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  ISO 9001/4:2000
  Interpretation of Customer Satisfaction

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Author Topic:   Interpretation of Customer Satisfaction
saranjame
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 2
From:Pune, Maharashtra, India
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 10 June 2001 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saranjame   Click Here to Email saranjame     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISO 9000 increasingly talks a lot about customer satisfaction, and rightly so. However, I feel that the scope of the standard is restricted to product(or service) quality and not any other aspect of customer satisfaction. For example, if a good quality product is supplied late, it is still a good product. Auditors in India are insisting that on time delivery is an aspect of customer satisfaction which MUST be dealt with in the Quality System. Do you think they are right? I dont.

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Al the Elf
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Posts: 18
From:Scotland, UK
Registered: May 2000

posted 11 June 2001 07:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al the Elf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Saranjame

The answer depends on the things your customer really values, which I think is a blend of Cost, Inherent product/service quality, timeliness and flexibility.

As an example, if I go to buy my favourite takeaway pizza and get advised that it will be ready tomorrow, it doesn't matter how good the pizza will be, I'll be heading for the fish and chip shop. Delivery on time is important.

Conversely if I'm buying a case of vintage wine to lay down in my cellar (I wish !), and I get advised it'll arrive a week late, then it makes no difference to me. Delivery on time (within reason) is not important. The "within reason" bit, is quite important. 1 week = OK, 1 year = cancelled order. You probably already understand how important timely delivery is to your customers or indeed what delay is deemed unacceptable - even if they don't tell you explicitly.

As a last comment...your competitors will be working hard to match or surpass your "good quality product" at the same or lower cost. If they can do so, and also deliver it on time, which of you will be seeing repeat orders from satisfied customers ?

Hope this helps...Al.

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E Wall
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Posts: 45
From:Columbus, GA USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 12 June 2001 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E Wall   Click Here to Email E Wall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great analogies Al

To put another spin on it: Your goals and objectives should reflect the needs (requirements) of your customers - both 'specified' and those 'implied'. The metrics (measureables) you put in place are the tools to gauge your efficiency and effectiveness to meet those requirements.

So...if 'on time reporting' is important to the customers it should be important to you.

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saranjame
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 2
From:Pune, Maharashtra, India
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 12 June 2001 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saranjame   Click Here to Email saranjame     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I couldnt agree more that on time delivery is as important to the customer as product quality. Issues relating to on time delivery should be strongly dealt with in a systematic manner, but separately, and not as part of ISO 9002, which is a product quality standard. Bringing in other aspects of Customer Satisfaction under the ambit of this standard would not be right because:
a. I dont think the designer of this standard so intended - all the clauses are addressed specifically towards product quality only, and
b. It would dilute the focus of the standard towards product quality and reduce its effectiveness
On time delivery and other aspects of Customer Satisfaction should to addressed as part of the TQM initiative in the organisation, and separate systems should be put in place for the same, using the same general philosophy of the ISO 9000 standard
(as is done in ISO 14000 for example)

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E Wall
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Posts: 45
From:Columbus, GA USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 13 June 2001 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E Wall   Click Here to Email E Wall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your certification to ISO 9002 will expire NLT 15 Dec 2003, if you plan to stay ISO Cert you will have to transition to 9001:2000 which goes beyond product quality mgmt.

Maybe your auditor is trying to expedite a transition?

The revised standard is a significant evolution where the new focus is on Process Managment - rather than only product quality. Hence the change in standard title to "Quality Management Systems - Requirements"

This change includes specific requirements for customer satisfaction; which, product quality is only one factor the customer takes into consideration. The process approach requires that you 'Define processes needed to achieve desired results', Rather than the old "requires procedures when the absense of one would adversley affect quality".

Are other companies in your region facing the same issues with thier registrars? Or is it only the registrar company you are dealing with? Either way, I would ask them to show me (in the standard) where the requirement is specified. When they can't do that there can be no finding.

Best wishes... Eileen Wall

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