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Customer demands quite a large chunk of our quality manual


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#1 trubertq

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:53 AM

Hi all,

 

One of my clients has a (UK based) customer who are demanding that they send them copies of quite a large chunk of the Quality Manual as part of their ( already) very extensive Supplier Approval and Monitoring.

 

I am wondering is this the norm now?

 

Any thoughts?

 

p.s. What's the point of Having BRC certification if this is what is required henceforth?

 


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#2 cazyncymru

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:13 AM

Unfortunately for some it is!

Perhaps they don't have the know how to write their own. The dairy industry is very incestuous and I've seen a number of my documents & formats in places where I know I haven't shared them!

 

I've been known to black out certain bits in documents, even on my BRC report, before sending off.

 

Caz x



#3 Charles.C

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:18 AM

Dear trubertq,

 

I believe the "Quality Manual" was originally pioneered by the Automobile / ISO9000 Industries.

 

The concept was to produce a manual which gave away no company Quality data other than what could be read in the relevant Standard.  And could therefore be used at will for distribution /  promotional purposes.

This was facilitated by the use of 2 manuals, the latter containing all procedure-related details.

 

Assuming you have a similar structure, my suggestion would be to utlize Caz's hint and retain Part 2 for "able to be visually inspected at the source only" (remote multinationals IMEX often maintain a second "controlled" copy at a central location).

 

I have always answered the subsequent moanings with "It's a Policy Issue". Seldom fails as long as yr Top Management is on board. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C

 

PS - the above is of course based on hard copy transactions. Where electronic requests are involved, further deviousness may be required. Encryption is a powerful tool.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#4 trubertq

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

Yes I have a Quality Manual with, as you say all the polices etc... that bits not a problem, but these guys are looking for risk assessments, maps, procedures( which they then try to change we had a big tussle with them about metal detection) It just seems a bit too demanding to me 

 

The major bug bear is the amount of time we are wasting doing this for them. and since all procedures and records etc are dynamic they will be changed so am I supposed to alert them to every change I make...grrrrrrrrr ... 

 

 

Oh and they asked for a summary of the top 3 foreign body and quality complaint issues and how they were resolved .... we stated that they could see this on site... they came back... want a summary...


Edited by trubertq, 05 February 2014 - 12:13 PM.

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#5 cazyncymru

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:53 PM

I was asked that once by a customer. I had 11 complaints last year in a production of more than 27 million units!!

 

The top FB 3 complaints I had came from them; one for glass, which wasn't packed by us (in fact hadn't even been packed in UK; someone somewhere needs to learn dairy health mark codes); 1 for a piece f wood in their product about a foot long (we didn't pack that neither), 3rd was yellow plastic (and we use blue liners)

 

They haven't asked me since; mind I did copy the information to every man and his dog! :silly:



#6 Antores

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 09:35 PM

Hello,

 

I don’t think that is the norm, but some customers ask for all kind of things, and sometimes not even know what they are asking for.

I guess there is not a proper answer but it all depends on how important is your customer and how far are you willing to go to please them…  Just be sure you communicate with other departments (sales and management) about the extent of the customer request just to be sure is worth.

In terms of your food safety program, you need to do what is best for your company based on your operation, risk analysis and data, and not based in opinions from external customer.  In our case, we don’t always do anything our customers ask for… unless:

  • We recognize it as a legitimate risk that needs to be addressed. In this case we treat is as customer complaint and/or corrective action
  • There is not a legitimate risk, but the request is easy and/or inexpensive to implement, then we do it just to keep them happy
  • The customer is really important and to the extent that we would do anything they ask for (I know..In marketing all customer are important, but in reality an account of $1.000 a year is not the same as one of $20 Million a year… If you know what I mean)

Also, sometimes is a mix of several of the above.. I remember sitting with a customer and going thru their list of corrective actions. I told them what we would do (either because it was a real concern, or a easy fix), and what we were not able to do… and we agreed on the actions to be taken.  May be you can talk with your customer and let them know what would you be able to do and what not.



#7 trubertq

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:28 PM

Thanks Folks

 

Believe it or not they came back today with a 30 page document outlining how they want me to do the risk assessment on allergens. This is coming from their customer,,,,, I wonder can any of you guess who that might be????


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#8 Snookie

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:54 PM

In the companies I have worked for (big and small) they have considered it proprietary information and that has always been accepted.  But it might be a US thing. 


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#9 SQFconsultant

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:04 PM

You should just go ahead and redact the sections you feel are proprietary.  I have seen customers of clients ask for things and it appeared to be only because of two things - 1. they were fishing for information for other purposes and 2. Somebody told them that they should get this stuff, even though they have no idea why.


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#10 AS NUR

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:51 AM

itsi not norm to give them our quality manual. As my experience, some customer have a quitioner to get our quality and safety management.

 

So i think for us, it s important to have a quitioner for our supplier.

 

Rgds

 

AS Nur



#11 Charles.C

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:22 AM

Dear AS NUR,

 

what is quitioner?

 

I'm guessing typo but still defeated me.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#12 trubertq

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:04 AM

I'm thinking Questionnaire Charles......

 

We have already filled out a questionnaire in and excel workbook with 23 tabs covering the whole of the Quality  system, but on top of that they want copies of HACCP, site maps, risk assessments, cleaning records, lab certificates, packaging certs of compliance, information on customer complaints,details on robing /disrobing procedures.... all this has been available to them on the 3 visits they made in 2013... why do they need to have it on file is my concern?


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#13 cazyncymru

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:04 PM

Tell you what Trubertq, is if the technologists at your customers could sign off their audit reports in a "timely" manner ie not wait 13 months and then only do it because another auditor has picked it up on their unannounced, there would be far fewer non-conformances floating about the place!

 

:silly:



#14 Charles.C

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 12:46 PM

Dear trubertq,

 

Re quit…. Yes, sounds right and fits the blanks. Thks.

 

Re the main problem. I hypothesise that this is justified by UK customers as a critical part of their  “diligence” Policy / SOP although they may be unwilling to admit it. So much for having BRC, etc.

( I have met some UK buyers with similar documentary aspirations as yr situation but who relax them on a supplier achieving BRC certification, but these are a rarity).

 

Another irresistible factor IMEX is Customer leverage. Usually trumps all the other factors combined. :thumbdown:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#15 Penard

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:10 PM

hi,

 

I audit some suppliers for my company, so I think my point of view could be a bit of interest

 

1) before an audit I ask a questionnaire with the main points - I can also ask some key documents as the quality manual

 

2) for the audit I require all the documents but I don't see the interest to get back all the files, either by mail or by paper. When you are used to audit you 'feel' some gaps by crosschecking info at different steps & levels with a right preparation, and you don't need to bring back 100 files. Anyway an audit is a 'picture' - unless you spend several months (et encore!) you won't be able to cover all the points

 

3) before leaving I need to have the ok/ not ok from the supplier on actions. I approve or not my supplier depending on several criterias among them the level of confidence I have. As I audit regularly my suppliers I can follow their reliability from 1 audit to another one

 

4) Caz, yes this is boring to wait for the audit report - and I just can not understand why some auditors need so many time (I've been ...audited last October and no report yet!), but this is also really boring not to receive the action plan from the supplier within the time requested

 

Last, I think that the way you work with your supplier - or your customer - really depends on the vision you have about the business : either you look for the best prices at the right time, so you don't really care relations when you audit, or you select suppliers in a medium/long-term vision and relationships are not the same at all. I consider that I'm lucky to work in a company which choose the last option






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