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ISO 9000 Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 104 comments and questions on ISO 9000 issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Wants to learn about company using TQM TQM Comparison
 
Company in Barbados wants to get certified General Barbados
 
Wants info on ISO 9000 and Six Sigma Reasons for ISO 9000
 
Wants to get background on ISO 9000 Compliance vs Certification
 
Woudl like a job working with ISO 9000 General USA
 
Management's changes causing higher scrap rate General USA
 
Some views in certification Compliance vs Certification
 
Good, but needs upgrade Rationale Approach
 
Electronic records General USA
 
ISO 14000 Compliance vs Certification
 
Companies in India General India
 
Starting QA department Reasons for ISO 9000
 
Why ISO processes? Rationale Approach
 
Consistent steps Steps
 
Typo Rationale Approach
 

Next 15 letters

 




First 15 letters


TQM Comparison

Wants to learn about company using TQM

February 16, 2004

Question

ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR

Question
Select any organizaton of you choice and report on the TQM practice of those organization .Examine the process and techniques used by these organization to implement TQM.
I hope you can help answer this question or ewplain what exactly the question want. I hope from your reply as soon as possible.

Isarina - (2405)

Answer

Many companies use such practices as continuous improvement, kaizan, variability reduction, and others. Some no longer call it TQM, but Six Sigma.

The best route to take is to contact a local large or mid-sized manufacturing company and try to talk to a quality engineer or quality control manager. You can then find out what TQM practices they are following. The quality department in the company should be able to give you the information you need.

Best wishes in your study.

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General

Company in Barbados wants to get certified

February 16, 2004

Question

Hi
I am an intern at a small Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Company, named Leverage, in Barbados. This company has a staff of eleven. I have along with other tasks, been asked to do some research on ISO 9000 certification and its applicability to this Company. I would like to know the steps one would have to take; in Barbados if possible; to get ISO 9000 certified. I would also like to know the possible challenges small service companies in general have in achieving certification and the possible costs attached to it. I would be grateful if you could help me in this task.
Yours sincerely,

H Mayers

howard - Barbados (2407)

Answer

Typically, companies will seek ISO 9000 certification if they see a competitive advantage or a customer requires it. For a small company it is much easier to document your procedures and processes.

You might check with the following organization. They should be able to give you a local perspective:

Barbados National Standards Institution
Flodden Culloden Road
BB-St. Michael Tel +1 246 426 38 70 Fax +1 246 436 14 95 E-mail office@bnsi.com.bb
Best wishes in gathering your information.

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Reasons for ISO 9000

Wants info on ISO 9000 and Six Sigma

February 14, 2004

Question

can u mail me details of 2 indian company having ISO 9000 or SIX SIGMA AND answer of the following question of that company?

Q What were the state of affairs before quality certificate ISO 9000
A)financial aspect to it
B) HR
C) production

Q What made you aspire for quality management certificate? what are their expectation?

Q What is the state of affairs after quality certificate ISO 9000 With regard to costing
Reduction in quality related cost example maintaince, inspection warrantee

Q Are they looking forward to upgrade their current quality management?

sweta - (2365)

Answer

There are many companies that are registered in ISO 9000 or use Six Sigma. Many advertise the fact. Look in your local area at successful companies and contact their Quality Assurance manager to find if they use those tools. You can also check with local Quality Consultants to find companies.

Either one could give you the name of an ISO 9000 registrar in your location. Prices vary with area, so it is best to talk to people directly for the information.

Best wishes in your efforts.

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Compliance vs Certification

Wants to get background on ISO 9000

February 7, 2004

Question

Hi:
I am a college student in Shanghai, China. This term I study the online course of Global Business. One of my assignment is to describe what is meant by ISO 9000 worldwide standard of quality and how is this standard used in global business. Can you give me some detail information? Thanks a lot.

Ding - (2281)

Answer

ISO 9000 is a set of standards for companies to follow that will assure the products delivered will be consistent and be as promised. Companies that follow these standards operate more effectively and their customers know they will get the quality they purchased.

Often companies require their suppliers to be ISO 9000 certified or registered to make sure the supplies purchased are of good and consistent quality.

For detailed information on the ISO 9000 standards see: http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/ISOOnline.openerpage. You can also see the other lessons and resources listed at http://www.school-for-champions.com/iso9000/

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General

Woudl like a job working with ISO 9000

February 4, 2004

Question

I am interested in ISO certification. There are jobs available for those who have this background. What can I do get ISO certification experience? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

Mike - USA (2245)

Answer

ISO 9000 issues are usually handled in the Quality Assurance or Quality Control areas of a company. Some work is also done in the Technical Writing areas.

Most companies that need ISO 9000 are already certified. Work on it is mainly maintenance and auditing. Being somewhat familiar with the ISO 9000 standard is useful. You might contact a QA person in some local company to get some idea of their needs. Also, check Quality Engineering Consultants in your area from the Yellow Pages to get information on the need and types of job available.

Best wishes in your career.

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General

Management's changes causing higher scrap rate

February 4, 2004

Question

I work for a company that is ISO 9001-2000 certified. I am a shop supervisor for the night shift. We originally made it mandatory to have all first piece inspections done by the inspection department before we would run the job, however managements mind-set has changed and now the operators on the floor either do their own first piece inspection or have a co-worker on the floor inspect their part. Our quality has slipped the last couple of months and my feeling is to reinstate the first piece through inspection department policy but management feels that the operators should be able to check their parts just as effectively as an inspector and do not want to beef up the inspection department. The defective parts are being made by even the experienced operators with as much as 30 years experience. I have decided to designate one of my operators to act as a roaming inspector to try to get a handle on the scrap rate, but I think it would be well worth hiring a couple of inspectors to get things back on track especially since it hurts not only our bottom line when parts are rejected but we can't satisfy due dates because we are making parts twice. What is your feeling on this issue?

Bill - USA (2251)

Answer

In reality, if the company changes the way inspection is done, they really need to document the changes in their ISO 9000 procedures. Otherwise, they are in violation of their certification. It seems that the new self-inspection method has not been thought out at all by management.

Management may feel that it is cheaper to have less people but more waste. Unfortunately, morale of the workers goes down as the quality goes down. They can save in the short-run but will end up with big losses later on.

It is tough to "fight city hall", so you need to find a way to get things back on course and help upper management to make the right decision.

Many companies use self-inspection effectively, but the work process is such that defective parts are at a minimum. Often what is done is the workers are allowed to suggest process improvements and ways to do the job better. This improves their morale and work effciency. If the old-timers are making defective parts now, my guess is they feel left out of any say on things.

Getting statistics on scrap rate is a good start. But give several options to management as a solution, as opposed to just trying to go bakc to the old way. Ask some of the guys what they think.

I hope these ideas help. Let me know how things turn out.

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Compliance vs Certification

Some views in certification

January 7, 2004

Question

I am on board with you about comnpliance versus certification or registration. With the economic crunch, at least for us smaller companies, it makes more economic sense to be compliant. I have also noticed that some registrars are simply rubber stamping companies to the new standard. Boy things have changed! There was a time, when I am sure you won't argue, if you greased the right wheels enough, you could buy your registration. Oops! Did I just say that? Anyway thanks you for the forum to exporess my thoughts.

Terri - (1833)

Answer

Thanks for your thoughts.

Unless there is some good reason to get certified--like a major client requires it--I don't see the ROI for getting certified, as opposed to simply complying with the standards.

I know when ISO 9000 first started that the registrars were charging huge fees to do their work. The price has dropped dramatically. I'm sure there are some that are dishonest, but I don't think it is the rule. Also, I know that some companies that advertize high quality just pay lip service to ISO 9000.

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Rationale Approach

Good, but needs upgrade

December 10, 2003

Question

Not bad. I certainly agree a rationale is required. Some of the statements made in this document need tweaking to fit ISO 9001:2000.

Thank you for making the effort to do this.

Jonathan - (1536)

Answer

Thanks for the feedback. I've been planning on upgrading the material to ISO 9000:2000 and hope to do that soon.

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General

Electronic records

December 10, 2003

Question

My question is about Records. If our records are kept in a computer program and the computer is down during a audit do we fail? Do you know how to store records without putting them on paper and still met ISO 9000 requirements? Thank you!

Brian - USA (1548)

Answer

Electronic record-keeping is so common that there would be no penalty for a situation where the computer is down. Of course, you should have a backup of all your files, in case of a disaster.

Typcially, a company has two audits: an internal one, to make sure everything is OK and then the official one. Note that the external auditor is usually hired by the company, so they will be understanding in many situations.

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Compliance vs Certification

ISO 14000

December 2, 2003

Question

hello
i would to ask you about iso in general and specific about iso 14000 plz i have a project to do for the university

thx a lot

dima - (1438)

Answer

You can find out more about ISO 14000 from the following sites:
http://www.epa.gov/owm/iso14001/isofaq.htm
http://www.iso14000.com/

I hope that helps you.

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General

Companies in India

November 19, 2003

Question

names of some iso 9000 indian companies. is it mean that companies who are following iso 9000 standards-the quality of their products is very good. what exactly are the benefits they are getting by registering itself as iso 9000.
name of some companies who are not registered as iso 9000 but the quality of their products may be good. so plz. tell in context of indian examples only.

divya - India (1296)

Answer

Of course you must realize there are hundreds of thousands of companies in India and that a very many thousands of them are registered in ISO 9000. You may be able to find a listing of companies registered in ISO 9000 from the certifying company at http://www.iso.ch/iso/en/ISOOnline.openerpage.

I suggest you check companies in the specific area of interest in India to find your information.

Best wishes in your studies.

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Reasons for ISO 9000

Starting QA department

October 29, 2003

Question

Thank you for the article "Reasons a Company Becomes Certified in ISO 9000". I was very helpful as a part of my research in answering that very question. Our company is in the biotech field and we just created our QA dept. My background is FDA/cGMP, however my experience with ISO is relatively limited. Our products are not FDA regulated yet, I am developing quality systems of which part is determining how ISO fits into that picture. Many departments, especially outside production, have expressed that they don't want to be buried in procedures and paperwork - which from cGMP background "if it isn't documented, it didn't happen" is my natural mindset. However, I'm learning that with ISO that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. The problem is that as my research continues, I'm trying to solve the problem of envisioning a system that does not involve written procedures at all levels. Do you have any suggestions of specific information or a direction that might be helpful in my quest to "envision" what a Quality Management System under ISO would look like or be composed of?

Thank you again for your site and helpful articles.

Sincerely,

J. DeCristo

Jeff - (1010)

Answer

One of the big things that ISO 9000 does is to specifically define what the company does and what each department is supposed to do, as well as who are the responsible people. This is then defined in the Quality Manual, which is the first and major ISO 9000 document. Once that is started, it is amazing how many companies that have areas that either have no clue what they are doing or who is responsible.

But note that looking at the whole company is something that the top management must first buy into. You must make sure that is what they envision the QA department to do.

Also, make sure you really need to be certified in ISO 9000. There must be a competitive advantage or customer requirement for a company to invest in the process. I feel it is often sufficient to use ISO 9000 as a guide, if it isn't really necessary to become certified.
See: www.school-for-champions.com/iso9000/compliance.htm

In following ISO 9000, you really don't need procedures at all levels. In fact, the next level of documentation after the Quality Manual may just give and outline of what a department is supposed to do and not give step-by-step procedures.

It is true that documentation of what was done is important for a number of reasons. People will accept documentation if it protects the company for legal or financial reasons. What most object to is mindless documentation, where the person doesn't know what happens to the piece of paper after he fills it out.

Note that in starting your QA department, take a look at our Total Quality section at www.school-for-champions.com/tqm/. It may give you a few ideas.

Best wishes in establishing your department, and let me know how things turn out.

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Rationale Approach

Why ISO processes?

October 16, 2003

Question

I wanted to know why the ISO 9000 series was even invented?? Who invented these processes??
I want to know why a company would choose ISO processes. What benefits?? What objectives?? How many ISO 900's are there!!??
Thanks for your time and response!!

Michael - (867)

Answer

ISO 9000 is one of many standards from the International Organization for Standardization that is accepted by 147 countries. It is an effort to standardize good practices across international borders. The other major set of standards is ISO 14000, which covers environmental management issues.

A company would choose to follow ISO 9000 or other standards if they are doing international business and their customer companies require such standards to assure their suppliers are qualified.

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Steps

Consistent steps

September 24, 2003

Question

Pls. verify the info that you put on your website.... There are not consistant.

Thks.

Regi.

Reginald - (649)

Answer

The ISO 9000 steps and methods come from different sources and companies. They are meant to help other companies, but each should determine what is best for their own compnay.

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Rationale Approach

Typo

September 9, 2003

Question

Hi,

Good material.

I hate to do this when it is so minor, but you have a typo in the line: "Typical policy statements are: "It is our policy to always ship in three working days," or "We always double-check our invoices," or "It is our policy to empower or workers." These are good policies to follow, if they provide value to the company."

It should be (I think) "...our policy to empower our workers."

I hate these kind of errors because you can look at them all day long and not see them - you know what it should be, right? - but some i%^&t comes along and dings you the instant they read it for the first time.

Best,

Allen

Allen - (447)

Answer

Thanks for the feedback and for pointing out the typo. I appreciate it and corrected the page right away.

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