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Horizontal audits across multiple sites

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Glenn0004, Oct 5, 2016.

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  1. Glenn0004

    Glenn0004 Member

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    Our company has a head office and approx 15 sales and service offices across the UK, these offices act as local address and hotdesks for sales and service to perform admin.

    In the past our company has taken a vertical view to the completion of audits and now wants to move to a horizontal view (to get the best out of the process approach).

    My view was to take a sample of sales activites from sales audits completed on site and then use these as a base for the horizontal audit of the sales order process.

    Given that I can see the sales activities, copy documentation, records of customer meetings from within our CRM system, is there any requirement to stipulate that the sales audit has to be completed on the site that sale was generated? would this conflict with the notion of auditing the whole QMS i.e. all sites covered by the scope of the system?
     
  2. Paul Simpson

    Paul Simpson Member

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    Glenn. It might be worth clarifying what you understand is the difference between vertical and horizontal audits (and how you see these relating to the process approach).

    If you can follow the end to end CRM process remotely then that is a valid means of auditing your 'enquiry to order' process (or whatever you call it) and can be termed a process audit. It is not strictly a horizontal audit as the intention of this type of audit is to look at the same activity across different functions, say training, objective setting, document control etc. in (for example) Sales, Operations, Purchasing etc.

    For a full process audit you should pick up on all the activities supporting 'enquiry to order' including training, provision of information, record keeping etc.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. dibdab

    dibdab Member

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    I'm a dinosaur, I retired in 2001 from manufacturing. My vertical audits carried out monthly, started at the last process before despatch. I sampled one product, selected on the basis of the originating sales office, and submitted independent (identity hidden) samples to the labs. I then obtained from the sales office the document received from the customer. I could then check that the order had been correctly interpreted by sales, technical planning, logistics and production, confirmed identity and traceability had been maintained, and testing was in order. This would be completed over a couple of weeks as results became available.
    In addition I had trained personnel from the Sales Offices auditing the other offices, while auditors from Technical, Inspection, Supplies and Engineering could audit other departments, or other manufacturing facilities, as well as the storage of Quality records. As a QA Manager, I was in turn audited by my QA colleages from other plants
     
  4. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    From my perspective, horizontal and vertical audits were simply a convenience to show hapless auditors how to audit clauses of a standard. In reality, if auditing a process, the audit path becomes a combination. Starting with management and asking about process objectives etc., "dropping down" through the organization to follow the process "horizontally" as it happens and then back "up" to management to ask about results, etc. I wouldn't get into a mind set of calling any audit a "horizontal", "vertical", "down stream", "up stream", "free-wheeling" or anything else. To do an effective process based audit, you should start with what was planned and follow the process to the output/results.
     
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  5. Paul Simpson

    Paul Simpson Member

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    Interesting reply, Andy. Not one I agree with. ;)
    As a former hapless auditor at the time I remember when the terms came into vogue and they weren't aimed at the 'bog standard' audit (1st, 2nd or 3rd party). The terms are relevant for larger / more complex audits or even series of audits across a number of sites, generally involving a team where the team leader or the programme manager wants to be covered in the audit programme or plan. Work can then be divided between audits and across team members to demonstrate full coverage and, hopefully, the system is effective.
    Even in these enlightened days of process audits :rolleyes: there is a place for elements of vertical and horizontal audit in a complex audit.

    For example if you are looking at policy deployment and objective setting as part of internal communications a lead auditor should always require team members to follow up on objectives / targets and ensure that high level Os / Ts are deployed in other sites / levels / functions. This has both vertical and horizontal elements across the audit plan.
    You can call it 'Ethel' as far as I am concerned but elements of vertical and horizontal are still relevant in all bar the simplest audits.:)
     
  6. dibdab

    dibdab Member

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    When you are doing an audit, and you find a report being circulated to 15 departments, and the hairs on the back of your neck twitch, what do you do? You go round all 15 departments and find 12 of them are throwing it into the bin. That's a horizontal audit!
     

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