Sharing QMS Documents with Customers

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#1
I have a customer supply quality engineer asking for electronic copies of many of our general procedures and work instructions. She is asking for copies of virtually everything - documentation control, corrective action, manufacturing, configuration control, etc.

My general policy is to allow the customer to have a copy of the quality manual and any procedures specific to their product, but just allow them to view but not copy other documents.

Was curious what other folks' policies are.

Thanks,

Mike
 
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planB

Super Moderator
#2
[...] have a copy of the quality manual and any procedures specific to their product, but just allow them to view but not copy other documents.
This is what I have typically seen before.

Have you asked the customer supply quality engineer what (s)he is looking for in the other documents?
 

John C. Abnet

Teacher, sensei, kennari
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
I have a customer supply quality engineer asking for electronic copies of many of our general procedures and work instructions.
My general policy is to allow the customer to have a copy of the quality manual and any procedures specific to their product, but just allow them to view but not copy other documents.
Mike

Good day @Mike S. ;
1- Is any of this defined via contract? You may want to confirm with your commercial team if/how any contracts exist/are established.
2- Did your customer issue your organization a "supplier manual" that may stipulate any such requirements?
3- It is not required to provide process proprietary information to ANYone. If you are in the automotive world, for example, your customer is entitled to your risk analysis document (PFMEA) and an overview of how all risks/processes/product features are controlled (Control Plan). But even within those documents, proprietary information can be referred to by an associated document ID, etc...and the proprietary details not conveyed to the customer.
4- Does your organization have a strong relationship (I hope) with this customer? Does a relationship exist between your customer and someone in your organization who could as "why" those types of documents are being requested ?


It is not common for customers to request those type of documents.

Hope this helps.

Be well.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#6
The hopeful in me: she is preparing to perform a system audit and wants to familiarize herself with the supplier’s processes documentation.

The cynical in me: she is thinking of becoming a consultant and wants to collect as many procedures as possible from suppliers and repackage them for her future clients.
 
Last edited:

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#7
Thanks for all the input.

I have had a few different customers ask for this kinda stuff over the years.

This particular person is doing a remote audit of sorts due to Covid. It is routine, not the result of any problems we have had. Even if she was coming in-house to do it I would not normally allow her to have a copy of anything to keep aside from the QM and documents specific to her company, and would not share information about other customers, but I would allow her to view general documents.

There is nothing contractual saying they can have a copy of these documents.

Same with metric data like OTD and quality levels -- I share data specific to that customer, not across the board.

IMO this "audit" is for the most part one of those BS audits that wastes everyone's time but helps the auditor look busy or valuable. We're AS9100 registered by a well-known and reputable registrar, does she really doubt whether we have a document control procedure? :rolleyes:
 

blackholequasar

The Cheerful Diabetic
#8
Typically I will provide our quality manual which has an outline of all our SOPs. I don't know the benefit in them actually SEEING the SOPs themselves as long as we show that we have the processes controlled? I'm with Sidney on this, tbh. He hit it right on the head.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
These are special circumstances (a remote audit due to Covid) so special provisions might be appropriate. At the same time, I don't think that if I were even doing an on-site audit as a customer that I would ask for (or need) all of that documentation. Without being familiar with the customer it's hard to say how I might react, but I think I might ask for audit questions and respond as necessary without sending any documentation.
 

Tagin

Trusted Information Resource
#10
This particular person is doing a remote audit of sorts due to Covid. It is routine, not the result of any problems we have had. Even if she was coming in-house to do it I would not normally allow her to have a copy of anything to keep aside from the QM and documents specific to her company, and would not share information about other customers, but I would allow her to view general documents.
All the remote audits we've had used screen-sharing to allow the auditor to view relevant pages or parts of our QMS docs that I would bring up on screen in response to a particular question. Sometimes they might take screen captures as evidence, but none of them wanted all the QMS docs.
 
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