This is getting pretty far away from Tower Talk, but actually ISO9000:2001
has changed a great deal from the old, original ISO9000:1994, which was the
previous revision of the standard. The 9000:2001 is much more focused on
customer satisfaction and measuring continuous improvements, tracking
customer satisfaction levels, taking surveys and plotting analytical results
than the old standard ever was.
Amidon's ISO9001 registration, assuming it's valid, would indicate they have
registered as more than a distributor of products, since 9001 also details
methods for design and engineering that a distributor isn't required to
The way to maintain a registration under the new standard is to be able to
demonstrate to the registrar auditor or audit team that you have methods in
place to improve customer satisfaction, are tracking that data, and either
have proven improvement or documented plans for same. If, after two
consecutive audits, you can't demonstrate any improvement, you could risk
Of course, how much anyone actually *cares* about all this is another story!
Back to the "Amidon" story: I remember when they used to be local to me, in
North Hollywood I think, many years ago. Then, they moved to Dominguez
Hills or somewhere, and I see now they're down in Orange County, in Costa
Mesa. That makes three locations in about 15 years, so maybe ownership has
changed (I don't know). But when they were local to me, I used to drive
over there a few times each year to pick up toroid cores and such -- very
nice older gentleman ran the company, and I don't recall if he was a ham or
not but he certainly knew quite a lot about ham radio. If I needed just one
core for a project, he'd just give it to me and not ask for payment or do
any paperwork. *That* was "customer service* that would probably go a long
way in today's world!
OK, so after searching the web I found http://www.amidoncorp.com/ and they
do claim to be ISO 2001 compliant.
How many really know what that means?
Unless ISO has changed greatly since I was involved it meant the absolute
minimum documentation for any ISO document. It meant stay away from
details. The vast majority who failed the first time through did so because
they were "too detailed" in their documents. ISO is not and should not be a
detailed description of every step. It can be very vague (unless they have
changed) and even if it's been changed there is nothing to prevent a small
company from deviating from any written procedures.
So, unless ISO has changed greatly in the last 7 years it means very little
beyond the company having procedures to do certain things, most likely none
of which would address the make up from the manufacturing end. For customer
complaints it could be nothing more than "We try to address all customer
complaints within six months. Or it might be nothing more than we have a
telephone number for customers with problems.
It might not be anything more than "If they have a problem they are on their
own", but I doubt it'd be quite that blatant. <:-))
The one thing the auditors pointed out again and again, was to say away from
Roger Halstead (K8RI, EN73 & ARRL Life Member)
N833R, World's Oldest Debonair (S# CD-2)
See: http://www.mscomputer.com for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather
Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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