The F.P. Horak Co.?Pre-assessment's Aftermath
"The relationship between us and the registrar has been very cordial," Krzyminski stresses.
Once finishing the pre-assessment, the auditor sent Horak a report that itemized his concerns—14 in all. Not bad, considering there are 138 directives.
Still, the champagne corks aren't popping yet. A company that does well during a pre-assessment can still fail the final audit. As the auditor clearly states in his report, "Simply reacting to the concerns identified does not guarantee successful passing of ISO 9002."
Krzyminski believes that the auditor's wording is meant to keep the company cautious. Get too cocky after a pre-assessment and you're bound to become lax. Then your quality system suffers. Better to stay alert and address the auditor's concerns at the same time. That's Horak's plan.
The auditor's 14 concerns were easily fixed. For example, the auditor found a procedure that stated a document should have been updated weekly. In actuality, Horak updated the document quarterly. The company resolved the issue by changing the procedure to read "quarterly."
The auditor also felt that the quality system didn't clearly define managers' responsibilities. He wanted to see something that showed who reported to whom. Krzyminski addressed this issue by writing up a more detailed description for each manager. He then attached the new documentation to the quality policy.
"I gave their names and a description of their range of control," Krzyminski says.
Horak came up with similar simple solutions to address all the of auditor's concerns. In fact, Krzyminski classifies the 14 concerns as minor non-conformances—not the type of problems that usually cost a company ISO certification. The auditor didn't report any major non-conformances. That's nice to know as the actual audit draws closer.
"None of the concerns could have been classified as a major," Krzyminski says. "That's a comforting thought."