PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Feb2018

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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Feature Article by Steve Williams THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING Introduction Understanding your customers may seem like a no-brainer, but conversations with com- pany leaders across various industries the past five years have demonstrated to me just how difficult this can be in practice. ISO Can Help One of the newest requirements to both ISO 2015 and AS9100 2016 is expanding the whole concept of who is a customer. The traditional definition of a customer is an organization that pays us for our product. The new requirement is to define the interested parties to the busi- ness, and to identify their needs. Interested parties are defined as any party who has an interest in how your company per- forms. This includes traditional customers, but also adds parties such as owners/stakeholders, employees, suppliers, banks, and the commu- nity. Only parties that have an interest in how your company performs and impact the QMS need be examined, although this should be a very short list. As I preach to my clients, a "B" can be functionally swapped out for the "Q" in QMS, as it is actually a business management system for the entirety of the organization. How can this help? Excellent question, be- cause any requirement comes with the expec- tation that something must be done. A simple analysis at the next management review meet- ing will suffice, using a tool such as my Inter- ested Parties Worksheet (Figure 1). Refreshing this activity then becomes an annual exercise. What do customers want? What customers want is very simple. They want the core product or service of your busi- ness to meet their needs and expectations. If you are a PCB manufacturer, they want a board that works, delivered on time, at a fair

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