ISOI work in the most un-sexy industry: earthmoving & construction. But every now and then our dead-brained-earthmoving-sludge of a culture shows the progressive world up. This month we are having our workshop audited for ISO implementation and accreditation. As a company that realizes the inherent value in professional service firms/outsourcing we contract all our labour out. The ISO guys don’t like to smaak fiss one bit …

And so they will reject our accreditation on the basis that because we outsource our work (never mind the fact that he rents our space, uses our tools, is liable to our management, and doesn’t get paid if the quality is shit), we have no control over the quality he and his guys produce (look, the fact that he is not ISO approved also helps their argument, but I’ll ignore that for now).
Their argument is that we need to employ the guys ourselves to get the accreditation. Why? Well, then we can control their outputs. The objection we have as dead-brained earthmoving kippies is that employment is no guarantee of quality. If anything at all, it is once a person is employed that quality of output invariably suffers. It is our experience that when your work is done under the umbrella of a client/supplier relationship that the quality is controllable, consistent and superior … at much lower levels of effort than having them as your employees!
My rant: the quality assurance world seems to be stuck on the assumption that a contract of employment guarantees great outputs. The only thing an employment contract does is regulate working hours, remuneration, leave and hiccups (read discipline). The gap between what is expected and realized is not governable by the employment contract. These guys seem oblivious to this gap … and are happy with it as it is a precursor to quality.

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