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Posted: 1/16/2006 5:42:08 PM EDT
I have an interview tomorrow with a large military contractor and I need to know some things about the ISO process. I have a basic understanding about the certification process, but once in place, what does a company have to do to maintain their certification? Internal audits? Based on what?

Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 5:54:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/16/2006 5:56:41 PM EDT by CMOS]
If the company is involved in DoD contracts then yes, usually the company will have to maintain the ISO certification.

There are indeed both ISO (external) and internal audits that do, and should, take place. Sort of a method of self policing.

Do not mistake ISO for "quality." ISO is a PROCEDURAL method, not an assurance of quality. Mention that and you'll score some points on the interview. This will show that you really understand the whole process.

In short, ISO is a system of verification that ensures you're doing what you say you're going to do, and you can prove that you did. It's that simple. If your ISO says you wipe your ass with 2 sheets then you can produce a signed record of every person that uses the john, multiply that X 2- sheets and you should have an accurate count of the number of sheets used.

From a procedure standpoint you need to document what you plan to do, then prove via records that you did that. It's that simple.

The "quality" part of the equation will depend entirely on how well your processes are to being with. Quality has nothing to do with the simple exercise of keeping ISO records. Understand? ISO can improve quality ***if*** the company/supervisors really understand how ISO works and how it doesn't work.

IM me if you want to chat before your interview. Be glad to help.

CMOS

Link Posted: 1/16/2006 7:44:52 PM EDT
ISO cert is pushed to weed out the small companies that can't afford to absorb the cost.

You can pencil whip the paperwork, but doesn't mean didly about quality..
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 9:17:11 PM EDT
Simple...
Do what you document and document what you do.
I work for a ISO certified company and wrote the procedures manual for my department.
I'm also on the internal audit committee.
ISO is only as good as your company is willing to commit to it... another words in most companies it doesn't mean jack shit.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 9:27:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yobo:
ISO is only as good as your company is willing to commit to it... another words in most companies it doesn't mean jack shit.



exactly. we made damn good machines before the ISO certification. we all built the same quality machines before and after the certification, just afterwards we had a lot more paper work to fill out. i feel sorry for the customer when we handed them the manual hahahahahha 3 - 4" 3ring binders. ISO required we supply paperwork for every god damn little part. although the FDA approval didnt help much either
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 9:34:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pieceofstink:
I have an interview tomorrow with a large military contractor and I need to know some things about the ISO process. I have a basic understanding about the certification process, but once in place, what does a company have to do to maintain their certification? Internal audits? Based on what?

Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



if the company is already certified youre good to go, just follow the companies documentation procedures. the whole procedure is different from company to company. its mostly to make sure that everything gets done correctly and nothing is overlooked. GOOD LUCK!
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 10:30:02 PM EDT
Thanks for all the input!! CMOS-IM inbound.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:19:53 AM EDT
the other posters are spot on. It's a procedural/documentation thing. Say what you're going to do, write it down and then do it. Part of it is making sure you're employees know the process and follow it. Review your procedures/documentation regularly and make sure everyone know's where to find it.

It's no more complex than the company WANT'S it to be, most make it a LOT more involved than they have to.

Also as said above, it doesn't do squat to insure you have a high-quality product, just that you're producing a CONSISTENT product.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 6:57:53 AM EDT
Simply: ISO documents and standardizes the processes used by the companies.

Thus, if an inspector asks, "How do you folks do ____________?", everybody gives the same answer from the same ISO procedure.
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