Denis Devos

About the Expert

Denis is a Professional Engineer and started his career as a Quality Assurance Engineer at General Motors, where he was involved in teaching and implementing Statistical Process Control and administering GM quality assurance requirements to suppliers. It was during his career at GM that Denis first got involved with ISO 9001.

After General Motors, Denis joined KPMG Quality Registrar (now BSI), where he was certified as an RAB/IRCA lead auditor for ISO 9001 and QS-9000. During his years at KPMG, Denis delivered many internal audit training sessions for both ISO 9001 and QS-9000, and was appointed a senior lead auditor and the leader of the training group for Southwestern Ontario.

In 1998, Denis was called upon to deliver his thoughts on global harmonization of automotive industry standards to the Italian automotive parts industry in Turin, Italy, a full year before the publication of the ground-breaking ISO/TS 16949.

For the past twelve years, Denis has been working full-time throughout Canada and the United States with clients in a variety of industries on quality systems improvement, lean methods, internal auditing and training.

Practice areas are primarily in the automotive industry, where Denis works with large and mid-sized parts suppliers to implement and optimize their ISO/TS 16949:2009 and interpret the demanding customer-requirements of that industry. Other industry sectors include durable goods manufacturing, financial services, and implementing lean methods in healthcare.

Why standards are important:

Standards are about creating a uniformly accepted set of common practices and common language. I got involved with ISO 9001:1987 back in 1992 when I led the first implementation in a General Motors plant in North America. Since that time we have seen a very dramatic increase in quality awareness and performance as the “rising tide lifts all boats.” The publication of ISO/TS 16949 in 1999 and 2002 has harmonized the requirements for all North American and European automobile manufacturers and made compliance much easier and more value-added for their common suppliers.

Advice to those new to standards:

Not everyone has be an expert in these standards, but seek out a mentor who can assist you with interpretation for your industry and best practices for implementation. Work with an experienced practitioner to ensure that the standard works for your organization, and not the other way around.

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