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Why do my Auditors seem so uptight and angry?

Discussion in 'Coffee Break and Community Discussion Forum' started by Colin Pitman, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Colin Pitman

    Colin Pitman Member

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    In recent weeks I've been subject to 3 customer-led audits. Every single representative was just so negative and nasty even before the audit had even begun, let alone during it. Am I just unlucky, or is this the norm for a customer-supplier relationship?

    Fine, you're my customer, but there's no need to be so stiff and superior. I'm sure there's a human being under there somewhere...? Right..?
     
  2. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

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    That's so 1990's. Lately my customer auditors have been really good, easy going and relatively smart. Of course a couple of decades of non-issues will give you some credibility.
     
  3. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    Repeat after me - "Audits are about the process, not the person. Don't take it personally." ;) Easier said than done, I know...let's face it, if someone comes in with an attitude, it will impact our own demeanour.

    That said, here are a few things I tell myself (and use as part of my prep with teams when we're being audited by our main Funder/Client)...I'm like Miss Manners for audits:

    • Smile often. Smile big. ... Sparkle, baby!
    • This is our time to shine! Be as enthusiastic as you can without coming across like you're on funky meds.
    • If there is an issue, it's the process...it's not you...don't take it personally. Acknowledge the opportunity and move on.
    • Maybe they don't want to be here, either...fake the empathy for a few hours.
    • Answer only what you are asked...without coming across as too glib. Yes/No questions can have softer responses such as "Yes, that's the process" instead of a curt "Yes."
    • Food and drink. This is YOUR party. Sure, they're like uninvited guests who aren't really welcome, but that's no reason for boorish behaviour on our part. Include heathy options (fruit over doughnuts) and don't forget the cutlery and napkins.

    In addition, be prepared to crash that night (after a drink or seven) because being polite is freakin' exhausting! :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  4. Colin Pitman

    Colin Pitman Member

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    Mmmm funky meds :confused:

    Good tips as ever Roxane. Are you in consultancy by any chance? If not you should be!
     
  5. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Of the 3 "official" types of audits:

    1st Party: Internal
    2nd Party: Customer (their version of a supplier audit)
    3rd Party: Registrar/regulator,

    2nd Party can be the most maddening:
    • The people who perform these "audits" may or may not be qualified to the same extent as is required of a CB (3rd Party) auditor through accreditation, or expected in a 1st Party auditor via the Note referring to ISO 19011 for guidance in clause 9.2.2. They may be very technical but lack communication skills and a system perspective.
    • These auditors really do seem to have "an axe to grind," if only because of supplier issues they perceive originate at your site.
    • Their demands may, but very often do not align with the "shalls" in the standard, and so may seem arbitrary or too demanding.
    RoxaneB has provided good advice for handling these events. Do not forget to ask for clarification for nonconformities that don't make sense or seem outlandish. It is possible that the auditor has raised good points but communicated them poorly. Keep an open mind about the process and try to make it constructive.
     
  6. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    I've not yet joined the Dark Side...officially. Those that call me Darth Roxy have made a prediction and I believe bets are being placed on when the transition will officially be signed in blood and while under the light of a full moon... :cool:
     
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  7. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    So true! It has been recognized in the automotive world, such that the recent IATF 16949 requirements emphasize 2nd party auditor competencies need to be established! Also, and somewhat paradoxically, the very first Lead Auditor courses were developed FOR 2nd party auditors, too!
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I asked you NOT to share that in public! :D
     
  9. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    That is an IATF requirement that absolutely should find its way into the main stream. It is long overdue.
     
  10. Colin Pitman

    Colin Pitman Member

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    Or if they used to work for your company and got the push for... cough... lack of communication skills, self-control and anger-management issues, but now work for a company which is a potential new customer that you want to impress :rolleyes:.
     
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  11. normzone

    normzone Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes your auditor has lots of work back at the shop they'd rather be doing, and they were compelled to come audit you by somebody else with more clout who didn't want to do it either.

    Sitting in coach for half a day, to be followed by the same to get home, can lead one to grumpy behavior.

    I used to know an auditor who thought he was doing you a favor by acting as though every little thing was a big deal, thinking that you'd get more management support for the corrective action. He also didn't like computers, or women in business either, which made it interesting. Definitely old school.
     

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