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Audits of World-Class Manufacturing Facilities Involving Your Customers

In: Tech

Do you have enough faith in your product to invite a customer to your facility to participate in a product audit?

To have the confidence to take this step, follow these three steps:

  • Develop a method that includes a list of audit characteristics and a repeat demerit score of 5 or less.
  • Preparing for the audit • Participation of customers on audit day

Many businesses believe that their goods are “best in class.”

Is management willing to risk their image by allowing a large customer to participate in a factory product audit?

If you answered yes, continue reading to see how the process developed at a large HVAC manufacturing facility.

Procedure and Audit Attribute Record Form (Step 1)

It is necessary to construct a written method as well as an audit check sheet.

Customer perception, important assembly operations, technical standards, factory audit and sales/marketing qualities should all be considered when choosing product features to audit.

The Methodology

The process should match the format of the present firm procedure:

  1. An emphasis on the process objectives in the introduction.
  2. The frequency of audits
  3. The proprietor of the process.

The internal Quality Assurance group should be in charge of the audit process.

It’s crucial to take a few steps before inviting a customer to participate in an audit.

Before extending an invitation to a consumer, it may require many years of internal auditing, measurement, and remedial action.

When it’s time to do an internal audit, you’ll be able to tell by the current trend.

  1. The process of remedial action, tracking, and communicating audit findings
  2. The scoring method

The AUDIT process must be based on a demerit score system in order to be a useful tool and gauge of process improvement.

The grading is entirely subjective.

(Experience has shown that auditors grow more stringent in their grading with time.)

The audit qualities should be restricted to what a team of auditors can do in an hour.

Current customer complaints, important assembly inspection repeat results, engineering, and sales and marketing standards should all be on the audit attribute list.

A finding is a condition that isn’t deemed best practise, has an influence on consumer perceptions of quality, or doesn’t fulfil the written standards and product criteria.

  1. Incidental Finding – One (1) demerit for any finding that is not regarded as acceptable practice, has an influence on perceived quality, but is not seen by the customer, or has an impact on the intended use of the product.
  2. Minor Discovery – Any finding that would likely be detected by the installation expert but would not cause the client to be unhappy might result in a minor warranty claim for five (5) demerits.
  3. Significant Discovery – Any finding that would be observed by the installation technician and client, generating worry and maybe discontent, and might result in a warranty claim would get ten (10) demerits.
  4. Major Discovery – Twenty-five (25) demerits for any finding that would undoubtedly be seen or reported by the customer and result in a unit fault at startup or during the warranty period.
  5. Serious Discovery – Any finding that would result in a serious service issue or a possible safety concern would get fifty (50) penalty points prim link.

0-4 demerits indicate an excellent product; 5-14 demerits indicate a good product; 15-24 demerits indicate a fair product; 25 or more demerits indicate a poor product.

Product is unsatisfactory.

Step 2 – Day-to-Day Practice


The process must begin with the communication of the plan and strategy, which will eventually include consumers who buy the goods.

Using the company’s standard in-house communication vehicle, the message should first travel to the company’s management, then to the general salary and hourly personnel.

Factory leaders, manufacturing workers, and union leadership should all be included in the communication (where applicable).

It is critical to emphasise that the ultimate goal is product improvement and consumer exposure to the manufacturing team’s satisfaction in producing a high-quality product, not finger pointing or performance grading.

Often, faults discovered during an audit are beyond the factory’s control.

A supplier, a resource, or an engineering problem may be linked to an audit finding.

Process of Auditing

Continuous practice, process refinement, and corrective action are required to achieve the aim of customer engagement.

Each audit should start with the chosen auditors convening to discuss the audit procedure and dividing into three or four teams, each with a leader/documenter.

It is critical to explain audit etiquette to the whole group.

It’s possible that no action will be necessary based on the results.

There may be a discovery that necessitates halting production to remedy the problem.

If the problem noticed is significant, it may be necessary to unpack all completed merchandise and analyse and rework it.

In other circumstances, it may be necessary to use a field alert to contact the owners or installers to verify the issue is resolved.

Audit Participants; It may seem apparent, but the initial couple of audits should be undertaken by persons in charge of the business’s quality process.

The goal of the first several audits should be to establish the audit process, understand what tools, drawings, and order copies will be required, and where to find them once an end-of-line unit has been chosen for inspection.

New faces from the support departments, such as Engineering, Marketing, Procurement, Production Control, Drafting, Finance, Technical Service, and Union Leadership, should be included in each audit (where applicable).

Before sending out an invitation to a client, Senior Management and Field Sales should be invited to participate in an audit.

Participation in the customer audit is the third step.

The audit ratings have continuously been less than a total of 5 demerit points.

It’s time to encourage a customer to take part in a manufacturing product audit.

The consumer should be determined via marketing.

The date is determined, the staff and other participants are notified, and the invitation is formally issued.

Although it may seem simple in the brief line above, there is a significant amount of work that must be done in advance of a customer involvement audit.

  1. Don’t schedule your meeting at the end of the month or quarter, when the pressure is on to fulfil management’s shipping targets.
  2. The whole day’s activities should be well organised.

The audit has a lot of promise as a marketing and sales tool for the customer and others.

  1. The audit activity preparation should be the same as it was before this particular day.

Take photographs.

As appropriate, publicise the event’s success internally, locally, and in marketing materials.

Even a press release is an option.

Best of luck.

We always look forward to the new skillful writer. You can also write for our guest posts.

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