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4.3.1- scope: off-site (remote) sales center

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by John C. Abnet, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Good evening all. I hope you are all well and having a happy new year;
    I would like this group's professional input on a specific question.

    I have an organization that receives their new business/sales input from an off-site corporate location that is not (nor does it intend to be) IATF 16949 certified nor ISO 9001:2015 registered.
    As you are all aware, 16949 clause 4.3.1 states "...on site or remote, ...shall be included in the scope of the QMS". As you also know, ISO 9000:2015 does not imply "sales office", etc.. in the definitions it gives of "external provider" (provider). Additionally, "outsource" stipulates (note: 1) that it is intended to be outside of the QMS scope.
    Based on the multiple and varying interpretations I've received, I'm having difficulty advising them objectively.

    I would like to ask this group....

    -How do you all recommend they include their remote sales office in the scope of their QMS?-

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    John: It simply depends on what "sales" does! I was one of those remote sales sites for 8 years and I had little to do with anything but gathering a small amount of information from a client when their quote request was incomplete. After we'd quoted, it was my job to close. In such a case, the quote was prepared by office based staff, following a process, using forms etc. So, as a sales person I had little/nothing to do with the QMS. I wouldn't let IATF rules confuse you - frankly, I believe they've got the whole thing the wrong way around when "design" is considered a "support" and only manufacturing sites can get the actual IATF cert...
     
  3. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the feedback @Andy Nichols . While I agree with you in regards to some of the "odd" and contradicting approaches applied by the IATF, ( I certainly agree with you and have had significant experience in regards to excluding design centers. Don't get me started !), I don't see any option in the standard (4.3.1) to consider or allow for ..."...simply depends on what "sales" does."

    The standard, as you know, uses quite strong and objective language (4.3.1) i.e. "Supporting functions...shall be included in the scope..." [ and , therefore, subject to "...form part of the site audit..." (ref :2009) ]
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Right, however, the support site "sales" is probably where the actual quote/feasibility review etc aspects of APQP (and other processes) are covered - not at the remote sales' peoples offices.
     
  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    I believe you may have meant to say "...the manufacturing site is probable where the actual..." Am I correct Andy?
     
  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    This is where IATF etc have corrupted things. Typically, a "support site" isn't where manufacturing is done, so the "sales" function isn't USUALLY co-located with manufacturing. My point is that "sales" (at least the review of customer requirements etc) isn't usually done at the remote sales peoples' offices - it's done at the location where the sales function/management are found.
     
  7. Serious Man

    Serious Man Active Member

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    You need to document process and show where is located activity performed by supporting site.
    Address it in your quality manual and cover by plan of internal audit of this process.
    Third party audit will also cover it during certification/surveillance audits.

    If supporting activity is covered by QMS of other manufacturing site, you can use their internal audits of this supporting activity, but then you are required to address internal audits as another supporting activity in your quality manual.

    Generally supporting activities are very poorly managed by certified organizations. Some interfaces are not addressed in quality manuals, not audited internally and by CB. IATF should put more focus on it.
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    The OP's question is:
    I'd suggest that, unless there's a clear definition of what is done in "sales", that there may be zero need for what you describe. Sales is often simply closing quotes and that has ZERO effect on product quality and customer satisfaction (trust me on this!)
     
  9. Serious Man

    Serious Man Active Member

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    I do not know their sales process, but as long they do "something" outside it has to be covered by their system.
    If it is nothing, so I do not see a point why they could not do it by themselves and save some money and risk, which is very often related to sales activities.
    In my experience I have not seen any organization "feeling safe" knowing what their sales members are doing.

    This "unnecessary job" I've suggested is much cheaper than excusing auditor why there is no word about remote support and fixing problems arising from potentially not worth mentioning activities, which were not monitored.
     
  10. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    As a remotely based sales person, I'd suggest that there are many sales people who know how it feels to not be trusted...

    My reality is that, as a sales person, I had very little influence on the actual deliverable to the customer and their satisfaction. To suggest that it has to be covered by the QMS is, in my experience iappropriate. I was simply a closer. Someone else prepared the quote (at HQ, covered by the QMS) and I called and closed the client. What procedures/instructions etc. would you propose would be written to cover that and then audited?
     
  11. Serious Man

    Serious Man Active Member

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    I wont go so far, when there is no system process flow chart identifying remote supporting activity.
    President of company I work for said one day, he has received customer's complaint, that we are late with offer submissions. It might be an only job of externally located unit.

    I am a simple poor serious man, who is trying to avoid posting advice, which may bring readers to risk of getting nonconformity.
     
    John C. Abnet likes this.
  12. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    You'll never avoid that because auditors are too varied in what THEY believe is a non-conformity. Why worry about something you can't control...

    Then quantify the risk of a sales person doing something without a process flow chart...
     

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