Archive for February, 2010

Auditing Customer Feedback Processes

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Customer feedback is a process. It needs to be audited as a process, not as a “clause of the standard”. An evaluation also needs to be performed on the way in which the process is managed (see ISO 9001:2008 clause 8.2.1), and its ability to provide meaningful information with which to judge the overall effectiveness of the QMS. The way in which the organization obtains this feedback (“the method”) is up to the organization to define. The standard states “Monitor information relating to customer perception.” Sources can include surveys, customer data, compliments…

The auditor needs to be aware of the specific characteristics of the organization’s products that are likely to impact customer satisfaction. Throughout the audit the auditor should be alert for indications that may suggest customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction which could serve as input into the audit of the customer feedback process.

Sources of information can include:

* Goods returned by the customer;
* Warranty claims;
* Revised invoices;
* Direct observation of, or communication with the customer (for example in a service organization).

These are some of the issues an auditor should address during an audit of the customer feedback process:

a) What is the desired output of this process? What information is actually available on customer perceptions? How is this information used by management to drive improvements to the product, processes and the QMS?

b) How is the data collected to feed the process? There are many ways for an organization to monitor its customers’ perceptions, and the auditor should avoid preconceived ideas about how this should be done. Some examples of techniques the organization can use include:

* face-to-face visits and evaluations;
* telephone calls or visits made periodically or after delivery of products and services;
* internal enquiries among the organization’s personnel who are in contact with customers;
* other contacts with customers, for example by service or installation personnel.

c) How is the data analyzed? Simply collecting data on customer perceptions is not sufficient – the auditor must follow the process through, to check how the data is analyzed and what conclusions are made with respect to the effectiveness of the QMS.

1) Are there any trends? 2) Is the situation stable, improving, or deteriorating? 3) Are customer needs and expectations changing? Asking the organization about industry comparisons, or benchmarking activities, in order to put customer feedback into perspective can be extremely valuable.

d) How does the information generated by this process feedback into the QMS as a whole? Organizations should be using the results of the customer feedback process to trigger corrective and/or preventive actions and as one of the overall measures of the QMS performance. Auditors should review the way in which these processes interact and subject it to the audit process.

The auditor should be able to recognize that the output from the customer feedback process forms an important input into other QMS process, such as data analysis, management review and continual improvement processes. An auditor who strives to add value will try to ensure that the organization recognizes the benefits a sound customer feedback process.

Share your thoughts / methods on how your company monitors and audits customer feedback.

Auditing Customer Feedback Processes

Monday, February 1st, 2010
Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business Needs March 2010

In this issue

  • Latest Information on AS9100C:2009
  • Tracing Products in Supply Chain
  • Certification of Aftermarket Automotive Parts
  • In the News
  • ITAR and MIL-PRF-31032B – New Expanded Services
  • Training Courses
  • Greetings!

    Welcome to Sustaining Edge Solutions E-
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    Latest Information on AS9100C:2009

    Audit

    Our readers have been asking us for the latest
    information regarding the AS9100 revision since our
    March 2009 newsletter update. The following is an
    abridged version of Robert Parsons just
    published article on this very subject.

    The
    AS9100C Aviation, Space and
    Defense Standard (also referred
    to as AS9100:2009
    and AS9100 Rev C) has been published since
    January 2009. You are not alone if you are confused
    about the delay in being audited to this standard. Like
    you, most companies seeking registration to AS9100
    are in the process of trying to figure out how and when
    to roll out this standard within their organization and
    the following information should bring clarity to this
    subject.

    Question: If the standard is
    published, why can’t I get certified now?

    Before any company can be certified to the
    AS9100C standard, the aerospace industry must
    complete these milestones:

    • The AS9104-1 standard must be published
      (expected spring 2010).
    • The AS9101D standard (checklist) must be
      published (expected spring 2010).
    • The AS9100C/AS9101D training course for
      certification body auditors (the registrar auditors)
      must be developed, vetted, and made available for
      use by certification bodies (expected by April 30,
      2010).
    • Certification body auditors must attend this
      course, pass it, submit their applications to RABQSA
      and get approved (expected to happen during the
      summer and fall of 2010).
    • The registrar must submit an application to ANAB
      and then be audited before registrars can be
      accredited to perform audits to AS9100C (expected to
      happen early summer of 2010).

    Once all of the above tasks are completed, the
    registrar will be able to conduct audits to the
    requirements of AS9100C.

    Question:
    What does that mean for your company?

    In
    light of the timelines described above, what this
    means for companies seeking AS9100 registration is
    this:

    • Companies that want to upgrade during a
      re-assessment or surveillance audit between now
      and
      mid 2010 will be audited to AS9100B.
    • Companies that want to upgrade during a
      re-assessment or surveillance audit between mid-
      2010
      and the end of 2010 may be able to be audited to
      AS9100C, but that depends on the availability of
      auditors that have taken the AS9100C course.
    • Companies that want to upgrade during a
      re-assessment or surveillance audit after January
      2011
      should be able to be audited to AS9100C without any
      impediments.
    • All audits after July 1, 2011, must be to AS9100C.
    • All AS9100-registered companies must be
      registered to the AS9100C standard by July 1, 2012.

    Question: What should you do next?

    Before your company transitions to the
    AS9100C standard, you must complete the following
    steps (at a minimum):

    • Implement the requirements of AS9100C into your
      quality management system.
    • Perform a gap analysis to identify potential
      problem areas.
    • Conducting internal audits to this new standard,
      its new requirements and ensuring your internal
      auditors are trained.
    • Conducting a management review of your revised
      quality management system.
    • Ensuring appropriate personnel are competent on
      these new requirements.
    • Identifying and implementing corrective actions so
      that your quality system addresses and adheres to the
      new requirements.

    Question: Need assistance with these steps and
    more?

    Contact Sustaining Edge Solutions
    for all your AS9100C training, documentation
    development, and implementation needs.

    Tracing Products in Supply Chain

    For reasons of safety and reliability, the importance of
    being able to trace products throughout the supply
    chain has strongly increased in recent years. The new
    standard from the International Organization for
    Standardization (ISO) 17367:2009 will help
    manufacturers and distributors to track products and
    to manage their traceability thanks to standardized
    radio frequency tags.

    Traceability is defined
    as the tracking and tracing of product and information
    related to it at each stage of a chain of production,
    processing, distribution, and selling. The
    development of radio frequency identification (RFID),
    including peripheral devices and their applications, is
    indispensable for increasing the safety and reliability
    of products for consumers.

    ISO 17367 Supply chain applications of RFID
    Product tagging, defines the basic features of RFID
    for use in the supply chain when applied to product
    tagging. In particular it makes recommendations for:

    • Encoded identification of the product;
    • Additional information about the product for
      inclusion on the RFID tag;
    • Semantics and data syntax;
    • The data protocol to be used to interface with
      business applications and the RFID system;
    • The air interface standards between the RFID
      interrogator and RFID tag.

    ISO 17367:2009 will provide higher level security of
    products worldwide using RFID technology. It will
    enable easy and efficient exchange of commodities in
    international trade and logistics, says Craig K.
    Harmon, chair of technical committee (TC)
    122/working group (WG) 10.

    The standard,
    ISO 17367 Supply chain applications of RFID
    Product tagging, is available from the ISO Website.

    Certification of Aftermarket Automotive Parts

    Concerns regarding consumer safety and
    compromised automobile crashworthiness continue
    to center on the use of certain aftermarket structural
    parts. NSF International recently announced the
    launch of a new Automotive Parts Certification
    Program to address these concerns. The one-of-a-
    kind program verifies the quality and performance of
    aftermarket auto parts via testing and inspections.

    The certification program was developed to counter
    the growing concerns that lower quality parts were
    being used in the automotive repair industry.
    Certification from an accredited third-party, such as
    NSF International, helps ensure that an aftermarket
    auto part meets rigid quality, safety, and performance
    standards.

    Manufacturers of parts seeking information on NSF
    Internationals Automotive Parts Certification Program
    can visit NSF Automotive Business Solutions.

    In the News

    Medical Devices Industry Top Challenges

    A new survey from the American Society for Quality
    asking medical device manufacturers about industry
    trends and challenges shows a majority (64.7%)
    identify health care legislation as having a negative
    effect on the industry in the year ahead. Increased
    FDA oversight and compliance with regulations tops
    what manufacturers feel will be the biggest challenge
    in their industry in the coming year.

    Respondents were also asked to identify the
    hottest medical device opportunity in the next three
    years:

    • 31.7 percent believe neurological advancements
      offer the hottest opportunity;
    • 30 percent believe it is in cardiovascular;
    • 25.2 percent said orthopedics.

    As for economic growth in 2010, more
    than half of respondents (56.9%) believe their
    organization will experience more economic growth
    than in 2009. A little more than 27 percent believe they
    will experience about the same, and 10.3 percent
    believe there will be less growth than in 2009. Read the
    complete article
    .

    Lean Talent Outpacing Six Sigma Talent

    After years of steady gains, lean has now
    achieved a clear and dominant standing over Six
    Sigma as the leading force in corporate continuous
    improvement, according to the latest study of almost
    3,500 recent job postings reviewed by The Avery Point
    Group. This years study showed that lean talent
    demand exceeded Six Sigma by almost 35 percent,
    significantly widening its lead over last years results
    that only showed an 11 percent edge for lean over Six
    Sigma.

    In addition, this years study focused
    on
    how requirements for certifications played into job
    specifications for lean and Six Sigma talent. This
    years study found that companies that sought Six
    Sigma talent were almost 50 percent more likely to
    require some form of certification vs. those
    companies seeking lean talent.

    Toyota: Is Leanest Best?
    Does lean
    manufacturing make a company more prone to
    errors? That is a question many business reports are
    asking in light of the recent Toyota recalls. It is also a
    question ASQ members ponder as Toyota’s quality
    systems are being called out, scrutinized, and second-
    guessed. See what a few ASQ members have to say
    and read about the two-part webinar ASQ is
    sponsoring. Read
    the article.

    ITAR and MIL-PRF-31032B – New Expanded Services

    In addition to our current services, Sustaining Edge
    Solutions is now offering International Traffic in Arms
    Regulations (ITAR) and MIL-PRF-31032B consulting
    services. Welcome
    to the world of
    import, export and defense industry compliance!

    ITAR is a
    set of regulations to ensure that any product that
    may have a military or space application, or an item
    that may have “Dual Use” is controlled, to prevent its’
    unauthorized import and export.

    What are
    some of the benefits to a successful ITAR registration
    program?

    • It allows your company to compete on a
      global level and work with companies that are in the
      military and space supply chain;
    • Addition to your sales and marketing plan.
      It tells your customers that your company complies
      with all regulations governing ITAR;
    • It tells new and existing customers that
      you can provide security for their technical data;
    • It provides a mechanism for the security of
      your facility, and your employees.

    In today’s global and competitive PCB market,
    manufacturers need every strategic advantage to
    capture market share. MIL-PRF-31032B is a
    quality management system that was developed, in
    coordination with best commercial practice, to provide
    a quality management system that allows companies
    to build boards that will perform to military standards.

    What are the benefits to MIL-PRF-31032B
    certification?

    • Your company will be listed on the QML by the
      Defense Supply Center-Columbus, or DSCC;
    • Your customers will know that you are capable of
      producing high quality printed circuit boards;
    • Your certification will be a tangible marketing
      tool;
    • A Nationally recognized standard of
      performance.

    We welcome our new associate Ronald
    Snartland, to our team
    . His
    experience includes design, development and
    successful registration with International Traffic and
    Arms Regulations (ITAR), and Quality Management
    System MIL-PRF-31032B, a military printed circuit
    board specification. Ronald has over 25 years of
    progressive experience in manufacturing. His
    management experience includes electronic
    manufacturing systems, precision machining,
    operations and quality systems
    management.

    Contact Ronald at
    888-572-9642 with any questions rearding these
    services.
    Expanded information on these services and benefits
    will be posted to our website this month!

    Training Courses

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    registration click on the course title below. View all our Courses.

    See our Web-Based courses. NEW:
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    Understanding and Implementing
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    9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor


    Documenting Your Quality Management System


    Understanding and Implementing AS9100C:2009
    Aerospace-NEW


    AS9100C:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor-
    NEW



    Documenting Your Quality Management System


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    ISO/TS16949:2009 Automotive-
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    ISO/TS16949:2009 Process Based Internal
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    Documenting Your Quality Management System


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    ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor


    The Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace
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    Improvement

    Lean Six Sigma
    8 Disciplines (8D) of
    Problem Solving-NEW

    Understanding and Implementing ISO 13485:2003
    Medical Devices

    ISO
    13485 Process Based Internal Auditor


    Understanding and Implementing ISO 27001:2005
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    ISO
    27001 Process Based Internal Auditor

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