Any small shop out there doing ISO9002 compliance? Not registration, just able to convince customers you are compliant?
Any small shop out there doing ISO9002 compliance? Not registration, just able to convince customers you are compliant?
Can't help you.
Seems unlikely that just claiming compliance would get you anything. The people that are into ISO9002 are into paper trails and audits and verification and it's highly doubtful they would just take your word on compliance.
I hear you!
The only way you can be ISO compliant is to be certified by an appropriate agency. And the big catch is that it is not about meeting some published standards. What you are required to do is to develop your own standards/procedures and then follow them. Most businesses get a copy of the ISO procedures from a couple similar businesses that are certified, and then write their own using these as an example. Usually, a company will bring in an ISO consultant to help. Once your procedures are approved, then you must be periodically audited to ensure you are, in fact, following them.
In a nutshell, ISO requires that you write down how you are going to do things and then do things in the way you have written.
None of this is trivial. A typical set of ISO procedures for a small operation runs to a few hundred pages.
ISO is not a government program. The certifying authority is set up and paid for by the certified businesses. You have to hire the auditors to come in and audit you. Etc.
ISO is largely about material and quality control. And, of course, the payoff is that you can then sell to companies that require their vendors to be ISO certified.
And, no, I'm not an ISO expert. But I've worked for a couple companies that became ISO certified while I was working there, so I got to watch (from a safe distance - I'm an engineer and most engineering "stuff" isn't covered by ISO.). But it seemed to have occupied most of Production and QC Management's attention for the better part of a year.
ISO compliance doesn't seem to be related to quality at all AFAICS: You can build crap products and still be in ISO compliance so long as you build well-documented production and procedurally documented crap products.
On Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:50:43 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, Grant Erwin quickly quoth:
Cut out most of the corporate paperwork, cut out most of the upper management (as well as 90% of their salaries), cut back the middle management, and a nice little corporation starts becoming -much- more competitive with the rest of the world. Dog and pony shows cost far too much.1 Atta Boy coming your way, Grant!
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I have been in manufacturing for 30 years and involved in ISO 9000 registrations since 1992.
Your ISO program is only as good as how you use it.
No where in the ISO standard does it state third party registration is required. If someone can show me the clause that states it please post it here.
There is a lot of BS that goes on, auditors who throw their weight around and run personal agendas. If that happens, the client company should always remember, they are the client and the third party registrar is their supplier.
Some companies benefit from ISO registration and some don't. The fact is that it depends on whether the to person in the company wants to use this tool.
The ISO series of standards related to ISO 9000 came about because the governing body of standards making boards in Europe recognized a need and they wrote a standard around it. A lot of people don't realize there are thousands of ISO standards, relating to everything from a quality management system (i.e. the ISO 9000 series) to ISO standards for pig irons, steels, concrete, test methods, etc. - you name it there is a standard for it.
Long before the ISO committe released the first ISO 9000 standards in 1987, there were standards for quality systems. In the United States, these were MIL standards or SAE or other organization's stadards to guide a company in developing a quality management system. More recently people have come to understand that this should be called a "management system" and don't put "quality" in front of it.
In fact, all third party registrars, will REQUIRE as part of the contract with their client companies that they MAY NOT put the registration symbol on their PRODUCTS.
To have an ISO registered quality system (by a third party registrar) saves your customers money. The money is saved because they don't have to do an audit of your company in advance. You are paying for the audit for them by using an independent third party. Even if your customer performs an audit themselves, in advance of giving you an order, will not guarantee your products will be flawless or even conform to the requirements. But - it does give them some idea about your business.
Likewise if your company is selling to another company, you can run a Dunn and Bradstreet report, to see if they will pay you on time, but it does not guarantee you that they will pay you in time, only that in the past they have tended to pay on time.
OF COURSE you CAN convince your customer you are ISO compliant. Just educate yourself about the standard, put a system in place, and be willing and ready to show them your system.
Being ISO compliant is no different than the way business has always been conducted --- unless (no insult is directed at your company by saying this) a company normally get new clients by taking them out to lunch, buying them baseball tickets, BS'ing them about it's capabilities, ignoring their purchase order requirements, accepting orders it cannot deliver, etc.
ISO companies also make mistakes every day but if they really have a system in place it detect and correct these conditions, and anticipates and continuously improves. These are the hallmarks of a company that continues to make profits in all business conditions.
The basic principles of ISO are good but the bloat and crap that they add to it defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
Mark writes ">
Yeah I have been involved in companies that went for ISO certification. ISO is the greatest splash of hog wash ever inflicted on American companies by the Europeans. It is much akin to the military expression, "The incompetent leading the unwilling to do the unnecessary". The only ones profiting from ISO are the ISO certification agencies.
Another rip off of American business is the long lived Underwriter's Laboratories. I was involved with various certifications on my last job, especially FCC type acceptance of RF products. I got a price package once for UL. Unfrigginbelieveable! You pay for the UL testing and then you commit to have inspectors visit the manufacturing premises at periodic intervals for retesting. Kind size rip if ever there was one!. Not far behind are the test houses that test products leading to FCC Type Acceptance Certification.
.Thank you one and all. Great food for thought. Must sleep on it now. Back tomorrow.
I'll see your ISO and raise you Sarbanes-Oxley... My little thirty man department has just finished a man-year of work for that little fiasco and we're in an English IT department of a French company!
Mark Rand RTFM
That is one flaw in the system. If the ISO auditor ever disqualified a business from certification, he/she loses a paying customer. That's why building inspectors are paid by the government.
Now now Grant - know what you mean. Been there had it done to me. Three companies - The best is to find one locally that will train/help you get certified - they do it - sometimes with another.
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member
What was your involvement? Complaining that your company was doing it?
Typical reactionary talk from people who have never been involved. No company can force another to become ISO registered. If your customer says "I will only buy from ISO registered suppliers" you are given a choice. They might also say "I only buy from companies in Texas" (believe it or not I have seen this) or " I only buy from small companies", etc.
Again you are wrong. Plenty of comapnies had no systematic way to conduct their business and with an ISO specification they organized a system within their company. You have never read the ISO standard because it does not state a certification agency is to conduct an audit.
More whining. When you buy anything do you ever consider somebody else's opinion or do you make all your purchases based on only what you see yourself?
Not true. You can be ISO compliant, without a third party registrar. The problem is, will your customer believe it? The purpose of the third party registrar is to have an "independent" company look at your procedures. If a company has a third party registrar examine their system, they issue a certificate stating you are ISO compliant. Your customer should be interested in who is your registrar. There are good registrars and there are not so good. If you want to hire a registrar, ask the registrat "Who audits you?".
Yes absolutely true.
This was more true of the ISO 9000: 1994 standard. There is a fair amount of documentation but the emphasis of the standard changed with the 2000 revision. A good audting company should now come in and observe and look for "IS this company DOING what they say they are doing?". With the earlier standard, the auditors were checking "IS this company doing what they wrote in their procedures?". This meant for an easy audit by the auditor, he could look for stupid minor variations in the text, even typos, and call it a non-conformance. There was much abuse. It is no wonder a lot of people have great misgivings and dislike for ISO. Anyway, on a group like this which is geared towards home and craft metalworking I would be surprised to see many people enthused about ISO 9000.
True, but a better statement would be "somebody" has to hire the auditors. I have seen cases where a company wanted / needed a supplier to have an audit done and paid for a third party registrar to come in and audit. The problem is, then the auditor is being paid for by your customer and likely the audit could be biased (See below).
It is a selling point. I worked for a company that had between 200 and 500 employees. We went through slow times, built up to a larger company and then hit the rocks. We maintained ISO the entire time (since 1993). Since then I went to a smaller company (< 40 employees) and we were registered in6 months. With the first company, we were not registered to ISO (but did have a quality manual and procedures) and this meant every time a new customer wanted to do business with us, they would send in a team of auditors. Sometimes two people for 3-4 days, sometimes 4-6 people for one day. This was expensive for both companies. After ISO registration there was never another audit (by customers) for 3 years. How many times do you try to get a customer's business, and are even told "your price is good, but I want to think about it". This is a clue he doubts your ability to do the work, deliver on time, etc. With the ISO registration it is one more thing that helps the customer decide. Sure I know nobody looks at a lamp at Walmart and buys it because there is a UL symbol. But, how many people are buying a particular brand of beer or driving a certain type of car because of an endorsement? The ISO registration is an endorsement of your company's systems.
Mostly true, except your company probably went for ISO 9002 registration. If you are designing a product, then to have your company's systems to be ISO registered then the design function includes three steps that must be assessed. Today, the ISO 9002 registration does not exist. If those companies still have and ISO certificate, then they must in their scope state "...except excluding design" if the the "engineering stuff" isn't included.
To be honest, and don't take it personally, but a lot of companies exclude their engineering departments because the discipline is not there to have an ISO system in place. The basics are the engineering section must 1) initiate a design based on customer needs (i.e. design input), 2) have an independent verification check the design against the design parameters, then - after it is turned over to production and quality - 3) have a product assessed to see if the design was met (design output). What usually happens is the engineering department spends a lot of effort working on #1, step #2 is not performed (so the shop floor catches all the design flaws and makes a lot of scrap and rework) and then step #3 is not done so the customer finds out he is not getting what he ordered. The reason #1 is emphazised is because overseeing all this is top management - they push the engineering department to crank out more designs and don't expect the engineers to do #2 and #3.
Sorry to be so long on this post, but the ultimate blame for unhappiness and failure of ISO systems belongs with in your own companies and the problem lies at the top level of management. Usually the owner or CEO "wants ISO" but will not walk the talk. That is why the small companies compete so well, the business owner is involved and makes good decisions. If there is a profit and the company is doing well, this means either 1) there is a system in place and there is no need to have a third party auditor, or 2) you are doing something very unique and there's no competition so you can charge as much as you need to cover a poor system.
Just today I had to do some imprinting on a chassis for a LARGE aerospace contractor. The imprint consisted of 2 letters and two numerals not precisely placed. There were 11 sheets of paper to describe this function. It took me 15 minutes. I know all that paper was just for ISO compliance. I could have been told over the phone to print this here and that there in half inch letters and the results would be the same.
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