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  QS9000's New Dock Audit Requirement

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Author Topic:   QS9000's New Dock Audit Requirement
Bill Smith
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From:El Paso, Texas
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posted 08 December 1998 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Smith   Click Here to Email Bill Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a question for anyone out there .

How are you going to meet the new dock audit requirement ? (4.10.4.2)

We are finding it very difficult to pull parts out of a box prior to shipment and then re-do all inspection and testing in order to meet the intent of this requirement before we ship.

Even if we specify a frequency of once a year we can't justify the lost time and expense. And I'm afraid that we will not be able to justify a general frequency such as once a year because it will not be based on PPM levels.

Our first thought was to have our existing Dock Audit function verify that all in-process inspections had taken place by checking for a series of stamps on the Kan-Ban traveller, but our registrar has told us that this dos not meet the intent of the standard so we are fresh out of ideas.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Roger Eastin
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From:Greenville, SC
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posted 08 December 1998 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Roger Eastin   Click Here to Email Roger Eastin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the intent of this requirement was to look for things like obvious damage to packaging, checking for paperwork errors, etc.? I know the section states that the audit covers all specified requirements, but I thought it was basically a "packaged product" check.

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 08 December 1998 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill,

I'm guessing a bit here, but I think that your registrar may be saying that you need to add to what you originally proposed. Product audits generally require you to do an appraisal (inspection and tests) of the product itself. Aside from your records, does the product meet specification? You must develop a program to ensure that the product you manufacture meets the Customer's requirements. This subparagraph allows you to determine frequency. Plan this activity as appropriate (status and importance). How were the results of the last Product Audits? Is there evidence to support a reduction in frequency or should frequency be increased? Be sure you can defend your position, especially if you plan to be liberal.

It seems that your organization may have a slight commitment problem. You need to satisfy the Customer requirements each and every time, not only when it suits you. But that doesn't mean that you have to open a bazillion finished goods to determine conformance. There are many suitable sampling plans (statistically proven) that can reduce work and give you information on acceptability of goods (alpha/beta risk).

Roger's points are well taken here. Product Audits are performed to determine if the process is yielding the proper results (Does product meet spec?), inclusive of product records. By your posting, it appears that you have the traveler records (acceptance stamps), now you need the product records of your audits. Did you find the shipping label in the correct location? Where they the correct size and contain correct information? These are things your traveller probably does contain.

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chen
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From:dongguan,guangdong,p.r.china
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posted 09 December 1998 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chen   Click Here to Email chen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
we check the packaging,labeling,shipping q'ty and the reports of OBA as dock audit before shipping. I think the packaging and labeling
inspection are the main requirements of dock audit of QS-9000.

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Dawn
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From:St. Marys, PA
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posted 09 December 1998 07:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dawn   Click Here to Email Dawn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We are shooting for registration in the spring, and we have a procedure stating we will perform dock audits once a year.
When we perform the audit, we will take six random boxes off the shelf, open them up, check for contamination and other visual problems, check 6 pieces out of each box for inspection verification, and pack them back up. I have created a special form to verify everything has been done and will be checked off by QC Technician who performs the work. This seems to be ok to meet the intent to me, and its really not that big of a deal.(Compared to alot of other requiremetns anyway).

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Kevin Mader
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From:Seymour, CT USA
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posted 10 December 1998 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dawn,

Why 6 pieces and not 7 (is there any statistical significance to the number being 6)? Are once a year dock audits suitable (frequent enough to reduce the risk of sending nonconforming product)? These are some tough questions, but be ready to answer them.

One thing to be careful of is setting the trap for yourself. I speak from experience here. While many of us struggle with commitment of resources to achieving ISO goals, ISO does not care about the situation. They care that things are being taken care of as prescribed by your procedures. If you can avoid it, try not to tie yourself into fixed numbers (6 items, 3 days, by the 15 day of each month, etc.).

Sampling plans are a huge bear trap. Plans that are set arbitrarily (5 items since I have 5 fingers on one hand) have no statistical significance. You can still use them, but you will need to show a registrar that the sampling plan you have selected/created is effective (both in detering a nonconformance, and, in cost). This is generally why organizations use established sampling plans (MIL, ANSI, etc.). Why reinvent the wheel so to speak. So what sampling plans are useful when auditing?

The book "The Quality Audit" by Charles Mills has some useful information in the arena of audit sampling. He describes three types of sampling, two are more commonly used than the third. In order they are Binomial, Poisson, and Hypergeometric. Sounds complicated, but their bark is much tougher than their bite. These methodologies can significantly reduce the amount of work while yeilding bonified results. Predetermined confidence levels and levels of acceptability/rejectability may give you some answers to the question of having enough time or resources.

The form is a good idea, neat and organized in the record collection department. Be sure your QC Tech also has auditing techniques training beyond general inspection technologies and that the associate training record reflects this. Otherwise, good luck next spring. Hope all goes well.

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Scott Knutson
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posted 11 December 1998 05:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Knutson   Click Here to Email Scott Knutson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As an FYI, I've been assisting this week in an ISO Lead Assessor class and the subject of the new dock audit came up. The instructor of the class, a well-respected ISO/QS9000 certfied lead auditor, stated that he would expect to see someone randomly hold out a package prior to sealing to inspect its contents. A Motorolan in the class (parts of Motorola are QS9000 certified) stated that that was going to be their approach.

I would have to agree with this approach because it does seem to make the most sense. Having to reopen then re-close a package to check its contents doesn't make much sense.

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Scott Knutson
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posted 11 December 1998 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Knutson   Click Here to Email Scott Knutson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The above reply should include packaging and labeling inspection, too.

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Bryon C Simmons
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From:Zeeland, MI USA
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posted 12 December 1998 07:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bryon C Simmons   Click Here to Email Bryon C Simmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just went through Third Edition upgrade surveillance audit. For the dock audit, i wrote a level 3, that states that we will perform a dock audit (IMHO; more inane inspection...) on jobs that have exhibited a history of problems.(we are a job shop, with about 40% repeat orders). tHe basis for selection is from internal scrap records, customer complaints, and return of non-conforming product. I establish the frequency. We flag the particular engineering master electronically, and when it gets re-ordered, we perform this additional inspection atthe shipping dock, prior to shipment. THe auditor told us it was beyond the call of the requirement..I am looking for a way to simplify it even further. THe standard states that all specified requirements are to be audited. I check critical dimensions, as well as packaging and labeling. This is relatively easy for our product( a simple product). For more complex products, I would specify the requirements to be "audited" in the work instruction. THere is some ambiguity there....if in doubt, call your registrar. We had a great audit, by the way.

Hope this helps

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Bryon Simmons
ASQ: CQE, CQA; CQMgr

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Lyndon Diong
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From:Ipoh, Parak, Malaysia
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posted 13 December 1998 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lyndon Diong   Click Here to Email Lyndon Diong     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I implementation a packaging gate before the product are sent to the store. The packaging gate checked labeling, packaging box, sealing condition, accessories e.g. silica gel, etc.. In other words, the packaging condition as the customer would like to see. Can this be considered as "dock audit"? Thanks

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Scott Knutson
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posted 15 December 1998 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Knutson   Click Here to Email Scott Knutson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lydon -
I would think that would suffice based on the information I received last week (see prior comment).

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Kevin Mader
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posted 16 December 1998 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just an F.Y.I. (my 2 cents)

Auditing is not inspection as most of you know. A Dock Audit is essentially a Product Audit performed in Shipping. The general purpose for this type of audit is to provide additional (not primary) assurance that the product being shipped is done in accordance with Customer requirements and with the Customer's expected quality level (as Lyndon put it, as the customer expects to see the goods).

Product auditing utilizes appraisal (inspection and testing) to determine a few things about the process used to manufacture a product. For instance, does the inspection and testing used in the manufacturing and packaging of a product meet specification? Have these checks provided adequate assurance and are known to be effective? The idea here is to point your focus up-stream. All steps need to be carried out precisely to the Customer's specifications (production and packaging) and requirements (packing, shipping and delivery). You may want to set your Dock Audit checklists to cover these both. As I see it, 'check items' for specifcations will assure you that on-line inspection and packaging are performing adequately. 'Check items' for requirements will assure you that shipping is performing adequately (correct labels are used, correct parcel carrier, etc.). Remember that a Product Audit does more than re-appraise the product, it asks you if the process control planning is effective too.

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Marc Smith
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From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 13 April 1999 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was e-mailed this. The TEXT IN ALL CAPS is GM's actual text:

----------snippo----------

Marc,
This is the interpretation from GM. My concern is that even if they are incorrect in their intent, they may decide to cast it in stone and consider it a GM Customer Requirement, which the Registrar would be obliged to observe. The following is from what GM wrote us:

DOCK AUDITS:
IN ADDITION, AS A SUPPLIER TO MID/LUX AND GENERAL MOTORS, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO COMPLY WITH QS9000. RECENT REVISIONS TO QS9000 REQUIRES SUPPLIERS TO HAVE A FORMALIZED DOCK AUDIT PROCESS ESTABLISHED. THE INTENT OF THIS PROCESS IS TO AUDIT MATERIAL THAT IS READY TO SHIP TO VALIDATE THE PRODUCTION CONTROL PLAN IS EFFECTIVE AND MATERIAL CONFORMS TO REQUIREMENTS. THE AUDITS SHOULD BE RANDOM AND THE FREQUENCY DEPENDENT ON QUALITY PERFORMANCE. OBVIOUSLY, THE RESULTS OF THE AUDIT SHOULD CORRELATE TO WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE FINDING.
.
AS WE CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO EXCEED OUR CUSTOMERS' EXPECTATIONS AND BE THE LEADER IN OUR MARKET SEGMENT, YOUR ROLE IN SUPPORTING OUR EFFORTS IS CRITICAL FOR US BOTH. YOUR COOPERATION WILL BE APPRECIATED.

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Marc Smith
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posted 13 April 1999 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More info on dock audits is at https://elsmar.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000100.html .

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Deb Weissler
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From:Newport News, VA USA
Registered: Nov 98

posted 23 April 1999 09:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Deb Weissler   Click Here to Email Deb Weissler     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For many of us grappling with QS-9000 requirements for Dock Audits, we are also having to comply with VDA6.1 requirements for Product Audits as well. VDA6.1 (European automotive manufacturers' equivalent to QS-9000) Product Audit requirements are VERY specific and QS-9000 may likely follow suit in later revisions.
VDA6.1 defines a Product Audit as a planned audit activity that takes place after the completion of the final production stage, from product that is packed and considered "customer ready". The goal is to check a small number of pieces, very comprehensibly, on normal delivery-ready product. An audit plan, checklist and schedule must be established, and the Product Auditor must be independent of the product producer. The audit is not just a visual verification of packaging, labeling, etc. but must be based upon dimensional and functional quality characteristics that can be evaluated statistically. With this in mind, our quality system is built around VDA6.1 requirements for product audits knowing that we will then satisfy the less specific QS-9000 dock audit requirements.

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