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    Default ISO Certification and oil related manufacturing

    Another lively thread got me to wondering whether ISO would help non aero or govt machine shops get work.

    I have a small shop, 2 full time guys ( including myself ) and 2 part time guys. We are a bit north of Houston. Almost all we do is oil related. I am having a tough time picking up new customers. Actually tough is an understatement. It has proven to be nearly impossible.

    I have been evaluating weaknesses and trying to correct this issue. We do not have a quality problem. We do not have a delivery problem. I have been told directly that we are lower cost than other shops my existing customers deal with ( not that it matters-if you are cheaper you get it. Right? )

    We do have a salesman problem. I am a terrible salesman, and not particularly likable. People dont dislike me, Im not a jerk or anything. Just not likable or fun.

    We may have a size/image problem. We are small. 2 cnc lathes and a 4 axis cnc mill. This issue cant be fixed until business dictates it. Not buying machines for nonexistent work.



    So maybe ISO would take some of the negative connotations of being small? Maybe if ISO certified, size would be overlooked?

    Would it even matter?

    Opinions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmrmike View Post
    Another lively thread got me to wondering whether ISO would help non aero or govt machine shops get work.

    I have a small shop, 2 full time guys ( including myself ) and 2 part time guys. We are a bit north of Houston. Almost all we do is oil related. I am having a tough time picking up new customers. Actually tough is an understatement. It has proven to be nearly impossible.

    I have been evaluating weaknesses and trying to correct this issue. We do not have a quality problem. We do not have a delivery problem. I have been told directly that we are lower cost than other shops my existing customers deal with ( not that it matters-if you are cheaper you get it. Right? )

    We do have a salesman problem. I am a terrible salesman, and not particularly likable. People dont dislike me, Im not a jerk or anything. Just not likable or fun.

    We may have a size/image problem. We are small. 2 cnc lathes and a 4 axis cnc mill. This issue cant be fixed until business dictates it. Not buying machines for nonexistent work.



    So maybe ISO would take some of the negative connotations of being small? Maybe if ISO certified, size would be overlooked?

    Would it even matter?

    Opinions?
    My opinion is that you should choose iso for what it actually brings to the table and that's not more work. Having iso won't fix the issue of not being a good salesman.

    I would take a class on ISO and learn how it can help your business so that you can be more competitive and continually solve problems. Sometimes being the cheap guy is the wrong move especially when you are better than the competition in speed, quality, and more. Part of iso is customer satisfaction metrics, an easy way to find out why you aren't getting the work you want.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    My opinion is that you should choose iso for what it actually brings to the table and that's not more work. Having iso won't fix the issue of not being a good salesman.

    I would take a class on ISO and learn how it can help your business so that you can be more competitive and continually solve problems. Sometimes being the cheap guy is the wrong move especially when you are better than the competition in speed, quality, and more. Part of iso is customer satisfaction metrics, an easy way to find out why you aren't getting the work you want.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    Being this small I dont see issues that can be resolved as far as workflow, documentation, quality etc. Its easy to control those aspects at this size. I have been in other shops that needed it desperately, but just dont see any actual usefulness here. I guess I am looking at it wrong and attempting to use it as a sales tool since it has no apparent other use at this time. I dont have an issue maintaining customers, its getting them in the first place that is the apparently insurmountable task.

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    Some good discussion in this older thread:
    any small machine shops ISO 9001? steps? cost?

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    Iso habits will help you but the cost of an ERP with quality control, and audit costs are expensive if your only hope is to get more work.

    That money could be better spend hiring someone more friendly to interact with customers.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    .....
    That money could be better spend hiring someone more friendly to interact with customers.
    Here it is in spades.
    Making parts and selling customers are two very different worlds and often need two very different types of people.
    Sales means being the social type guy or gal.
    You need to memorize your customers anniversary, kid's birthdays, hobbies and other such non work related so that you can hold the room long enough with BS conversation.

    This time of year sending Christmas cards to everyone you know, all sort of hokey right? But the wife pulls out a card and says "Who is this?"
    I just blow it off "It's a vendor at work" and would like to think that it makes no matter but it is one more poke in my brain of this person.

    One also needs enough tech side to try to find a problem to solve. A monkey you can get off of their back but you need that talking time to find this opening.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    Here it is in spades.
    Making parts and selling customers are two very different worlds and often need two very different types of people.
    Sales means being the social type guy or gal.
    You need to memorize your customers anniversary, kid's birthdays, hobbies and other such non work related so that you can hold the room long enough with BS conversation.
    One also needs enough tech side to try to find a problem to solve. A monkey you can get off of their back but you need that talking time to find this opening.
    Bob
    That one single thing has been the real way we get work.. solving problems.

    Attached is our capabilities statement we send out to DOD contractors and most if not all the repairs have been " I have your capability statement and it says you solve problems, we have a problem making this or that and need someone that can help us with this problem and be budget minded" aka find the solution for free which we do...

    Gotta find that monkey to get off their back!

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Gotta find that monkey to get off their back!
    The problem is getting enough time or involvement to find that monkey.
    Sometimes it is just thrown at you, these are the big ones and often hard or impossible.
    Usually people do don't want to discuss shortcomings they are in or the smaller monkeys with strangers.
    Engineers and mangers have a plate full of problems they deal with. Talking to a new vendor is time spent and even maybe seen as time taken from my trying to fix things.
    Find what is on that plate and if you can eat part of it for them. Be interested in the entire plate your customer is dealing with not just your things.
    We all want someone who gives a shit about where we live our lives. Again, social.
    My price and delivery is good or better won't do it.

    My father was a master at this, me not very good as I'm more a techie guy.
    Bring me in once the problem is found and I'm ready to run, opening that door is where I need sales type people as that is not one of my skills.
    Bob

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    I'll say this.... I think iso habits will help you, an iso class would help you a lot.

    Better money spent may actually be acting classes on how to act nice and social.

    Could also join Scientology, lots of their techniques are solid for people to like you and make business contacts. ISO Certification and oil related manufacturing Really should look into some of those techniques.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmrmike View Post
    So maybe ISO would take some of the negative connotations of being small? Maybe if ISO certified, size would be overlooked?

    Would it even matter?

    Opinions?
    Getting ISO would help with over seas sales as most companies require ISO certs to purchase from from other countries, but that means you'd have to find a market there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    That one single thing has been the real way we get work.. solving problems.

    Attached is our capabilities statement we send out to DOD contractors and most if not all the repairs have been " I have your capability statement and it says you solve problems, we have a problem making this or that and need someone that can help us with this problem and be budget minded" aka find the solution for free which we do...

    Gotta find that monkey to get off their back!

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    I'm asuming....that's 100% visual inspection of every part?
    And are you not AS/ISO accredited, opposed to just registered?

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    I'm asuming....that's 100% visual inspection of every part?
    And are you not AS/ISO accredited, opposed to just registered?
    Nope.... Measure and visual, whatever is spelled out in the traveler to inspect. While you may say "that's too expensive to do" our customers all love the zero defect culture.

    Accreditation is for specific activity whereas certification relates to the company as a whole.

    As9100d registered for our qms and
    Nadcap accredited for 6 axis romer arm cmm and chemfilm chromate conversation, Alodine



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    .....
    And are you not AS/ISO accredited, opposed to just registered?
    Care to expand on that?

    And for my world lets talk IATF 16949 also and Customer Specific Requirements to the standard, (CSRs).
    The whole QA/QC cert thing is a frigging rabbit hole with no end.
    How deep you need to or want to tunnel is up to you.
    IATF means the same digging into your management and engineering systems. Many won't like that.
    Who in their right mind wants handling daily floor and weekly management layered audits? Yet they do serve a purpose.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Nope.... Measure and visual, whatever is spelled out in the traveler to inspect. While you may say "that's too expensive to do" our customers all love the zero defect culture.

    Accreditation is for specific activity whereas certification relates to the company as a whole.

    As9100d registered for our qms and
    Nadcap accredited for 6 axis romer arm cmm and chemfilm chromate conversation, Alodine



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    #1 "That's too expensive"...I hear you but...How do you handle rejects then?
    Your customer wants 100. You make 100. You inspect 100 and pass/deliver 100.
    If you constantly find rejects at final stage, you deliver short. And have a process issue...
    Or make more in which case either over deliver or end up with stock.
    Of a different batch and therefore lot to your next delivery (i assume no mixed lots for your deliveries?)
    So what i'm saying is what's the point of final view where measuring is concerned (unless it is after plating of course)?
    Visual yes - incase platers have screwed parts with jigging marks or....?

    #2 my explanation always was if you're accredited, you have been audited and therefore passed the standard. Same as certified.
    If you're registered...you can be registered in a phone book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    #1 "That's too expensive"...I hear you but...How do you handle rejects then?
    Your customer wants 100. You make 100. You inspect 100 and pass/deliver 100.
    If you constantly find rejects at final stage, you deliver short. And have a process issue...
    Or make more in which case either over deliver or end up with stock.
    Of a different batch and therefore lot to your next delivery (i assume no mixed lots for your deliveries?)
    So what i'm saying is what's the point of final view where measuring is concerned (unless it is after plating of course)?
    Visual yes - incase platers have screwed parts with jigging marks or....?

    #2 my explanation always was if you're accredited, you have been audited and therefore passed the standard. Same as certified.
    If you're registered...you can be registered in a phone book?
    Rejects? There are checks in place at each traveler route. First piece. Buy offs by trained and qualified employees. If 100 parts are ran and are bad out of the machining department, the employee didn't follow the inspection requirements in the traveler or the associated quality guidelines per the customer.

    Maybe we plan jobs out better than what most of you are used to? That's really where the magic happens....the planning before a chip is ever made. We don't blindly make parts and just keep running the machine until 100 parts are made. Most parts can be measured at the bench while the other is being machined. They don't have to deburr anything, that's what the deburr department is for.

    Not sure the point of any of your comments.... Parts get deburred if needed, then straight to quality for inspection. Passed parts get sent off to the next department for chemfilm or outside playing, received back to quality for another inspection of the process just done. It's not like they are repeating measuring parts over and over if that's what your implying.

    #2 see my explanation of accreditation vs registration


    I'll point you to read all about it here.

    ISO standards: Accreditation vs. certification vs. registration

    I have several expensive pieces of paper with those words on them...

    Iso9001:2015 and as9100d paper says my company is certified and registered to comply with those above for a specific scope of work. As provided by a registrar....

    My nadcap papers say I'm accredited to measure parts accurately, maintain temp and humidity control and use the software to accurately measure parts as well as perform chromate conversion on parts the way the mil-dtl says it should be done.

    The iso paper doesn't say accreditation on it. My nadcap papers don't say registered.







    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Rejects? There are checks in place at each traveler route. First piece. Buy offs by trained and qualified employees. If 100 parts are ran and are bad out of the machining department, the employee didn't follow the inspection requirements in the traveler or the associated quality guidelines per the customer.

    Maybe we plan jobs out better than what most of you are used to? That's really where the magic happens....the planning before a chip is ever made. We don't blindly make parts and just keep running the machine until 100 parts are made. Most parts can be measured at the bench while the other is being machined. They don't have to deburr anything, that's what the deburr department is for.

    Not sure the point of any of your comments.... Parts get deburred if needed, then straight to quality for inspection. Passed parts get sent off to the next department for chemfilm or outside playing, received back to quality for another inspection of the process just done. It's not like they are repeating measuring parts over and over if that's what your implying.

    #2 see my explanation of accreditation vs registration


    I'll point you to read all about it here.

    ISO standards: Accreditation vs. certification vs. registration

    I have several expensive pieces of paper with those words on them...

    Iso9001:2015 and as9100d paper says my company is certified and registered to comply with those above for a specific scope of work. As provided by a registrar....

    My nadcap papers say I'm accredited to measure parts accurately, maintain temp and humidity control and use the software to accurately measure parts as well as perform chromate conversion on parts the way the mil-dtl says it should be done.

    The iso paper doesn't say accreditation on it. My nadcap papers don't say registered.



    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

    So for the capability statement, I'd be saying I'm CERTIFIED to AS/ISO.
    Meaning my company has passed, and not just registered...
    Which is what your link says - Europe say CERTIFIED, NAmerica says REGISTERED.
    Hence my cornfusion

    As for the planning etc to make parts right...we all do that. No, trust me, honestly we do! No magic, just the 6x P's.
    (intreesting ref deburr - get the machine to do as much as possible - consistent prodcut then as machines don't miss features).
    BUT where i was coming from, is why do you dimensionally check parts at final view? It's too late then as they're right or right?
    Why do it twice?
    Waste of time (money/resource?)
    That's what i said regarding if it's post plate - I understand that.
    But if not, visual to ensure the parts haven't been banged together at plating or whatever.

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    The problem is a lot of companies took the easy lazy way with their own ISO and passed the buck by simply saying " we only deal with other ISO vendors ".

    Sometimes they'll still let out some inside work to non ISO shops but depends. It's certainly a selling point for many now, that's about all its worth as far as I'm concerned. Lots of ISO shops send out piles of scrap, lots of ISO companies are quite unorganized. Just more barriers of entry which I'm pretty sure was the #1 goal for it, but then again its not like we live in a free market anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    The problem is a lot of companies took the easy lazy way with their own ISO and passed the buck by simply saying " we only deal with other ISO vendors ".

    Sometimes they'll still let out some inside work to non ISO shops but depends. It's certainly a selling point for many now, that's about all its worth as far as I'm concerned. Lots of ISO shops send out piles of scrap, lots of ISO companies are quite unorganized. Just more barriers of entry which I'm pretty sure was the #1 goal for it, but then again its not like we live in a free market anyway.
    We scrutinize all our vendors that have ISO. Not only do we say hell no to those audited by shady lazy registrar's but we have our own criteria to determine if a vendor is good enough. Don't respond to a non conformance and we don't use you again.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgmrmike View Post
    Another lively thread got me to wondering whether ISO would help non aero or govt machine shops get work.

    I have a small shop, 2 full time guys ( including myself ) and 2 part time guys. We are a bit north of Houston. Almost all we do is oil related. I am having a tough time picking up new customers. Actually tough is an understatement. It has proven to be nearly impossible.

    I have been evaluating weaknesses and trying to correct this issue. We do not have a quality problem. We do not have a delivery problem. I have been told directly that we are lower cost than other shops my existing customers deal with ( not that it matters-if you are cheaper you get it. Right? )

    We do have a salesman problem. I am a terrible salesman, and not particularly likable. People dont dislike me, Im not a jerk or anything. Just not likable or fun.

    We may have a size/image problem. We are small. 2 cnc lathes and a 4 axis cnc mill. This issue cant be fixed until business dictates it. Not buying machines for nonexistent work.



    So maybe ISO would take some of the negative connotations of being small? Maybe if ISO certified, size would be overlooked?

    Would it even matter?

    Opinions?
    ISO certification may not be for you right away, but the process of being ready for it would certainly benefit any company, IMO. Your company is no different than a shop with 30 employees and two full shifts in any way but scale. You have risks and opportunities to consider. You do sales (effectively or not), you quote, you define processes, you purchase, you program, set up, run and maintain your machines, inspect your work, train your employees, ship parts, invoice, collect payment and do all of the other administrative tasks associated with conducting business.

    Put all of the preconceptions aside and all ISO requires you to do is, 1) document the process by which you do it, and 2) be able to demonstrate that you follow your OWN processes.

    I suggest from my own experience that the first step – documenting your own processes – has a great benefit. I had documented processes from back in the old TQM days. ISO wasn't something we’d needed because most of our Customers were commercial and we were grandfathered in as approved suppliers for our DoD/aerospace Customers. It became an issue when we lost some commercial accounts to China and wanted to expand on the other side.

    To get certified, I got a copy of the ISO Standard and adapted my system to the order and (tedious) language ISO. I ended up with a 40-page quality manual.

    The certification process in two stages. The first stage assesses your readiness. I think it was a day and a half. What I learned in Stage 1 caused me to rewrite the ENTIRE QMS in the two weeks until Stage 2.

    I learned more about my business in that process than I can begin to tell you. Among the things I learned was that when the QMS is woven into the business rather than a stand-alone entity, everything becomes easy. My revised quality manual was 12 pages long for the Stage 2 audit.

    It put me more in touch with my company than I had been before and the process definitely resulted in operational improvements – not because of the ISO standard – but because it forced me to dig so deep into the company. It was eye opening and I thought we were top notch to begin with.

    Also… we had accounting software, but managed the shop without shop management software back then. Today’s software offerings include packages that build ISO or AS certification right into the package – the “trick” I discovered between State 1 and Stage 2 of my first audit. For much less than the cost of an employee or a consultant, there are software packages available that make ISO compliance (compliance to your own procedures and policies) easy. Not only that, but they make the audit process itself even easier. The most time-consuming thing will be your own time documenting what you do and how you do it. That time will be very well spent because at some point in the process a light will come on that will cause you to make improvements.

    My short answer is that ISO certification does not make you a better company. The *process* in advance of it does. ISO may give a small company “credibility” in some buyer’s eyes, but really small shops don’t have the capacity to take a ton of work from the bigger Customers, anyway. In fact, if you’re doing a lot of work for other shops, it may actually hurt because they will perceive that you’ll charge more because of ISO.

    About your “not good at sales” comment, good for you! You recognize a where you’re not strong. Nobody ever said that the owner of a successful business needs to be a “suit.” There is nothing preventing you from hiring for the position you might think a “President” needs to fill. Run your shop as you see fit. If your strength is making machines dance, play to your strength and hire for the Customer development and administrative things. You still own the business. If you put yourself on the floor, you are hands-on in charge of the best sales tool there is – making delivery dates with parts that meet the print. If your hired admin help doesn’t perform to your satisfaction, make a change. You own the joint.

    Last point: a well-done web page is a must. It will help sales over time.

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    A relevant tale; One of our best customers is a large multinational with operations in the US. They had a regional headquarters in Houston.

    A couple of years ago we quoted on a large job for them, we were told we had lost against a machineshop in the Houston area. A couple of months went by and out of the blue we received a purchase order for the job, caught us completely off guard and we had to seriously reshuffle to schedule it in. We ask what happened, are told the machineshop in Houston is not ISO accredited, and they could not reconcile that with their own QA procedures, so they were forced to drop them from their approved vendors.

    Not long after, the Houston office is shut down. For me, selfishly, this was a good thing because all the drawings that came out of the Houston office were mangled imperial conversions of what were clearly metric parts, that were a pain to work with.

    Here in the UK ISO accreditation has become effectively mandatory in order to be entertained by any of the oil and gas players. We did it in 2010 and it was a game changer for us.

    Everything I read on here implies that nobody cares about it in the US, but things like the above give me pause...

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