Today's Specials

First Word
Ask Experts

Donate to Disaster Relief

Red Cross
Salavation Army


Ask the Experts

Understand the process approach

I work in an automotive plant that is registered to ISO/TS 16949. We are now working toward registration to ISO 9001:2000. However, I don't understand ISO 9001:2000's "process approach." Help!

--Confused in Columbus

The first step in understanding the process approach in ISO 9001:2000 is to look at the process model diagram that is contained within the standard itself. "A 'process' is a series of activities that turn inputs into outputs," explains Kathy Roberts, co-author of ISO 9000:2000 In a Nutshell (Paton Press, 2001).

 "The concept is that an organization determines its customers' requirements (shown on the left side of the diagram), manages business processes to turn these requirements into a product or service (section 7, Product realization) that is delivered to the customer, and measures customer satisfaction to know whether those same business processes met customer requirements. Business processes include order fulfillment, customer complaints, internal audits, corrective/preventive action, management review, continual improvement and new product development. Your organization may have others depending on your business."


Overcoming management resistance

My organization has many locations outside of the United States that are already registered to ISO 9001. It's my responsibility to get all nine of our U.S. locations registered. However, I don't have the support from the top. In the 18 months that I've been in this position, I've had five different people to report to, yet I'm held responsible to complete this task. My managers have even told me not to ask them questions because they know nothing about ISO 9000.

 Unfortunately, I don't know anything about ISO 9000 either; this is the first time I have dealt with the ISO program. Plus, I'm not allowed to use outside consultants. Any suggestions?

--Discouraged in Denver

Your hands may be tied, but you do have a valuable resource. "You should tap into the expertise of your non-U.S. locations that are registered," advises Donald L. Dewar, president of consulting firm QCI International. "Let them share in the credit of registering the U.S. locations. Because they have done a successful registration at their location, they can guide your registration to a successful conclusion as well. Publicize the fact that they are supplementing your efforts. Their reputations will be on the line as much as yours. It would be folly for them to let you down. It seems that to continue on the present stalemate would be extremely damaging to your career."


Got questions? We've got answers

 If you've got questions you'd like our panel of experts to tackle, e-mail them to . We can't guarantee a response or that your questions will be printed, but we'll do our best.

[Contents] [News] [WebLinks] [Columnists]

Menu Level Above 

[Applications] [Software] [First Word] [Ask Experts]

This Menu LeveL 


Menu  Level Below 

Copyright 2001 QCI International. All rights reserved.
Quality Digest can be reached by phone at (530) 893-4095. E-mail:
Click Here