Improving the processes

Continual improvement of the organization’s performance is one of the quality objectives per ISO 9001 standard. Some evidence of continuous improvement is a mandatory check point for third party auditors. As well, it has become routine for customers to not only demand replacements or credit for defective parts, but to ask for documented corrective and preventive actions. A recent development is to demand penalty for each defective part.

“Clause 8.5.1 Continual Improvement: The organization shall continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system through the use of the quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventive actions and management review.”

Are the corrective and preventive actions addressing process approach and systems approach?

Processes transform the input materials into the desired outputs aimed at achieving customer satisfaction. Systems approach must make sure all the inter-related processes are considered. The tendency for the customers and for the suppliers is to play the blame game. If there are reasons to believe that a major value improvement must come from order desk, design, Bill of Materials, fixtures, machines, that is what must be attempted. In lots of cases, some of these issues are the holy cows and never even addressed. it may be surprising that the overall cost will only come down with a systems/ process approach to continuous improvements.

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