Submitted by Monte C. Guitar, PMPA Director of Technology.
Don’t wait for an outside auditor to provide the assistance to “make you better.” The best opportunities for improving precision machining operations will not be provided by your outside auditor. Here are our 3 reasons that precision machining companies are the ‘real experts’ on their processes and business:
Reason #1- Process Expertise. Who knows your processes better than you? You’ve been doing this stuff for many years prior to ISO being a condition of business. You bring in the auditor to assess your quality systems, not to consult on your business.
Reason #2- Limited expertise by auditor in your processes. To be truly expert requires depth of experience in both auditing and your processes. Unless the auditor worked specifically in your field, they lack expertise in your process. What they bring is quality systems expertise to evaluate your implementation.
Reason # 3- Standard is basis for the audit, not the auditor’s vision. If the requirement is not in the standard, then implementation becomes a business choice. It is easy for an auditor to describe the wonders of “one place I’ve seen” to a company that is looking for their own version of utopia. It is another thing to implement. Calibrate the good ideas the auditor brings to your firm’s available time and manpower constraints.
Top management should be concerned if they determine in a closing meeting that the best improvement opportunities for the company via the quality area were identified after an eight hour visit from someone who is not even fully educated to your process.
Great auditors recognize their role in helping precision machining companies improve their systems. Great precision machining companies recognize their responsibility to improve their implementation.
What do you think the auditor’s role should be?