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Author Topic:   compliance v effectiveness
Christian Lupo
posted 12 March 1999 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Christian Lupo   Click Here to Email Christian Lupo     Edit/Delete Message
Marc, you said it all when you said that any company that goes broke trying to comply to Qs-9000 made bad business decisions, AMEN. I will go even further and say that if you are not satisfying the customer and complying to QS you set up QS wrong! In my entire career I have never said, "gee, that will satisfy the QS auditor but not the customer". That statement is impossible. The very first thing I was taught when on my journey to become a QS certified lead assessor, is that "if you are not trying to get the customers requirements, you are not meeting the intent of the standard" yes there are many auditors that have not learned this lesson, but they are getting weeded out. The B3 mandated that all QS certified auditors be retested in 1999. Many auditors who were QS certifed failed the exam, and cannot perform QS audits until they prove they take a training course and pass a retest.

ISO and QS are just good business practices if implemented correctly. In fact it's a misnomer to call them "quality standards" because they are business standard....the way to run your business. Unfortunatly, by calling them "quality" standards it become the responsibility of the "quality" department to implement and maintain the system and not the businesses.

Try this: Recently (about a year ago) I was so sick of people saying "We got to do (fill in the blank) cause QS says we have to" that I challenged myself to never implement a new system or change to the system while using the words Quality, ISO, or QS. In other words i would have to sell it to the company as something that makes good business sense internally and to the customer. This tested my understanding of the intent of the ISO/QS system and got people away from "we gotta do it for ISO/QS". results: I have never had to say we need to implent this because of ISO/QS and we have made all the auditors happy....neat huh?

The quality system thats in place is not perfect, Rome wasn't built in a day either

Don Winton
Forum Wizard
posted 12 March 1999 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message
The following is ISO, not QS oriented. I avoid QS issues. It was not and is not a standard, just something the B3 tries to force down vendorās throats. It is not different than the standards they forced separately years ago, only now they are united in their silliness. But, that is another story for another time.

the purpose of ISO is not to have a "big honkin' Binder"

AMEN! I preach this and preach this and preach this.

The documents are now seen as a "contract"


I have always tried to take this approach. It give a sense of Īownershipā to the operators. A previous employer of mine took the opposite approach. Management would have someone Īprepareā the documentation and then present it to operators and say ĪThis is what you are supposed to be doing.ā It was a sure kiss of death.

we seem to be more interested in satisfying the standard, (and indeed our registrar), than the customer.


Yea, I see this a lot too. Sorta sad, really. I have always preferred to see my systems as Īcustomerā oriented rather than Īstandardā oriented. I place heavy emphasis on this in my classes. The STANDARD is the SLAVE, not the MASTER, the customer is. For example, the standard 4.20 requires appropriate statistical techniques. The question I ask is what statistical techniques would add value to my customer, company and product. If the answer is none, then I use none.

quote: still forces time to be spent on less meaningful things than the pursuit of quality improvement.

I would like to think (maybe incorrectly) that a well designed system would satisfy both. Maybe, maybe not.

The Myth: ISO9000 is about Quality Systems
The Reality: ISO9000 is about Liability and Responsibilities.

I could not agree more. I have always seen ISO as just a standard, nothing more nothing less. ISO is no more about quality systems than any of the older MIL standards.

But it has little to do with 'quality'.


In other words i would have to sell it to the company as something that makes good business sense internally and to the customer.

This should be the case for any Quality Management System, not standards compliance. Good points all around.


Bryon C Simmons
Forum Wizard
posted 12 March 1999 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bryon C Simmons   Click Here to Email Bryon C Simmons     Edit/Delete Message
Interesting dialogue.....I have created a monster here (laff)

Anyway, perhaps it is just the approach that sometimes is taken towards the standard, and satisfying the auditors.....

I have seen improvement in our processes as a result of QS, but then again, it may be because we are paying more attention to it, and taking the time to understand it. BEing the "quality guy" with my organization...I see it as my responsibility to keep us on the right track, and not get waylaid with insignificant activities.

Thanks for all of your input, and allowing me the chance to air my opinions.......


Marc Smith
Da Cheech Wizard
posted 12 March 1999 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message
I have seen improvement in our processes as a result of QS, but then again, it may be because we are paying more attention to it, and taking the time to understand it.
This is in part what I mean by 'waking a company up'.

John C
posted 23 March 1999 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John C   Click Here to Email John C     Edit/Delete Message
I asked what I should say to convince prospective clients that their system should be documented and comply with ISO 9000. I certainly got some good feedback. To summarise, Iāll pick out the points that I felt stood out and which I will use in my contact planning. Thanks to all who contributed;

Kevinās contribution;
is critical but I would change it to ĪItās not just paper. You need it to focus on the system.ā (JC; adding in Īnotā and Īitā.) Understanding and training.
ĪIt ensures nothingā - (JC;Yes my clients need to know that.)

Management commitment and commitment to long term goals, simple, direct. The person responsible having the freedom to do what is right. Systems usually fail due to lack of this commitment and freedom.

ĪDocumentation is most important when things go wrongā

ĪDocuments are a contractā.
(JC; A very strong point indeed and one that I havenāt come across before. When I was given supervisor training many decades ago, I was told, ĪNever end a discussion with a worker without double checking they understand what you want and intend to do itā.)

Donāt put the standard before the customer.
(JC; In my experience, this is the most powerful point of all. People who concern themselves with compliance, get in the way of those who concern themselves with productivity. ((Iāve said that before)) You ask for comment; I would say, that Īproductivityā is king, not the customer. Give marketing and the finance guys the tools they need ((ie the right product at the right cost)) to grow the company and make the customer happy. Internally, keep your eye on the ball, which is making sure it is the right product and reducing costs to make your cost of sale more satisfactory to both company and customer. So I wouldnāt argue with the Īcustomerā focus, but it isnāt everything.)

Contract between supplier and customer.
(JCOf course. But that is the original and basic reason for ISO 9000; To demonstrate ((by third party inspection)) the supplierās capability. Section 1 Scope.)
The idea of making management liable
(JC; is a very good one, but not one that will help me convince my client to give me business.)
(JC; Interestingly, ĪLiabilityā is what ISO 9000 is not about. It is about avoiding liability. If we become the target of liturgation because our product ran amok in the main street of Montevideo, we gather up all our quality evidence and carry it in a wheelbarrow into court, making the case that we are innocent and the incident was an act of God.)

Byron again;
Itās all down to money.
(JC; Powerfull point. We sure wouldnāt make the customer happy if we werenāt going to come out well from it. Nor will we continue to make him happy if we go out of business.
Most important - My client knows this. If ISO 9000 doesnāt improve productivity or open doors to sales, then my client wonāt want it. And right too.)

The harm those words can do. ie; Quality, ISO 9000.
(JC; Right on. So many times I walked into a supplierās reception;
ĪHello, Iām John C, Supplier Quality Engineer, Apple Computerā
ĪOh hello, please take a seat and Iāll get xxx our quality inpector or yyy our quality manager, etc, etc.ā
ĪI donāt want your quality anythingā, I would say, ĪI want the manufacturing manager who made the damn things wrong in the first place.ā)

Thanks again. Itās powerful stuff.
and rgds, John C

[This message has been edited by John C (edited 03-23-99).]

[This message has been edited by John C (edited 03-23-99).]

[This message has been edited by John C (edited 03-23-99).]

Marc Smith
Da Cheech Wizard
posted 23 March 1999 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message
JC; Interestingly, ĪLiabilityā is what ISO 9000 is not about. It is about avoiding liability.
If you go back thru the history of the standard, prior to 1978, you will find the ISO9000 became the vehicle to address liability issues between countries which are now the EU. Liability is specifically what it was about and remains to function as same. I have had calls from lawyers saying 'internal audit results' and 'management review records' were asked for during a trial and asking what 'the score' is. Management review functions to ensure top management cannot use the excuse that they didn't know what was going on. Documented systems. Defined responsibilities. Think about it.

Good thread. And good luck!

(Call me arguementative.... I can take it!)

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 03-23-99).]

Amar Seth
Lurker (<10 Posts)
posted 27 March 1999 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Amar Seth     Edit/Delete Message

It is an interesting conversation and I would like to share my experience and thoughts.

ISO 9000/QS 9000 are good tools for managing quality and it has done lot of good to Indian Industry . It depends how you look at these standards and the approach.ISO 9000 standard is not so prescriptive as QS9K and gives the suppliers the space for designing their processes which are best suited to meet the customer requirements efficiently. The processes of the company must be customer oriented to achieve customer satisfaction.It is left to company to work within the broad policy frame work of ISO 9000.

Fortunately or unfortunately , if one has to be supplier to Big3 there is no doubt that with the main objective of meeting customer requirement QS9k rigid framework has to be accepted.I think that as it is quite inflexible it has acted as driver for improvement of supplier.

Since, there are always two aspects to every thing I feel there are lot more good in QS9K than the negatives and the attempt must continue to smoothen the abrasive issues in a time to come.

However, unless more flexibility is built into QS9k , it may not be favoured standard in a time to come .

Marc Smith
Da Cheech Wizard
posted 29 March 1999 04:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message
Currently I'm surprised QS9000 has lasted as long as it has. With TR16949 we'll see where the power is.

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