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  So - You Want ISO9000 Employment

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Author Topic:   So - You Want ISO9000 Employment
Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 13 July 1998 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Every week I get several people asking me about working as a consultant in ISO9000 (and QS9000 for that matter). These e-mails are the reason for my setting up this forum. Some of you are making your living in ISO consulting (which, at least for me, includes training). How about some feedback for these seeking souls?

I'll start off with my '2 cents worth'.

Back in 1992 or there abouts someone showed me ISO9001 and said "If you know this spec you'll be able to make some good money consulting". I thought it was a crock 'cause I was working in military manufacturing quality and ISO9001 didn't, with consideration to military contracts as a whole, ask very much (it still doesn't). It seemed short but included some good ideas.

I studied all 9 pages. Then I found a company which made me a deal - cheap labour (me) to 'install' an ISO9001 'system'. It was about a 9 month effort. I worked for about US$24/hour as I remember. And for the last 3 months of the effort I worked for only travel expenses (mileage - about 100 miles round trip from my home) and lunch every day - they 'ran out of money' for the program (or so they told me).... From this I would get, if successful, the 'credit', such as it would be. Well, we went thru it and we were first audit successful. From that point on when I was trying to 'pitch' myself I could offer the reference and say "I directed a first-audit successful ISO9001 implementation effort." Which gave me a bare minimum credibility.

At one point I got about 4 other guys together (about 1993 or 94 as I remember) and proposed we start a business. In general I was poo pooed. I've gotten jobs for a couple of them, by the way, since that time. We would have really done well, I believe, as a team.

The progression has continued. I have worked with companies from the tiny (7 people) to middle-size (e.g.: Harley-Davidson) to the *real* damn big (Motorola Semiconductor Sector - which was actually a QS implementation).

No - I'm not a biggie like Perry-Johnson (God forbid *like* Perry-Johnson). I'm just a simple guy trying to sell his services. But I'm making a living. And now I have a fair amount of experience, some credibility and a number of references.

So - you want to do this? What to do? Grab the spec, go through Lead Auditor training (about US$1500 I believe), find a company which will let you 'help' them thru the effort and get your credibility. The more you put into it the more you'll get out of it. As you can see - I even put up a web site (you're here!!!) about 2 1/2 years ago. It's been a lot of work, but it's been worth it!

But - BEWARE! There are a lot of 'consultants' - large and small - out there. and there are hundreds of 'wanna bes'... As I said - I get e-mail quite regularly on this topic. So you'll have some competition!

Best of luck!!!

[Note: This message was edited by Marc Smith]

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barb butrym
Forum Contributor

Posts: 637
From:South Central Massachusetts
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posted 14 July 1998 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice post. I fell onto the ISO 9000 bandwagon in 1987. I predicted my "95% military customer" company needed to pursue non military markets. My boss didn't agree, but let me do my thing anyway. then in 1990 when the S**T hit the fan and the bottom started to fall out of the mil business, I was an instant hero and ISO saved the day.

Active in ASQ, I taught courses for them as well as the local Community College.
Moved on to medical device contract assembly. There I did my second and most painful implementation ..earned my purple heart there..tough nut to crack. But there I made the most valuable contacts of my career. I decieded I wanted to manage the programs not own them, and branched off on my own. Took a Lead Assessor course (boot camp)and headed off on my merry way.

Doing quite well I might add. Four years full time on my own, and I could work 24/7 if I wanted. IMHO the key element is reputation and integrity....neither can be compromised. YA-YA I know you need talent too, but what would talent get you with out a good reputation.

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Scott Knutson
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Posts: 35
From:Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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posted 15 July 1998 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Knutson   Click Here to Email Scott Knutson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I'm a consultant wanna-be, as Marc so affectionately calls us. I've been involved in ISO/QS for about 2 years, helping my company (Motorola) get QS certification (just last month). I've been working with one client in the service industry for the last four months, and I love it. My goal is to move into quality system consulting ( I also have a background in TPM - total productive manufacturing, HPT - human performance technology and project management) full-time by the end of the year. I agree with Barb that integrity and reputation make or break you. The client I have came to me because of my reputation and knowledge. Without that, I would not have had a chance.

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Don Winton
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Posts: 498
From:Tullahoma, TN
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posted 29 July 1998 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Don Winton   Click Here to Email Don Winton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To barb and Marc (and anyone else affected),
Recently, I made a post in the ISO 9000 thread that may (or may not) have ruffled some feathers. It is not my custom to let emotional conflicts interfere with my professional judgment. However, in this case, it appears that I did just so. To you all (and any others), that may read this, I did not intend, not ever will intend, to cast dispersions upon another as career choices. It would appear that, in this case, I let my training loose in preference to emotion. I will do my utmost to not let this happen again. My opinions are my own and should not be dispersed to all for critical review. (Marc, I will post in the mentioned areas. Hope yo do not mind, Don)

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barb butrym
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From:South Central Massachusetts
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posted 30 July 1998 08:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
no offense taken here....what happenned....did someone get offended? Isn't this a forum for varied views...isn't that what makes life go 'round?

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4119
From:West Chester, OH, USA
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posted 30 July 1998 10:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don posted this message in a couple of forums. I still haven't figured out what he's talking about either.

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