Re: Triggering Root Cause Analysis for Hardware Returns
I would make sure the trend the rate of returns using SPC. A few thoughts I ran into from the recent ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement:
Be sure to be able to analyze by date of manufacturing (to track problems with the manufacturing) and by date of failure. The speaker used the example of cell phones damaged by water in the summer, since more people are outside and doing water activities.
When doing the root cause analysis, be sure to equally analyze some "good" parts as well as "bad". This comes from the Shainin philosophy. Yes, a failed part may have a certain characteristic found by a root cause analysis, but does a good part also have that characteristic, probably implying that is not the source of failure.
"A Passionate Statistician", ASQ CQE, ASQ Fellow