Applying Lessons Learned to other products



Has anyone found a succussful way to have a process that evaluates all other products for the lesson you learn on another. Curently, we take any lesson that was learned from a customer complaint and we have a spreadsheet that has all of our other part numbers in it. Someone is to reivew every part to see if their part can potentially create the same defect. We are finding that it is failing miserably due to the number of part numbers. Does anyone have a process that is working for this type of application?:frust:
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This is a great question. Our feed forward system here is pretty simple, but while we have a ton of part numbers, we only really have two different types of products.

Is there an existing system you could use to sort? Maybe an MRP system where you can search to find out what part numbers have “widget” in the BOM or what part numbers go through one of the plating machines, etc…

What about a meeting (say once a month) where each product is represented by the engineer for that area, and everyone shares their lessons learned. That way the meeting attendees could say “Hey, a few of my products use that type of process, I could apply that information!”

Likewise, you could have a “lessons learned” representative for each area or product, who emails their lessons learned for the month to someone who assembles a spreadsheet that could be disseminated to everyone.

I don’t know, I’m just throwing out ideas here. These might be useful if your company either has a lot of part numbers, but only a few different product types, or if there are tons of different products, but only a few core processes (ie, a stamping and plating facility).

If you’re talking about a company like 3M who uses a ton of different processes to make a ton of different products, you might just have to split it up either by product type or by main process type and accept the fact that if the adhesives group comes up with a lesson learned, the stethoscope group may just have to learn it on their own. Sometimes implementing a partial system now is better than waiting for a perfect system.

Maybe you could give us a little more info on how many part numbers we’re dealing with here, and how many different types of products. Is this local to one site, or corporation-wide?


An process to continually update FMEA's might accomplish the "lesson learned" goal. The intent of an FMEA is to document what we think coudl go wrong, be updated when things do go wrong, and what was done about the problem, etc.

Regards, Dirk
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