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Quality Objectives
By Neal Stiemert


One of the requirements of the ISO 9001: 2000 standard is quality objectives that are directly related to the requirements for measurement, analysis and improvement, monitoring and measurement of processes, analysis of data and continual improvement.

This month I will provide you with some ideas to satisfy the requirements for these elements of the standard.

ISO Requirement: 5.4.1 Quality Objectives

Top management shall ensure that quality objectives, including those needed to meet requirements for product, are established at relevant functions and levels within the organization. The quality objectives shall be measurable and consistent with the quality policy.

Suggestions for compliance:

Our quality objectives should be derived from the processes that we are required to define in our quality manual. Since Section 8.4 of the standard requires us to measure supplier quality and customer satisfaction, these should be the first two objectives.

Some other good objectives that I see measured and monitored are as follows:

  •   Customer complaints
  •   Product returns
  •   Number of corrective actions
  •   Corrective action completion time
  •   Time to complete a quote
  •   Unscheduled machine down time
  •   Machine set-up time
  •   Throughput time
  •   Delivery performance
  •   Inventory turns
  •   Inventory accuracy
  •   Set-up scrap
  •   Overall scrap
  •   Rework
  •   Cpk
  •   Total cost of quality
  •   Premium freight
  •   Plug and play percentage
  •   Warranty costs

ISO Requirement: 8 Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

8.1 General

The organization shall plan and implement the monitoring, measurement, analysis and improvement processes needed

  a)   to demonstrate conformity of the product,
  b)   to ensure conformity of the quality management system, and
  c)   to continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.

This shall include determination of applicable methods, including statistical techniques, and the extent of their use.

Suggestions for compliance:

If you look at the above list of quality objectives in 5.4.1, you will find that you can answer a, b and c by measuring and improving the appropriate processes.

ISO Requirement: 8.2.3 Monitoring and Measurement of Processes

The organization shall apply suitable methods for monitoring and, where applicable, measurement of the quality management system processes. These methods shall demonstrate the ability of the processes to achieve planned results. When planned results are not achieved, correction action shall be taken, as appropriate, to ensure conformity of the product.

Suggestions for compliance:

Determine the measurement that you will use for process measurement (control charts, Cpk, Pareto charts, run charts, etc.). Take corrective action when you are not on target.

ISO Requirement: 8.4 Analysis of Data

The organization shall determine, collect and analyze appropriate data to demonstrate the suitability and effectiveness of the quality management system and to evaluate where continual improvement of the effectiveness of the quality management system can be made. This shall include data generated as a result of monitoring and measurement and from other relevant sources. The analysis of data shall provide information relating to:

  a)   Customer satisfaction,
  b)   Conformity to product requirements,
  c)   Characteristics and trends of processes and products including opportunities for
        preventive action, and
  d)   Suppliers

Suggestions for compliance:

Remember, both a and c above are required. If you look at the list of quality objectives in 5.4.1, you will find that you can answer b and c by measuring and improving the appropriate processes.

ISO Requirement: 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.

Suggestions for Compliance:

If you set objectives with defined measurements and goals, you will achieve continual improvement.

Summary:

By setting quality objectives with defined measurements and goals, you will achieve continual improvement that will results in overall improvement in product costs, customer satisfaction and a greater competitive advantage. To make the process easier, I like to summarize my quality objectives in a quality objectives matrix and post it on the bulletin board and/or online.

Widget Factory
Quality Objectives Matrix
Data Gathered Responsibility Frequency
Updated
Statistical
Technique
Reviewed
By
Frequency
Reviewed
Goal
Supplier Quality Purchasing Quarterly Line Chart Purchasing &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 99% by 1st quarter, 2006
Reduced
Quote Time
Sales Quarterly Line Chart Sales &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 2 days by 1st quarter, 2005
Increased Inventory
Accuracy
Warehouse Quarterly Line Chart Warehouse &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 99% by 1st quarter, 2005
Reduced Customer Complaints Management Quarterly Line Chart Exec. Mgt. Mgt. Review 20% less by 1st quarter, 2005
Increased Customer Satisfaction Management Annual Line Chart Exec. Mgt. Mgt. Review 10% greater by 1st quarter, 2005
Reduced Scrap Production Monthly Line Chart Production &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 5% less by 1st quarter, 2005
Reduced Order Throughput Time Production Quarterly Line Chart Production &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 3 days by 1st quarter, 2005
On Time Delivery To Customers Production Weekly Line Chart &
Bar Chart
Production &
Exec. Mgt.
Mgt. Review 99% by 1st quarter, 2005
Average Cpk Production, QA,
Purchasing
Monthly Cpk Production, QA &
Purchasing
Mgt. Review 1.33 by 1st quarter, 2007

I hope this information helps you with your transition. Feel free to contact me with any questions at 800-959-0632.

Neal D. Stiemert
President
Independent Quality Consultants, Inc.

About the Author

Neal StiemertNeal D. Stiemert is President of Independent Quality Consultants, Inc. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University school of business. Neal is an ASQ certified quality engineer, a certified lead auditor and has over 24 years of management, auditing, consulting and training experience in the quality profession.

Neal has served as an examiner for the Minnesota Quality Award, an SPC instructor at Purdue University and an officer and committee member in the Chicago and Minnesota sections of ASQ. Neal also conducts registration audits for Smithers Quality Assessments and SAI Global Assurance Services.


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