Going back over 20 years, long before ISO became the norm, we were ISO qualified. Due to the prohibitively high cost we did not become certified right away. Instead we worked with a local university to educate us and help us meet the ISO standards. For many years we said we were ISO qualified, but as years went on and it became more prevalent in the industry, we decided to become officially certified. Luckily for us, due to the popularity and over saturation of the certification, the price dropped and allowed us to proceed to get our ISO Certification.

The Problems with ISO

Mid-West Screw is a vendor, so we work with a lot of larger corporations. Many of which became ISO certified after we did. We pride ourselves on being ISO, we know that from beginning to end, our classifications and system is up to the test. Many of the larger companies we work with are ISO certified, but typically not ISO qualified. Yes, they have the certification, but they do not operate their plants like they know the true meaning of ISO. We find the larger the company we deal with and the more personal they have, the true meaning of ISO is not explained throughout their employees.

These corporations have demanded that we be ISO certified; yet do not adhere to the same principals. The ISO audits are meant to catch these failings and yet some companies go on unimpeded. While we follow ISO religiously, we are sometimes berated by these companies that are not following it properly as they should, themselves. This puts us in an awkward position of either staying true to our principles or making our customer disgruntled by showing the issues that they have overlooked, as in failed to comply themselves.
Many times customers may give us verbal orders, but as many are aware, verbal orders don’t fly at all when it comes to ISO. We need their purchase order, so everything is in line with our ISO system. We will then find ourselves in hot water when the order doesn’t go out when we have no record, other than a verbal order, to go on. Without a purchase order, we couldn’t be sure if we are doing their work correctly and effectively. Those who work at ISO Certified company’s should know better then to think they can call in an order. THEY CANNOT! We have a saying at Mid-West, AVO, Avoid Verbal Orders!

It is up to the customer to know when they need to place a new order due to their low stock. We take the blame because someone on their end was not keeping up with their system. Our system should be able to run independently of our customers. But because their system is broken, and because they don’t take their ISO situation seriously, we find it hard to keep our system in line with their own traceability, and as accountable as they would like. ISO systems are not put in place to check other systems as in our customers. ISO programs were created to variety and to assure your system is in place and working properly to assure internal traceability.

Please comment below if you are having a similar problem. We know this is not a unique problem and we want to hear from you!

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