ISO Certification, is it essential?

Is it essential in doing business today? Can a small machine shop survive without it? Without it, what kind of work is out there?
Wayne
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As someone who has set up and obtained ISO certification for a couple of small companies. Therefore made my livelihood selling ISO consulting services:
It is not essential for your business. It really depends upon your customers. Some companies feel more comfortable dealing with an ISO certified supplier, some make it a requirement and many don't care one way or the other.
The closer you get to the auto or aerospace industries, the more stringent the requirements for this kind of certification.
My personal opinion: If I didn't have a customer who required that my company be ISO certified, I would not do it.
ISO won't do anything to improve the quality of your product. It will require time on your part both to get it started and to keep it going. It will require money on your part to get it started and to keep it going. It can be used as a quality enforcement tool, meaning that, it can help improve and maintain your quality by forcing you to do "quality things" but those "quality things" are not of themselves a part of ISO.
ISO is also a somewhat emotional subject with many people. In many ways it's closer to a political ideology than part of a manufacturing process.
Finally, there are a lot of consultants who have made a lot of money setting-up, implementing and auditing ISO compliance. Much of it (most of it?) with no benefit to anyone other than the consultant's pocket book.
Others will be along shortly to disagree.
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If you are new to business or the customer, it can become required. I personally came from a high tech background, so the concepts are not strange to me, but if you never worked there, and never heard terms like 'statistical process control' or 'supplier corrective action report' you may need to study up.
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Wayne wrote:

Wayne, I don't think ISO Cert. is essential. I believe a good quality control manual that contains the essential elements of ISO is a must, even though they gather dust on your shelf.
We have such a manual and keep a couple of nice spiral bound copies that we can give to prospective customers. We bill ourselves as ISO compliant, which is in my opinion a bullshit term, but it seems to help.
--
Regards,
Steve Saling
  Click to see the full signature.
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Garlic:
"ISO compliant"--
Brilliant!! BRILLIANT!!! :) :) ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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Garlicdude wrote:

Steve, Good point, I just talk to a QA manager for a large company this morning who stated that just being compliant is good in most situations for a small shop. Having a good quality manual here is all that is required from his company, as long as what I make is not on their final product and it's not.
It seems that all the responses are about the same here; it's bullshit but a evil necessity.
Wayne
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It's the biggest scam out there. Oil companies use non ISO certification as an excuse to obtain access to proprietary information and then pass it on to the highest bidding salesman. I intend to get it just to keep them out.
I paid $2,100 for an ISO expert to sit across from my desk and read the ISO document. Needless to say I didn't invite him back.

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Yes & no, you can spend the big bucks to get ISO Certification, but in the real world it's Price,Price,Price. PA's will send the work to a mud hut in China with no ISO for 1/2 cent cheaper. Hey it's the 3 month profit that is all that matters. Makes the stock market happy.
Like WorldCom ;)
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Why wrote:

hey ! ALL our mud huts are ISO 9001 ! we got the signs to prove it, too !!
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Ha-Ha, Hamei. What is the going price for a sign & correct paperwork there? 2 or 3 sing-song girl price... <G>.
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Cliff wrote:

That would only be true if they scrapped the scrap, they just sold it to Harbor Freight instead so it doesn't fit into the equation.
A higher quality product should sell for more money, the workers with more skills who produce the higher quality product should make more money.
Pete C.
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Cliff wrote:

Um, no. I'm something of a "centrist extremist".
It's not commie or even socialist to think that there should be some correlation between the work done and the pay received. There is certainly a difference between relatively unskilled labor, assembly perhaps, and engineering. A person has to expend relatively little time/effort/expense to become qualified for the assembly job, while the engineer has a much more substantial time/effort/expense investment. There is also a smaller pool of qualified engineers vs. qualified assemblers so market forces dictate higher pay for positions where workers are in shorter supply.
There is little difference between engineering and corporate management. Engineering requires a good deal of education and skill as does good corporate management. There are fairly equal pools of both therefore there should not reasonably be a 1,000x difference in pay.
Pete C.
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Wayne wrote:

Wayne:
    Some customers want ISO certification, some don't care. When we were doing a lot of work for Boeing's satellite division we were asked to become ISO compliant, so we went through a lot of rigmarole to do so. When they reorganized their satellite division we stopped getting work from them so we stopped messing with the ISO stuff. None of our other customers have asked that we be ISO compliant and as a jobshop we do quite a variety of work - medical, aerospace tooling, prototype, short run production.     Heck, I was milling the intake manifold from a 427 Cobra today to lower the dual carb mounting height for hood clearance, no ISO compliance needed for THAT. <g>
-- BottleBob http://home.earthlink.net/~bottlbob
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Some would argue that the 427 Cobra IS Aerospace. :) ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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Hey BB, Seen any hint of what the new SVT Mustang is going to be? I know you've made some odds and ends for Ford in the past. I'm kind of hoping for a Shelby badged 500 horse pony myself.
Dan
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Local rumor has it that just by fooling w/ the Nissan 3.5 motor's computer, you can get 450-500 hp out of it. Now imagine ports, cams, exhaust, whatever... goodgawd... O'course, on my Nissan p/u, you gotta fool w/ the computer just to change the fukn idle! ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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That sounds like more Rice-Boy fantasies to me. You've seen the rice-boys, right? Fart can muffler, 4 inch exhaust tip, decals, a pilfered Cessna wing for a rear spoiler. All attached to some gutless econobox. Check it out:
http://www.riceboypage.com/what_is_riceboy /
If you see some local cars here you know you got bad info:
http://www.riceboypage.com/shame /
450-500 horse would be about a 200-250 increase for that motor. At the very least you'd need a turbo or blower, fuel injection mods, throttle body and new intake manifold and about a 150 shot of Nos. It might be fun until the tranny blows up or an axle snaps. All of which would happen in the first couple runs. I like those ricers though. Especially when my wife beats them with her Volvo sedan.
Dan
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Yer talkin to a boy who dreams of sixpack dodge chargers... ceptin at this garret jackson thing on cable, they're now goin for $300K... goodgawd.... redone, of course. I wonder how much I could pick a "normal" one up for, say, here in LI?
Yeah, I was just sort of throwing out lore. Seemed extreme, except that I got the impression the source of the lore knew what they were talkin about.
Yonkers is riceboy city. We normal peeple gotta listen to alladat shit, as well--like it's our privilege. ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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Proctologically Violated wrote:

Barrett-Jackson is the home team of bullshit. They're like eBay but with more money. Regular auctions are bad enough but ones in the desert with circus tents, movie stars, carnival barkers and teevee coverage ... well, you get the picture. The centerpiece sales are *definitely* total bullshit. Nobody buys standard 60's muscle cars for BIG money anymore. Those wells ran dry a loooong time ago.
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My ass does admittedly hurt after a while of watching that. ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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