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.

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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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The Benefits of Working with a Management System Consultancy

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Ultimately companies hire a management consultancy firm like simpleQuE to save both time and money. Working with experienced professionals can help businesses achieve their objectives quickly and avoid costly mistakes along the way. And thanks to their specialized knowledge, quality and environmental management consultants can help innovate, improve and enhance organizations at every level.

Businesses of all sizes seeking to outperform their competitors and stay at the top of their industry are increasingly choosing to work with QMS and EMS consultants. When selecting a consultancy, they’re looking for someone who can provide tangible results and a clear return on investment. The best consultant-client relationships are based on clarity and transparency, where both parties have set clear roles and expectations and put in place a system to effectively measure results.

Management consultants help organizations improve their business by analyzing their systems and processes and developing plans to help them improve. Whether it’s preparing for first time certification, upgrading to a new standard, simplifying cumbersome quality systems and documentation, or defining processes and process mapping, simpleQuE can help.

Each management consultancy offers different specializations and simpleQuE’s consultants are proven experts in their respective fields. We bring experience from all sides of the table—third party auditor, business owner, management representative, implementer, facilitator, project manager, etc.—in areas including general manufacturing and service, automotive, aerospace, environmental and safety.

After performing a gap analysis, we offer customized solutions for each client we work with. Our strength is in evaluating and understanding your business and culture to find the solutions that will be most efficient and sustainable over time. We’re known as the consultant that simplifies ISO implementation and maintenance.  And simpleQuE is even ISO 9001:2015 certified – proof that we practice what we preach.

No company is exactly the same, and every company’s needs for certification are unique as well. At simpleQuE, we tailor our approach closely to your specific needs and deliver exactly the consulting, auditing and training services your company requires. Our approach eliminates confusion and ensures your company is investing only in the work that is required for certification. Contact us to see how we can add value to your business!

Stelfast Maintains Their Quality Tradition – Achieves ISO 9001:2015 Certification

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Stelfast is a family owned and operated company, which began operations in 1972 as a small and progressive manufacturer of industrial gears and screw machine products. Seeing the need in the market for a reliable and quality oriented fastener company, Stelfast incorporated in 1976 and today is a leading importer; stocking master distributor of fasteners and specialty parts from Asia, Europe, and South America; and manufacturer of truck and specialty fasteners. With a knowledgeable and dedicated team of employees, Stelfast has expanded to include an automotive division and ten regional distribution centers across North America.

As evidence of their commitment to quality, the Stelfast Quality Control Department, based in Strongsville, OH, is responsible for all of their branches to ensure conformance to customer requirements. The ISO-9001 certified facility includes a Quality Lab with measurement and testing equipment specifically used for fastener inspection and testing.

When it was time to upgrade to ISO 9001:2015, Stelfast turned to simpleQuE consultant, Jen Briese to provide certification support and guidance for implementation and improvements of the quality management system. This included a full system internal audit, in preparation for their external surveillance audit. The end result – Stelfast is now ISO 9001:2015 certified!

The quality department is also responsible for maintaining all suppliers certifications, which are kept on file for customers to meet dimensional, material and mechanical properties as required by specifications and customer requirements. Stelfast Quality also performs internal audits to assure compliance to their own strict quality guidelines. PPAPs are generated to meet both AIAG and customer specific requirements. At Stelfast, customer satisfaction is priority one and the Quality Control Department helps to assure that this happens. Stelfast President, Simmi Sakhuja says, “We have a catch phrase around here: ‘GET IT DONE.’ We do everything we can to support our suppliers and satisfy our customers.”

 

Quality + Certification = Success!

SimpleQuE congratulates the following companies on their successful certification and commitment to quality.

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SimpleQuE (an ISO 9001:2015 certified company) assists organizations with implementation, improvement or transition of these standards by providing customized consulting, training and internal auditing services and solutions. Contact us for more information.

Jim Lee presents at ASA’s 2017 Annual Conference

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Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA) is a not-for-profit association that represents over 600 worldwide member companies that lead critical logistics programs, purchasing efforts, and distribution of aircraft parts globally.

The 2017 ASA Annual Conference takes place July 9-11 in Reston, VA; and is one of the largest for the aviation distributor industry. The event draws aviation professionals worldwide with a range of business development and management, quality assurance, legal/regulatory and general industry topics. The itinerary includes general sessions, workshops, exhibitors, and networking events. SimpleQuE founder Jim Lee presented at the conference on Monday, July 10 about risk management requirements for distributors that are ISO and/or AS certified.

“This is our second year to present on 3 different topics.” said Lee. “We appreciate this opportunity to network with our clients and aircraft parts distributors. Last year we had three simpleQuE attendees at the conference, and this year two. By attending these conferences, we get a lot of information and value that we share with our consulting clients and other staff members.”

Aviation Suppliers Association promotes safety, regulatory compliance and ethical business practices among aviation parts suppliers throughout the aviation community. Over 300 companies have received accreditation to the ASA-100 Quality System Standard and FAA Advisory Circular 00-56 since 1996.  ASA Certification Body also certifies companies to ISO 9001, AS9120, AS9100, and AS9110.

Powder Processing & Technology Transitions to ISO 9001:2015

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Powder Processing & Technology, LLC  has maintained ISO 9001 certification since 1998 and just transitioned to the latest version – ISO 9001:2015.  PPT’s professionals have assisted the top materials technology companies around the world for over 30 years. The company performs process development and contract manufacturing on a wide range of powders, and has a fully equipped pilot plant as well as multiple production areas specializing in spray drying, calcining and firing

PPT uses the formulas and processing parameters provided by their customers and/or develops the formulations and processing parameters of the products produced for customers.  Therefore precise process control is necessary to meet high quality standards. For that reason in 2012, PPT brought in simpleQuE to conduct its quarterly internal audits.  Kenneth Bartelt, President, said,  “PPT is a small technology company which places significant weight on its quality management system and which needs to ensure its valuable and limited technical resources are focused on customer requirements and our ability to deliver results.”

“We consider the quality system to be part of the fabric of our management system and simpleQuE has added a critical component to that system,” added Ken.  “I think that simpleQuE has a practical approach to quality management that is effective and efficient.”  In the case of PPT, the commitment to maintaining quality standards is evident and practiced from the highest level of management to their plant workers.

SimpleQuE matched PPT to auditor/consultant, Don Milinkovich, whose 34 years in the chemical manufacturing business made him the right fit.  “Don is an experienced and personable consultant who has delivered meaningful audits and provided relevant expertise. Our audits have been at the right level of detail and have made a significant contribution to the business. The performance from simpleQuE has been such that the registrar’s representative and auditor has been very complimentary of the service they have performed,” stated Ken regarding the benefits of working with an experienced auditor.  Don also worked with the PPT team to prepare them for a smooth transition to the new standard.

These internal audits have reinforced the objectives of PPT to maintain high levels of service and customer satisfaction while utilizing the principles of ISO 9001 to incorporate continual improvement into their business practices.

IATF 16949:2016 Transition Q & A from IAOB

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Cherie Reiche, program manager for International Automotive Oversight Bureau (IAOB) recently presented at Eagle Certification Group’s June Boot Camp to discuss progress of the IATF 16949 transition and the unique intent behind some of the new requirements.   While no FAQs or SIs have yet been published for IATF 16949:2016, Cherie shared some of the common questions that IAOB and IATF members have received for interpretation and clarification from Certification Body automotive auditors.

Must both ISO 9001:2015 and IATF 16949:2016 be used when conducting audits?
Answer:  Yes, as it states in the IATF 16949 Foreword – Automotive QMS Standard, IATF 16949 is not a stand-alone standard, it must be used in conjunction with ISO 9001:2015.

Will the IATF be granting waivers for those organizations who cannot meet the transition plan timing?
Answer:  No, there are no plans to approve/grant waivers.  If the organization does not complete their transition audit in a timely manner (including allowing time for Non Conformance management and CB certification decision), then the organization will lose their certification.  IATF 16949 certificates are not valid past their expiry or September 14, 2018.

Is IATF 16949, Section 4.4.1.2 related to product safety during manufacturing or final customer product safety concerns?
Answer:  4.4.1.2 was created to address final customer safety concerns (braking systems, airbags, fuel systems, etc.).  If the product (or process) is a safety item on the final product, then the organization has to identify the statutory and regulatory product safety requirements that must be met, along with items a) through m) in 4.4.1.2.  This is one of IATF 16949’s required documented processes, so inputs/outputs, metrics, etc. are required.

Can an organization demonstrate competence only through degrees and certifications for their employees?
Answer:  No, there are multiple ways for an organization to identify training needs and achieving the necessary competence for their personnel.  It is up to the organization to define (and document) training needs, including awareness, and competency requirements for all personnel performing activities that impact conformity to product and process requirements.

What about competency for internal auditors and second party auditors?  Do they all have to take an IATF-sanctioned lead auditor training course?
Answer:  No.  Organizations are responsible for ensuring key personnel, including their auditors, are properly trained and competent.  The IATF supports the use of IATF-recognized training providers; however, the IATF does NOT mandate the use of a lead auditor training course for all auditors in the organization.  Organizations are still allowed to have key personnel trained and certified as lead auditors, and then use those key personnel to train-the-trainer to disseminate the information throughout the organization.

If an organization is not design responsible for the software used in their product, does 8.3.2.3 (embedded software) apply?
Answer:  Section 8.3.2.3 refers to internally developed embedded software, not “functional test” software to see if a widget works (or not) during production.  For those organizations that are design responsible for the software used in their product, they must use a software development assessment methodology to assess their own software development process.  Annex B contains suggested Software Process Assessments such as CMMI or SPICE.

What is the goal of 8.4.2.3?  Do all organizations supplying automotive product have to be IATF 16949 certified?
Answer:  The ultimate objective is to have IATF 16949 certification; however, the IATF recognizes that for various reasons, that is not feasible for all organizations.  At a minimum, the expectation is for organizations to be certified to ISO 9001:2015, unless otherwise authorized by the organization’s customers.  Items a) through e) are a cadence which is applicable to the entire automotive supply base.

How are 8.3.2.3 and 8.4.2.3.1 different?
Answer:  8.3.2.3 refers to the organization itself and their internally developed embedded software. 8.4.2.3.1 refers to the organization’s suppliers of automotive product related software.  The organization needs to ensure that their suppliers of automotive product related software implement and maintain a process for software quality assurance for their products.

SimpleQuE will be sharing more information from IAOB and other Eagle Boot Camp sessions in future posts and on social media.  Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest quality and certification news.

SimpleQuE shares an important AS9100:2016 transition timeline reminder from IAQG

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“The IAQG Other Party Management Team (OPMT) would like to remind all certificated organizations that there are two key target dates within the “International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) Other Party Management Team (OPMT) Supplemental Rule 003 – Rules for 9100/9110/9120:2016 and 9101:2016 Transition” document that were established in order to ensure that a certified organization transition occurs prior to the 15 September 2018 end date.

The first key target has now passed. In accordance with SR003; “10.a By March 1, 2017 AQMS certified organizations shall communicate with their CB to establish an intended date for 9100/9110/9120:2016 AQMS standard transition readiness.”  We greatly appreciate the efforts that certificated organizations have taken to meet this requirement and would like to remind those that have not yet made transition plans; there is an elevated risk of not meeting the 2018 end date if you have not established and communicated the aforementioned date to your CB.

The second key target date in SR003 is 15 June 2017. In accordance with SR003; 9.g No initial, surveillance or recertification audits shall be started to the previous versions of the AQMS standards after June 15, 2017.” We must ensure that transition has a start date or Certification Bodies may face auditor resource issues in 2018 as the transition end date approaches.”

SimpleQuE is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company that provides ISO, AS and IATF consulting services from quality experts to assist organizations in successfully meeting transition targets. Contact us for more information.  IAQG also provides AS9100 D transition support materials.