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The Problems with ISO

April 4, 2016

Going back about 20 years, long before ISO became the norm, we were ISO qualified. Due to the prohibitively high cost we did not become certified right away. Instead we worked with a local University to educate us and help us meet the ISO standard. This in-house training took several years. For many years after our training we said we were ISO qualified, but as years went on and it became more prevalent in the industry, we decided to become officially certified. Luckily for us, the popularity of the certification dropped the cost and allowed us to proceed within our financial means.

Word Cloud Quality Management

Mid-West Screw is a vendor, so we work with a lot of larger corporations. Many of which became ISO certified after we did. We pride ourselves on being ISO, we know that from beginning to end, our classifications and system is up to the task. Many of the larger companies we work with are ISO certified, but not ISO qualified as we started. Yes, they have the certification, but they do not operate their plants like they should, nor as we do.

These corporations have demanded that we be ISO certified; yet do not adhere to the same principals. The ISO audits are meant to catch these failings and yet some companies go on unimpeded. While we follow ISO religiously, we are sometimes put up to a task by these companies that are not following the rules themselves. This puts us in an awkward position of either staying true to our principles or making our customers happy. The ISO standards, for each individual company, have some differences that are not applicable to the other company.

Many times customer may give us verbal orders, but as many are aware, verbal orders don’t fly at all when it comes to ISO. We need that purchase order, so everything is in line within our system. We will then find ourselves in hot water, if a verbal order is given we cannot record it. Then when the order doesn’t go out because we had no hard copy record, there is nothing in our system nor to ship. Without a purchase order, we can’t be sure we are doing the work correctly and efficiently. In essence there was no order.

It is up to the customer to know when they need to place a new order due to their own records for getting close to having low stock. We, then are looked at as the one to blame because someone on their end was not keeping up with their system. Our system should be able to run independently of our customers. But because their system is broken, and because they don’t take the ISO system seriously, we find it hard to keep our system as traceable and as accountable as they would like. However, we do, with a lot of good record keeping, all ISO driven at our end. One thing you have to remember, “Always be the better, if not, the best vender!” Babysitting, our customers, seams to be the norm today.

Please comment below if you are having a similar problem. We know this is not a unique problem and we want to hear from you!

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