8.5.5 Post-delivery activities
This requirement is not new, but it is a little different. Whereas previously, the requirements were sprinkled in other clauses and pretty unclear, they are now more cohesively defined and placed as one coherent thought.
As with many other clauses, there is also the very welcome addition of beginning with the determination of applicability in the first place. Previous versions of ISO9001 have started with an assumption that requirements are applicable to every organization in every case, without the opportunity to consider how and under what conditions the requirement might apply. ISO9001:2015 begins with the declaration that an organization shall meet requirements, but follows up immediately with “determining the extent of  activities that are required”.
The standard reads as follows:
“The organization shall meet requirements for post-delivery activities associated with the products and services.
In determining the extent of post-delivery activities that are required, the organization shall consider:” As noted above, this is a nice revision in plain language that reminds both the organization and anyone evaluating compliance with the standard that there must first be a consideration of the extend of what is required. Here are the points of consideration to determine whether post-delivery activities are required:
“a) statutory and regulatory requirements;” This, of course, is an easy one. If statutory or regulatory requirements dictate post-delivery activities or warranties, they must be addressed.
“b) the potential undesired consequences associated with its products and services;” The organization must consider potential consequences (which will also inspire discussions about risk, to be sure), and how they intend to respond, the scope of their reaction plan, etc
“c) the nature, use and intended lifetime of its products and services;” This is very commonly stated in the organization’s return policy or statement of liability. Some organizations clearly state that there are no warranties (or post-delivery activities) offered, expressed or implied. If this is the case (and in the absence of any other requirements in this list), this section can be addressed simply by acknowledging that there are no post-delivery activities.
“d) customer requirements;” If the customer requires post-delivery, support, warranty, protection through delivery and receipt, etc, the post-delivery activities should be clearly described.
“e) customer feedback.” This is an interesting point which requires the organization to consider customer feedback. My impression of this is that an organization may choose a “no warranty” posture, but in the spirit of continual improvement and customer-centric processes, customer feedback should be considered when determining the scope of post-delivery activities. This may also imply that the scope of those activities may change over time in response to customer feedback.
“NOTE: Post-delivery activities can include actions under warranty provisions, contractual obligations such as maintenance services, and supplementary services such as recycling or final disposal.” This note brings recycling, reusable packaging, returnable containers, etc into the requirements. This isn’t really a new requirement, but the addition of “recycling” or “final disposal” catches us up with industry trends toward full supply chain management, sustainable strategies, etc.
THIS WEEK’S HOMEWORK
Review your quality management system for these requirements. They are likely addressed piecemeal in more than one location. Take the opportunity to address all of the requirements in a cohesive and easily understood way. Ensure that your post-delivery activities in practice actually align with what you’ve described in your QMS.