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JANUARY 2021 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 61 • Are formal reports issued to top manage- ment on a regular basis? If so, describe the reports. To determine if the company really is focused on quality assurance and not on quality con- trol, you could ask them to describe their over- all SPC implementation and ask which manu- facturing processes are under SPC control and review their SPC procedures and sample SPC charts. You could ask: • Is there formal SPC training for all levels of employees? • How is the data used for process control or process improvement? • Is remote access into the Quality Data System made available to your customers? Also, ask them for the type and frequency of reports available from the data system. It may also be worth looking into their ESD implementation procedures. For example: • Are sensitive areas clearly identified (i.e., any areas where ESD sensitive material is handled out of ESD protective enclosure including transferring compo- nents from one tube to another)? • Do all personnel and visitors wear approved ESD protective clothing and wrist straps while in the ESD-sensitive area? • Are all work surfaces, dissipative or conductive, grounded through a resistor per specification? • Are conductive or antistatic containers used to transport ESD-sensitive material from one location to another? • Are ESD-sensitive areas and containers periodically audited for conformance to documented ESD guidelines? It is also useful to get some sense of how their other customers view them. For example, you could ask if they conduct customer satis- faction surveys. And ask them to provide the customer survey form if available. You could also find out if the company also conducts an independent (unbiased) customer survey and whether they have a measurement system in place to assess the customer's perception of their performance. • Is there an internal measurement system within the organization which correlates to the level of customer satisfaction? • Do they have specific goals for achieving total customer satisfaction, both internal and external? If so, to what extent are customer satisfaction goals disseminated and understood by everyone in the organization? • Does management regularly review and assess all operating systems to determine if barriers to customer satisfaction exist and are appropriate action plans then implemented? • Is there a method in place to obtain future customer requirements? • Are all findings of customer dissatisfaction reported back to the proper organization for analysis and corrective action? • Are customer satisfaction requirements formally defined and documented, and are they based on customer input? • Do all support organizations understand their role in achieving total customer satisfaction? You could also ask what percentages of their customers provide input on their satisfaction on their own. Are their customers aware of the role of DFM (design for manufacturability) on yield and their approach in persuading their customers to follow DFM? Equipment maintenance and calibration pro- cedures play a key role in achieving consistent quality. • Are records kept for each affected piece of equipment? • Is the status of calibration or maintenance required clearly visible on each piece of equipment? You could also ask whether their Quality Program has been surveyed and approved by other customers. If yes, by who? Are they cer-

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