Five Common Myths about AS9100:2016
AS9100 applies to large aerospace suppliers only
Although only intended to be used by aerospace companies, AS9100 is not meant for only the largest of organizations. Requirements have been determined in a descriptive way, but not by prescriptive means. The standard contains what must be done (requirements), but does not dictate how they must be accomplished by the organization (processes). Therefore, the requirements of AS9100 can be implemented in a way that works best for each individual organization, be they large or small. Using this particular method, the organization is provided with the best possible practices of what the QMS requires to be effective, regardless of the size of the aerospace organization.
AS9100 requires overly strict documentation
Some documentation is needed to ensure the processes involved in the QMS are properly implemented and upheld to the best possible standard. Documentation is also needed to display planning and provide evidence as to how requirements are met, as well as to keep records of significant details occurring during each process. It does not, however, mean that every single spec of data must be documented under a microscope.
The quality department has control and responsibility over the QMS
The Quality Department has a variety of responsibilities and tasks, such as the internal audit. This does not mean that the entire Quality Department is in charge of or in control of the entire QMS. The QMS is designed to cover a vast number of aspects all over the business and everyone involved in the organization, including top management, has a part to play in the implementation of the system. Keep in mind that the QMS is not a mere add-on system for specific parts of the organization, but a standard for every aspect in the body of work.
The QMS demands instant perfection
A QMS requires the company to demonstrate improvement over time. It does not require a company to work at full efficiency and at full potential after a day of implementing the requirements. An adequately monitored and regulated process will detect problems and the organization can then create potential solutions, and implement corrective actions. Implementing corrective actions to address processes that are not performing effectively is not by any means the definition of “perfection”. A well-managed system that has gradually been corrected and supported to fix any errors and imperfections will improve customer satisfaction and the business in general. The QMS shows potential and results only when followed and managed over a certain period of time.
AS9100 is expensive to implement and manage over time
As with most changes and the implementation of new requirements, there is a cost associated with both the startup and maintenance of an AS9100 QMS. This should not be seen as a downside, however, as the long-term benefits of implementation of the standard can immensely outweigh the initial expense. It all depends on whether the system and process is right for the company. If used at the right pace, the changes both in management and process can prove invaluable and can create a vast number of improvements in the operation of the business as whole, such as an increase in overall customer satisfaction and increased efficiency of production and other processes. These improvements, seen as a result of an efficient QMS, may save money over time.
ISO Terms Explained
To the novice quality manager, ISO jargon can be extremely overwhelming. What is an NCR? What do you mean by OFI? Are we certified or accredited? But before you go and pull out your hair, let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently used terms and their definitions with regards to ISO and Management System Certification.