Infographic – The Quality Connection

For more information on the simpleQuE Quality Connection, check out this blog post!

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SimpleQuE on the Go and in the Know


This week, while Vice President, Deanne Sparr, is attending AIAG’s 2018 Southern Automotive Quality Summit in Birmingham, AL,  President, Jim Lee, has immersed himself in everything space and defense at ASQ’s Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference and NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum.

These types of industry conferences and training keeps us at the forefront of the latest rules, regulations, trends and best practices to share with our consultants and clients across the aerospace, defense and automotive industries.

For example: At the NQA Global session, it was reported that as of mid-February only 29 percent of aerospace businesses had transitioned to the AS9100:2016 standard, however, as of last week it was up to 41% with a target of 50% by the end of March.  Deadline for all to transition is September 14, 2018.

From Exploring Space – Is It Safe? presented by Astronaut Bill McArthur, to NASA conducted Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training, quality is the topic interwoven throughout the conference and the critical piece that all in the industry rely on to launch us into space.  Check back for more news as we process all of the great information we’ve gathered from the sessions.

Reaching New Heights at NASA’s Quality Leadership Forum

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Sustaining a Quality Foundation in Challenging Times

SimpleQuE president, Jim Lee, eagerly anticipates attending the Collaboration on Quality in the Space and Defense Industries conference then taking part in the informational NASA Quality Leadership Forum that follows. He’s set to join others in the industry who are focused on sustaining a quality foundation at the conference and forum, running March 12-15 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, not far from simpleQuE’s Space Coast office.

The American Society for Quality has designed the conference specifically for those working with organizations in the space and defense industries. Government and industry leaders representing NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman will discuss the latest policies and practices.

For SimpleQuE, the conference will provide invaluable information, trends and best practices to share with our clients, allowing us to become even more effective when consulting with manufacturers and suppliers in the aerospace industry.

In the days following the conference, the NASA Quality Leadership Forum will offer a great mix of speakers who will provide the NASA assurance context, delve deeply into specific quality management issues, find issue resonance across agency lines, and a refreshed understanding of quality sub-discipline areas.

Forum topics will include lessons learned, emerging trends, quality threats and risk mitigation techniques of particular relevance in today’s rapidly evolving and cost-constrained environment. Of particular interest is the Counterfeit Parts Awareness and Inspection Training that Jim and simpleQuE aerospace consultant, Doreen Everett will be attending.

Attendees can look forward to hearing about the work of industry leaders and strengthening their network. More importantly, the forum offers a chance to meet colleagues face to face, with the potential to build and strengthen relationships. It’s an excellent opportunity to keep the quality management community vibrant and looking toward the future.

SimpleQuE is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company that provides consulting, training and auditing services for the AS9100 series of standards to assist organizations in successfully meeting transition and implementation targets.

SimpleQuE Earns ISO 9001:2015 Recertification

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We did it!  SimpleQuE has been recertified to ISO 9001:2015 by Eagle Certification Group through December 2020. Our initial ISO 9001:2015 certification was in November 2015 right after the standard was released and we were one of the first to be certified.

“The majority of companies have waited until the last possible year to upgrade to the new standards. This is consistent with the past, when changes to the standards occurred. The problem now is that all the key standards (ISO, automotive, aerospace, environmental) have the same expiration date of 9/15/18 and everyone is rushing to get it done at the last minute. The capacity constraints on registrars, consultants, and auditors is evident and organizations that have not begun the transition process are in serious jeopardy of losing their certification, especially if attempting to wing it with the registrar and not doing anything new to comply with the new standards.”
-Jim Lee, simpleQuE President.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification provides us many benefits and is a big differentiator over our competitors. This is especially critical since this standard and common structure are integrated into other management system standards like environmental, aerospace and automotive.  It also provides simpleQuE with cost savings, an innovative service offering, market access, and a high level of customer confidence and satisfaction.

As an organization that is ISO certified, it proves to our clients that Quality Excellence can be made Simple. It’s what our company name means. For over 10 years, our simple approach has allowed us to have a quality manual that is only a few pages as we put our simple best practices to work in our own company. At simpleQuE, we don’t take a cookie cutter approach, therefore, we don’t implement our processes at our client sites. We look at what works for them and leave that alone, only focusing on those areas that don’t comply.  Considering each company’s culture and unique situation results in different solutions for each client.

As the transition deadline of September 14th approaches, we encourage organizations that are still working on their implementation or transition certification to keep at it, ask questions, and ask for assistance.  Demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the effectiveness of your system, continual improvement and customer satisfaction will put you in the lead.  ISO 9001:2015 certification is an internationally recognized distinction that will benefit your organization for years to come.

Who Says Quality Isn’t Fun?

VEGA Americas‘ management takes a creative and fun approach to preparing for an ISO audit of their Quality Management System.  They are a global manufacturer of level and pressure instrumentation for the process industry.  VEGA’s COO John Kronenberger plays the character ISONO, who isn’t sure what to do in some audit situations like this one where simpleQuE Consultant, Don Milinkovich plays the role of auditor while Quality Manager, Gretchen Lisi, looks on.  They give suggestions on their intranet on how to be an ISOPRO – a great way to communicate internally and create awareness* among their employees.  Way to go team VEGA!

*ISO9001:2015 Clause 7.3 Awareness
The organization shall ensure that persons doing work under the organization’s control are aware of:   a) the quality policy;   b) relevant quality objectives;  c) their contribution to the effectiveness of the QMS, including the benefits of improved performance;  d) the implications of not conforming with the QMS requirements.

Questions for Auditing Utilizing a Process Approach

Whether facing a surveillance audit from a certification body or preparing for an internal audit – knowing what you face and being prepared puts you a step ahead.  Review this checklist which covers the majority of the QMS requirements.

1)  Who or what are the:

  • Processes
  • Process Owner
  • Personnel Interviewed
  • Documentation Reviewed
  • Records Sighted

2)  What are the resources needed for the process?

3)  Are these resources appropriate?

4)  Are authorities and responsibilities for required resources defined, documented and known

throughout the organization?

5)  Are these persons competent?

6)  Are competency criteria defined? What are these criteria? How is competency evaluated,

approved and monitored, and by which method(s)?

8)  Are these methods effective? – refer to outputs

9)  Are the resources adequate? Which are they?

10) Are records available and appropriately maintained?

11) What are the inputs to this process?

12) Are these inputs documented and reviewed by competent persons?

13) Is a description of the processes available and documented?

14) Are these descriptions controlled? – Verify the effectiveness of the organization’s

documented information control procedure.

15) Who are the “customers” (internal and external) of the processes?

What are the requirements of these customers?

17) What are the characteristics of the intended results of the process?

18) What are the characteristics of the unintended results of the process?

19) Are correction and corrective action applied as appropriate?

20) What are the criteria for monitoring, measurement and analysis?

21) How are these criteria incorporated into the planning of the processes?

22) Are the business performance issues taken into proper account?

23) What methods are used for data gathering?

24) What records are kept and how these are maintained?

25) What are the communication channels?

26) How is external and internal information about the process provided?

What are the outputs of the process? – Identify outputs.

28) Do these outputs provide evidence of effective implementation of the process?

29) How is process performance monitored?

30) Are appropriate controls defined?

31) What measurements are applied?

32) How is the gathered information analyzed?

33) How are the results of the analysis taken into account?

34) How is feedback obtained?

35) What data is collected?

36) Is the issue of improvement of the processes properly addressed? How?

What are the results?

 

Source:  Eagle Certification Group – 2017 Annual Bootcamp/Conference

SimpleQuE offers free sample manufacturing process audit checklists for AS9100, ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 which can be used as an example to examine a company’s key manufacturing process and prepare your company for the highest quality internal auditing possible.

Links to Sample Manufacturing Process Audit Checklists:

IATF 16949 Checklist

AS9100 Checklist

ISO 9001 Checklist

Top 5 Reasons Not to Miss a Single Issue of Our Newsletter

At simpleQuE it’s not just our name that represents quality excellence, it’s our unique combination of consultants, knowledge and expertise.  We believe in serving our clients before, during and after the certification process. This value added service consists of an ongoing education process on the quality standards through our website, newsletters social media, and blog. Each month, we provide updates on the latest news from the ISO, AIAG, ASA, IAOB and IATF standards community, and what we’re is seeing in the industry.

In a year that will be filled with companies scrambling to upgrade their certifications, we feel it’s even more important to stay informed.  That is why we encourage anyone who is currently not receiving our monthly newsletter to sign up today.  And if you’re still on the fence, here are our top five reasons:

  1. Obtain the latest quality standard news and updates from simpleQuE.
  2. Learn useful tips, tools and best practices for transitioning and maintaining an effective quality management system.
  3. Preview the latest simpleQuE blogs and infographics.
  4. Receive data and reports from industry leaders and registrars on current certification standards and how they will impact you.
  5. Check out the latest companies who have earned their QMS and EMS certifications as we proudly recognize our clients’ success!

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Quality Management Dos and Don’ts – Don’t be guilty of being in the red

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1. Meet Customer Requirements

Surprisingly there are companies that want ISO 9001 certification just to satisfy one customer requirement. The customer states that it will only do business with vendors that are certified as ISO 9001 – so to get (or keep) the business they need that certification. The problem with these companies is that they’re looking for a short-term payoff and an end to the journey with a certificate. They see nothing but that one benefit — we need a certificate for this customer — and ignore the long-term benefits a robust quality management system will provide, like:

  • Less firefighting;
  • Fewer repeat problems when you perform better root cause analysis and systemic corrective actions;
  • Increased performance because you’re monitoring trends against goals;
  • More efficient and effective business processes;
  • Less scrap, rework, rejects, warranty; and
  • Increase customer satisfaction leading to more business opportunities.

Some organizations don’t embrace the concept of quality linked with the business systems and tied into the strategic direction of the company, to drive continual improvement and continued customer satisfaction. In other words, they haven’t bought into the program or the true intent of the standard.  Focusing only on that one benefit — your immediate gain — without putting the customer in front will end up costing you much more in the long run.

2. Increase Revenue and Business from New Customers

Once you earn your ISO 9001 certification, you can advertise your quality certification and respond to Requests for Quotes (RFQ) from companies that make ISO 9001 certification a “must-have”.  ISO 9001 certification can open up new markets you were virtually unable to do business with before your certification.

Yet, companies are not advertising their ISO certification enough, costing them potential business. Transition or implementation of a new standard is the perfect time to share that the company has achieved this important recognition with your potential customers, current customers, and stakeholders. Consider a link to a copy of your ISO certificate right on your website.

3. Improve Company and Product Quality

quality management system standard is all about quality so, of course, one result of adopting a QMS should be an improved level of quality for the entire organization — every process, and every product. Organizations should use the ISO series of standards to develop a QMS that is integrated into the way they do business, and assist in achieving their strategic business objectives – adding value.

Unfortunately, some organizations may have missed the mark and created a bureaucratic set of procedures and records that don’t reflect the reality of the way the organization actually works and simply add unnecessary costs, without adding value. When the business system is the same as the quality system processes, the value of ISO and certification become more logical and value-added for the business.

4. Describe, Understand, and Communicate Your Company Processes

The ISO 9001 QMS standard requires that you identify and describe your processes using business metrics, the purpose of which is to better manage and control your business processes. Quality objectives or your business process goals form the center of your system. Metrics are used to understand and communicate your system’s performance and trends relative to your quality objectives. The level of monitoring, measurement and improvement of each process will depend on the organization’s context, strategic intent and determined risks and opportunities.

Companies may identify too many processes. So it is important to understand the differences between a process, a procedure and an activity. We recommend less than 10 core processes, and fewer is commonly better.  Looking at your business from a 50,000 foot view to understand the high level business processes needed to deliver the products or services you provide your customers are the core processes ISO wants you to define.  Everything from sales, to new product development, to production planning, to production or providing a service, and finally delivery are the processes to identify for your business.  A flow diagram is most commonly used with the linkages and interactions between each.  Each of these core processes needs to have at least one objective that is measured to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of that process. Problems can also occur when companies don’t have set metrics on which to evaluate processes and manage the control of their business processes.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has created a useful whitepaper to explain the Process ApproachContact simpleQuE to see how our consultants can assist your company with these problems or other areas of concern.