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NC criteria

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by stefan2010, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. stefan2010

    stefan2010 New Member

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    Hi,

    I am new to here and looking for some guidance.

    Background:
    We are a small ISO 9001:2015 certified company who provide services to our client. An NC request has been issued to me (as the Quality Manager) from one department (accounts) to another department (operations) as a signed PO is not available to allow them to invoice the work. The client's contract states that a signed PO is required for invoicing. The PO is issued by the client and is not an internal document.

    Now, the client hasn't issued an NCR, this is an internal request.

    As our client requirements are all different and vary so much, particular client requirements are included in our procedures.

    What I am struggling with, is what to issue the NC against. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome! Good question! A place to start is with what your process requires to happen. This might be the first place to start. It might simply be an omission from the process to meet ALL affected parties' needs.
     
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  3. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that I see this as a NC. I'd pick up the phone and ask the client for the signed PO. These days, processes can move faster than the documents.
     
  4. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Goldman
    Yes this what should be done, I'm In agreement with Golfman if happens one or two times, but raise a NC if this is systemic problem.
    Sometime happens that some people don't satisfy the system requirements.
    For that, I created in my system what I call nonconformities in processes.
    Very common, some responsible don't comply at the right time, causing problems in other processes.
    Once NC is into the system, NC is addressed and action plans are expecting.
    Hope this helps
     
  5. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    But you haven't addressed the issue in the OP's question: What's the CRITERIA? Which requirement is the NC created in reference to?
     
  6. johnnymo77

    johnnymo77 Member

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    I'm thinking 8.2.2.a.2 "those considered necessary by the organization" and/or 8.2.3.1.c "requirements specified by the organization".
     
  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    ISO 9001 can't be used because it actually allows for ZERO purchase orders to be used - plenty of places work without a PO. Again, my question is "What's the criteria"?
     
  8. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    If I understand correctly, the signed PO is required by the customer, stated in contract. I wonder why a purchase request is accepted from a client without signature from that same client who stipulates that a signed PO is required? In other words, why did the client send an unsigned purchase request when they require a signed one?

    I would ask the client for details as to why this requirement is important to them, and if it can be removed from the contract.
     
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  9. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Is there an official internal requirement of the organization that says "no signed PO, no service"? If there is, then this is the criteria. If the operations delivered the services despite of the internal requirement, then an NC can be raised against it.
     
  10. stefan2010

    stefan2010 New Member

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    Thanks, everyone.

    Just a couple of extra snippets of information:

    • The only internal requirement we have in our procedure is to ensure all the documentation is in the folder which is passed to accounts for invoicing. What this documentation is, is not defined anywhere and would be different per client anyway.
    • There is nothing in our management system which requires us to turn down work if there is no PO, the senior management advise we shouldn't turn down work in this instance
    • The signed PO does typically arrive after being chased (sometimes a lot of times) but delays us in invoicing for the work.
    • The work these POs cover may be a small number of visits, with total cost averaging around $5k.
    • During my investigation, I found evidence outstanding signed POs highlighted had been chased on several occasions.
     
  11. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    It seems to me that this is a management/finance issue that cannot be resolved through any NC in the QMS. If finance need a PO to invoice against and (operations/sales) management accept work without a PO, then someone (high up) should simply resolve the issue (and if necessary, remove the contract language). I don't see this as anything to do with (product) quality and hence not resolvable by non-conformity writing.
     
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  12. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    Most likely it's boilerplate put in there by some lawyer somewhere. In the everyday world, things just don't work as clean. We frequently start projects before official orders are placed, which can take a while as it moves thru the chain of command. At the end of the day, business is on the honor system and we only deal with honorable people.
     
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  13. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Such a requirement would actually be understandable, if there was a risk of unauthorized POs being issued, then the bill coming due: "Surprise!"
     
  14. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    It is certainly a good business practice to require a signed purchase order from a customer so you have something to ensure payment. However, I don't think we ever had someone skip out on a "handshake" deal that needed to done faster than the paperwork could be processed. Some of these companies need an act of Congress to issue a PO. :)
     
  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Why does a PO "ensure payment"? The retail industry doesn't function on P.O.s. Yes, certain sectors of industry have used it as a "blanky", but a PO doesn't mean payment and plenty of markets function without significant loss without getting a PO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 2:48 PM
  16. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    This should be clearly understood by the accounts department. If there's no requirement, then there's no NC.
     
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  17. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    I am not going to split hairs regarding "ensure payment," but it is simple contract law (see UCC sale of goods). Most orders start with a PO. And if not a PO, there is something there, in writing, authorizing shipment and billing for product. Most companies require it to bill against. If we send our customers something without a PO reference, they generally won't pay. In their minds, it wasn't ordered. Today, many systems are now going invoice less and the PO becomes the document against which payment is made.
     
  18. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    I would agree that a PO is a simple contract between customer and a supplier.
     

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