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Is this practical?

Discussion in 'IATF 16949:2016 - Automotive Quality Systems' started by Andy Nichols, Dec 1, 2020.

  1. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    4.4.1.1 Conformance of products and processes

    The organization shall ensure conformance of all products, and processes including service parts and those that are outsourced, to all applicable customer, statutory, and regulatory requirements

    Is that even practical?
     
  2. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Active Member

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    I guess this is where they are tightening down on the requirements for monitoring our suppliers that contribute to making the product/part? You put good in you get good out and we have to hold our suppliers to a certain standard, so as not to jeopardize the quality of the part going to the customer. Pointing the finger at the supplier never looks good. :)
     
  3. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, to an extent, that's always been true. You buy from a supplier, so your name is on it! But a) this is the wrong section of IATF to be stating this and b) it's not practical for those further down the supply chain to be auditing suppliers - how else do you ensure they're following the process?
     
  4. qmr1976

    qmr1976 Active Member

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    Yeah, that's what I thought, too. When I seen the clause # it seemed out of place. We really had to put a lot of wiggle words into our procedure for supplier monitoring in regards to 2nd party audits. Last year we got hit with not being specific enough as to what triggered one, so it was suggested we 'kick the can down the road' a bit, so we made the criteria unattainable to trigger such an audit. We are a small company, so sending auditors out to audit suppliers just isn't feasible.
     
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  5. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    So, I'm guessing this is a direct quote or paraphrase from an organization's internal documents (i.e. procedure, etc...)
    (I'm assuming a lot here, so correct me when I'm wrong.)

    Regardless of the intent or reference, this is simply a parroting of the standard and, (unless it's an extremely small organization ...i.e. <5 people), is simply a platitude not unlike a political campaign speech.

    IF an organization is going to make a claim, there is little chance of it sustaining beyond the author unless roles and responsibilities (i.e. WHO, does WHAT, and WHEN) are linked and/or assigned.

    IF (for example), it stated...
    1- The operations manager will ensure the use standard operating procedures, internal process audits, and product audits, for purpose of meeting the established quarterly performance goals
    2- The service manager will ensure the use of the "bar code scan ERP system", as well as internal process audits, for the purpose of meeting the established quarterly performance goals.

    ...then this would demonstrate a reasonable approach with actions that can be verified and individuals to hold accountable, and not simply a dream.


    The actual verbiage per conditions can be argued ad' infinitum. Regardless, it is so common not only for organizations to make such exorbitant claims but then fail to assign or associate them to the methods (i.e. PLAN) to be used to work towards those goals.

    Apologies if I've assumed wrongly. I'll get off my soap box now.

    Be well.
     
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  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    It's actually right out of the IATF standard. The more I read the book, the less I think it's at all practical...
     
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  7. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Well, I understand that the IATF is working directly for the automotive OEMs (the director of IAOB actually said that to me directly), so...obviously 4.4.1.1 is their overarching goal. While possibly not "practical", that is indeed the goal of the OEMs. No OEM I've ever provided to would verbally or in writing accept anything other than C=0.
    Individual supply chain organizations should, therefore, set goals reasonable to their processes and continually work to improve. No one ever said they would get there ;)

    Be well.
     
  8. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    I would have to give the short answer of "Yes".

    The organization is not forced to outsource, and if they do, they remain responsible for fulfilling the standard for the products they sell...that not only includes the quality of what they sell but also includes how it is made.

    This, then, would go into the math when deciding whether or not to outsource...the increased risk/liability, the increased cost (I would hope the sub-supplier would charge them more for the aggravation of being overseen)...etc.

    If me, sitting in my comfy office, can "ensure" that folks on the other side of the building that I only see at Christmas parties are following the proper procedures/processes...I can do it for someone at a different address as well...in the same manner. It just takes a business agreement and oversight, just like within my own company.

    Short answer "Yes". Longer answer "as practical as it is without outsourcing".
    What am I missing?
     
  9. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    I think you're missing that most of us can't insource non-core processes. For example, some customers need parts plated. We outsource the plating to the experts. We trust that they know what they are doing (and after 50 some years, have fairly high confidence).
     
  10. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Nope, didn't miss it. Just realized that it isn't true in such words.
    Yes you can....it just makes no business sense at all to do so, so you choose not to. That's what I mean by not true in such words.

    ...but if you are selling a plated part, and your customer wants their supplier (YOU) to be in control of the entire part making process, then you have to ensure conformance of the plating process whether you do it in house or not.

    The question is "is it practical"...my answer is "Yes". It just costs more.
    Whether or not the customer is willing to pay more, or bend a bit on interpretation...that's their decision.
    Flowing down requirements, and forcing your suppliers to flow down requirements, raises costs. IMO, it should raise price accordingly.
    But none of that makes ensuring conformance of outsourced parts and processes impractical (it does make it inconvenient) ... it just makes it more expensive.
     
  11. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Given the cost of getting it wrong in products that transport all sorts of people and property, I would ask if it's practical to not ensure conformance of all products, and processes including service parts and those that are outsourced, to all applicable customer, statutory, and regulatory requirements.
     
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  12. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    "ensure conformance of... those that are outsourced..." So, if a 3rd party auditor finds that our incoming-material inspectors detected nonconforming supplied products by the supplier, does this mean we fail to ensure conformance of those that are outsourced?

    Or this requirement of IATF is already a given and is already covered by the requirements within 8.4. Having a separate statement that reiterates "a sure thing that we don't need to prove" might lead to "impractical" interpretations.
     
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  13. S1D3K1CK

    S1D3K1CK Active Member

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    I agree! In IATF, from what I am understanding, the whole idea is "the customer is always right". Look at it from the customer's standpoint, If you (the customer) buy a desktop computer and something malfunctions within it, what's the first thing you do? You call the manufacture of the desktop that has the logo on it right? So in the consumers' eyes (you), the manufacture that put it on the shelf, that you paid a lot of your hard-earned money for, is responsible for the defect, and not the actual manufacture of the hardware that malfunctioned (because to be honest, I don't know who made the hardware inside my desktop). So if the manufacture buys from a supplier, then the manufacture is responsible for how the purchased product is performing and produced, even if it doesn't seem feasible to keep track or audit their system.
     
  14. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    It shouldn't...

    Now if a 3rd party auditor finds that our incoming-material inspectors failed to detect nonconforming supplied products by the supplier, and released them to the customer or further production that then went to the customer...Yes.

    You are responsible for your own production...and you're not hitting 100% there (no one is)...it's no different with outsourced...whether you made it or bought it, it becomes your responsibility when you release it to the next step.
     
  15. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    I believe this is already covered by Clause 8.4.2 of ISO 9001 where it specified:

    8.4.2 Type and extent of control
    The organization shall ensure that externally provided processes, products and services do not
    adversely affect the organization’s ability to consistently deliver conforming products and services to
    its customers.
     
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  16. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Why are we splitting hairs like this?

    You outsource a process, you have to ensure that what it does is conforming. Process controls, (re) incoming inspection, scrapping bad stuff, keeping good stuff...
    Where is the angst from about being responsible for the parts of the process you choose to outsource?

    Is it just because the standard tends to be repetitive, and says the same thing more than once, in more than one section? That's nothing new, they all do that.
     
  17. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Not to the extent IATF 16949 does! I think my point is being missed. It's OK for large, staff-heavy organizations to send people to camp out at their suppliers to ensure "conformance to process". But is it practical to have much smaller organizations do that? And, do they even HAVE someone who'd know what they're looking at? If you believe this is practical - "shall ensure conformance of all products, and processes (the outsourced ones, that is) - I'd like to know how to achieve that.
     
  18. Eric Twiname

    Eric Twiname Well-Known Member

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    Incoming inspection, periodic review of policies and a phone call saying "You didn't change anything, right?", along with "customer will be notified of any process changes prior to shipping" written into the contract.
    On-site review of process is a plus, but not required.

    That's pretty much all you've got for your in-house work to "ensure conformance of all products" anyway.

    So the standard is repetitive. So was my last boss.

    I see no need to camp out at an outsource supplier, handle quality and stability of their work the same way you do with the stuff you make yourself.
    If anything, a company has MORE authority over a subcontractor than it does with an employee. Labor laws do not apply to a subcontractor relationship.
     

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