay my concerns (will mean my job) or just try to keep pushing through?
 
J

Jimmy Olson

#5
Hi Jeri,

Don't sweat it too much. I sort of had a similar situation. The company I work at had a pretty big turnover this year, and as a result anyone with 8 months is considered to be senior :vfunny:

We completed our transition in about 2 months from the time we started to the date of our audit (so it can be done quick). A lot of stuff was in place already, and making changes when necessary wasn't difficult since most people were new. The biggest thing I can say to you is to make sure everyone is on board with the plan. If you don't get supposrt from anyone (especially management) you will have a very tough time.

It sounds like the big hitters you're facing now are design and HR. I would focus on design since that is something new and may take a while to figure everything out. The HR stuff can either wait until she comes back, or if need be, a couple people can dive in and try to figure it out (maybe call her and ask a few questions).

As it's been mentioned already, be prepared to be the fall guy if things don't work out. That doesn't mean you didn't do you job, but they have to blame somebody. I've seen it happen, as I'm sure other people her have as well. It might be a good idea to arrange a meeting with the President and other management (at least who's there) and lay everything out on the table to come up with a plan and get their support.

Good luck with everything and feel free to vent here, we all do :bonk:
 
#6
Re: Reality Check

Jeri Mackay said:
---X---
I expect we will have replacements for the Operations and Warehouse manager after the first of the year but what is the reality I can pass a registration audit with this kind of turnover?

Jeri
Wow.... 18 people gone and one leaning towards the edge.. out of 90...

My immediate question is: Why? That percentage alone would make me apprehensive, but that's not all. It concerns key personell too. What's going on? A civil war? Power struggle? I realize that you may not want to express the full facts here, but just like Energy I sense a major problem behind the figures. I also agree on his very sensible advice: Be careful...

That problem sparks another question, but you already answered it in your second post:
Jeri Mackay said:
---X---three majors dealing with the procedures and practices of human resources, para. 6.2.2 Competence, awareness and traiing and communication of managment goals (all our documentation is in english and almost all our production employees are non-english speakers). Our HR manager is on materinty leave which complicates this because no one else is trying to address any of these. ---X---
Now: Those majors hits right where it hurts. Your Prez promised the board you'd be done by march, but if all this commotion has taken place since then, I'd say the rules of the game have changed somewhat... Apart from your own effort you'll need unwavering support from your president and the rest off the staff. Do you have it? If so, there may be a chance for you to come through in the end. If not, you need to get some order in the ranks before you proceed. I note that you don't sound very optimistic yourself?

/Claes
 
J

Jeri Mackay

#7
This problem appears to be ingrained in the company - human resources are expendable, basically, employees are bodies and can be replaced by another (i.e. body shop) .

I am trying to be careful but there's no place left to hide! As far as support I am told I have the support of Sr. Mgmt. but right now I still have no response to documentation submitted for review a month ago. I understand we are very short handed in key positions (I have been acting as production manager and shipping clerk) but if I have time to get the documentation out they should have time to review the proposed process.

I haven't given up but the turnover is taking it's toll on everyone which makes it hard to implement a "quality business/management system"! What an oxymoron in our case.

Anyway - thanks all for the input hope everyone's holidays are fun, relaxing and safe.

Jeri
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#9
Don't Despair

Jeri Mackay said:
At this point I don't know if I should have a sit down with the President and relay my concerns (will mean my job) or just try to keep pushing through?
I would, but I wouldn't panic. Make sure the president or whoever understands your concerns and resource needs. If these are communicated and you fail, you will have done what you could. As a consultant I have many times gone to the top dog and explained the situation the the needs. I did this at most clients as some time. Several times (including Motorola GDL) I quit, technically, as they wouldn't listen to me and I knew if they failed I would get the blame. Yes - I stayed on after our 'chat' and they suceeded wonderfully (Zero {!} nonconformances) but initially it was a battle.

I'm not as pessimistic as Energy. Bill's bad experiences aren't representative of the majority of companies in my opinion. But I will say I have seen numerous small companies fall flat because the owner or whoever really didn't care and/or didn't realize (or provide for) the needs, not to mention costs, to achieve and continue compliance. Many failures are the result of a failure to enforce discipline (like making people follow established procedures) internally - especially at the management level.

Do your best - that's all you can do. Don't let it taker over your life.
 
#10
quick side note

This problem appears to be ingrained in the company - human resources are expendable, basically, employees are bodies and can be replaced by another (i.e. body shop) .
This type of attitude might interfere with your efforts, but you might be able to make it work for you. I worked with a client that had a similar type of operation. The attitude came from the owner, who (whom) wasn't the president. All the QM did was convince the pres that he too, was expendable and if he promised it would happen, and it did not, then the pres would have to update his resume. After that, the pres cooperated fully.

As Marc said, don't panic. Control what you can control, influence what you can influence, but go home and sleep well at night.
 
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