Customer Audit Request

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    Bob Kirkwood

    Opinions Please…??
    I have a customer that has requested an onsite QA audit on just 12 calendar days notice. Normally, we wouldn’t have a problem with the short notice, but the date requested is in direct conflict with the previously planned roll out of a completely new system, new manual, better procedures and records.
    In response to our customer’s request we made a counter proposal for a later date. The customer’s representative blew up in an email response stating that “this is unacceptable” and is threatening to report us as “uncooperartive” by writing our registrar.
    Are there ramifications that threaten our certification by holding our ground and delaying this audit until we get our new system in place? (I guess it should be noted that we are under no other contractually binding agreement with this customer, just a simple purchase order with no “Right of Entry” clauses or other instruments that obligate us to give them open access to our facility. We are a small company with very limited resources struggling to survive in this economy. We need our available resources focused on delivering prodcut to our paying customers.
    Are we in jeopardy of ISO Certification repercussions from our registrar?


    w. g. miller

    Without a right of entry clause, I can’t see this customer having a leg to stand on in a certification complaint.  They may force you to spend money to defend your certification, though, and strike you from their list of qualified suppliers.
    Here are some things to consider:
    1a) How important is this customer to you?  Certain customers just aren’t worth the hassle factor.
    1b) How important are you to this customer?  Can he walk away without hurting his own business?
    2) Call up the customer representative’s boss, explain the situation, and find out why the audit can’t be rescheduled.  Is this a “for cause” audit, or just something this customer does routinely?
    3) If the audit must go forward at the customer’s convienince, make sure this is considered the next time this customer requests you to bid on something.
    W. G. Miller 



    Man, you QA guys are anal. Tell them honestly what is going on and if they still want to come
    schedule it.

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