Seen & Heard

Customized QMS

In response to "Solid Base" (June 2014, pp. 28-33): The sort of customized, in-depth assessment described by the author is performed by many of our customers. In many industries, this practice lays to rest the "promise" that registration to one or more of the internationally recognized quality management system (QMS) standards by qualified certifying bodies would replace the need for a customized QMS for separate customers: It’s registration and customization.

Phil Scott
Downers Grove, IL

FMEA refresher

I just became a member of ASQ, and I wanted to say that the June 2014 edition of QP magazine is fantastic. Most importantly, the article about failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) ("3.4 Per Million: Conducting FMEAs for Results," pp. 42-45) was a great refresher. What I appreciated the most was the author’s use of an actual example to highlight his points.

Gregory P. Simmons
Nashville, TN

More to add

After reading the Expert Answers response "Defining the Customer" (March 2014, pp. 8-9), I just had to add to the expert’s reply. Briefly, the problem is that a customer occasionally sends raw materials to be used in a machining operation and, at times, the material is received nonconforming. The question asked is, "Should these customers who provide raw material be classified as customers or suppliers, and be logged into the supplier base and receive reports based on their quality?" The expert answers: "The bottom line, the customer is still the customer if it supplies the materials to be serviced or machined."

I completely agree with the expert’s answer, but would add that perhaps the underlying cause of this problem lies in the lack of quality assurance requirements being included in the contract. An agreement beforehand should have included what to do with customer-supplied materials that are received nonconforming by the organization. ISO 9001:2008, Clause 7.2—Customer-related processes closely applies here. It is up to the organization to determine requirements not stated by the customer.

ISO 9001:2008, Clause 8.3—Control of nonconforming product also applies. When the received raw materials did not meet requirements, they should not have been used by the organization unless authorized by the customer.

A similar problem occurs when the customer dictates to an organization which supplier they are to buy materials or components from. This differs from the above in that the organization issues the purchase order to the supplier. It should be agreed on up front and in the contract who is responsible for the quality management of the supplier—the customer or the organization. The agreement should include what actions the organization should take if the supplier delivers nonconforming materials or components and who is to absorb the cost for the non-quality issues.

James D. Werner
Raritan, NJ

Tune In

The latest ASQ TV episode focused on data management.

View the episode to get an overview on data management, from hot topics such as big data to using data to improve quality.

Also, watch for a new episode discussing quality and athletics, available July 15.

Visit http://videos.asq.org to access the full video library.

Online Extras

  • Hang out with ASQ bloggers
    Watch a live Google+ Hangout with some of the bloggers featured in "Blog Boom" as they discuss the value of social media and how to get involved. The event takes place at 12 p.m. CST on July 23. You can also watch a recording of the discussion later.
  • More career moves
    Peter Merrill offers more career advice in three sidebars that add to this month’s Innovation Imperative column, "Making Decisions".
  • Illustrated progress
    A suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers diagram shows the progress made on the AS9100 revision, the topic of this month’s Standards Outlook column, "Revision Runway".
  • Improvement plan example
    See an example of a quality tool used to improve skills and performance, as described in this month’s One Good Idea column, "Steer Your Career".

Quick Poll Results

Each month at www.qualityprogress.com, visitors can take an informal survey. Here are the numbers from last month’s Quick Poll:

Which aspect of supply chain optimization would most benefit your organization?

  • Identifying and partnering with the right suppliers. 36.6%
  • Managing processes effectively. 28.1%          
  • Eliminating waste within the chain. 19.7%
  • Auditing suppliers accurately. 15.4%

Visit www.qualityprogress.com for the latest question:

What is your favorite social media network?

  • Facebook.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Twitter.
  • Instagram.
  • Other.

Quality News Today

Recent headlines from ASQ’s global news service

Auto Industry Gets Serious About Lighter Materials
Automakers have been experimenting for decades with "lightweighting," as the practice is known, but the effort is gaining urgency with the adoption of tougher gas mileage standards.

CDC: Two ‘Sproutbreaks’ Sicken More Than 70
More than 70 people in the United States and Canada have been sickened in two so-called "sproutbreaks" involving foods made from either sprouted chia seeds or clover, federal investigators say.

Want the latest quality-related news and analysis?
The QNT Weekly enewsletter, available exclusively to ASQ members, delivers it every Friday.

Subscribe now at http://email.asq.org/subscribe/qntwk.

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