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C/A (Corrective Action) not closed in a timely manner

R

Richard Pike

#11
Wow..this is the types of issues I am dealing with. I measure the average time taken to close C/A. The average is 50 days. The arguments I get are we don't have time and time is money.

I do have a related question I would like to pose though.

I have a production manager whose personnel failed to report a nonconformance. There is no evidence that he ever planned to, but I issued a C/A for failing to report quality issues. My question is what is an good rule of thumb to allow production people to report qulaity issues? Right now our rule is immediately. The production manager asked me what does immediately mean. I responded "Now" He wants a definition of what Now means. I think I am going to give him the webster dictionary answer.

Thanks
What a pity that so many "quality managers" do not fully understand the "manager" function in their title, especially when it comes to peer management or in managing senior management. So many of the problems related to quality are actually related to management skills.

Hang on! That's a good title for yet another book on quality. "Management Skills for Quality Mangers":biglaugh: If its already been written can somebody let me know - thanks.
 

Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
#12
I agree...what I did was discuss the issue with him and got him to agree that there is a potential problem. With that I agreed that we could convert the corrective action to a preventive action. We will as a management team determine the best duration time to allow the reporting of quality issues that will benefit the organization.

Do you know of any documented procedures that detail times for responses for Corrective actions?

Thanks,
There is no general rule. Every CA is different, and the time for completion (including verification of effectiveness) might be ten minutes or ten months. If you're interested in just a response (an acknowledgment of receipt), that interval should be determined in practical terms, but you should be careful not to paint yourself into a corner. Don't say that response is required (for example) within 48 hours if there's a possibility that the respondent won't be there that week.
 

Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
#13
Wow..this is the types of issues I am dealing with. I measure the average time taken to close C/A. The average is 50 days. The arguments I get are we don't have time and time is money.

I do have a related question I would like to pose though.

I have a production manager whose personnel failed to report a nonconformance. There is no evidence that he ever planned to, but I issued a C/A for failing to report quality issues. My question is what is an good rule of thumb to allow production people to report qulaity issues? Right now our rule is immediately. The production manager asked me what does immediately mean. I responded "Now" He wants a definition of what Now means. I think I am going to give him the webster dictionary answer.

Thanks
Your problem is much more serious than this one issue. This sort of adversarial, us vs. them relationship is pure poison. So is the attitude that taking time to correct problems costs money.

I would guess that the culture of your company, as demonstrated (not spoken about) by the top dog is very similar to that of the Production Manager.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#14
Your assertion about upper management is true in majority of companies.I have seen dozens of them.
The most practical way to solve this problem is that the MR should complete all documentation required to clear C/As raised against top management and take their signature.The top management wiil readily sign on blank papers to clear these C/As.
Bosses are bosses they cannot be changed.
V.J.Brahmaiah
It is my opinion that this method would not pass the "straight face test" in a registration audit. Owners of corrective action requests should be responsible for parts in maintaining an effective management system.

That said, there has been little insight on the exact nature of these 20 C/As (that's a lot). My experience has been that C/As that owners believe are unclear, hold no value, do not seem to belong to them or present no unacceptable risk just don't get the same share of mind as clearly stated problems, handed to the right people, with unambiguous relationships to the requirements.

It could also help to point to violations of internal process documents versus the standard. I never met an upper manager who felt an innate connection to a standard. These are very often viewed as the hireling's responsibility - and are quite willing to abdicate responsibility as you have suggested they be enabled to do.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#15
I agree...what I did was discuss the issue with him and got him to agree that there is a potential problem. With that I agreed that we could convert the corrective action to a preventive action. We will as a management team determine the best duration time to allow the reporting of quality issues that will benefit the organization.

Do you know of any documented procedures that detail times for responses for Corrective actions?

Thanks,
They haven't been willing to share documents sourcing their "guidance" but my registrar has said a problem should be resolved within 60 days. But that could be just him - of course I disagree, there is no one set correct time frame. In my tracking logs I differentiate between CA projects and whether the issue is a simple spec update. This gives a little quick insight after time goes by.
 

qualityce

Involved In Discussions
#16
You are correct. The plant manager emmits the attitude that quality is a necessary evil. We (quality group) try to show the financial benefits of the quality system as well as assisting all departments in practically every area from engineering to production, but it still comes down to since we do not produce an actual product from quality we are a burden.

We have some of the largest companies in the nation as customers due to the quality of our products and the quality system that we try to adhere to.

It's all about changing perceptions, I guess.

The sales group understands the benefits of quality and ISO certification, so they help out a lot.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#17
My question is what is an good rule of thumb to allow production people to report qulaity issues?
Many organizations like to boast having a policy that empowers any production employee to "shut down" the line, in case of an anomaly being observed. Certainly, you need to be careful when you empower people to do things such as this.

Your question, if I may, would have been a better one as
My question is what is an good rule of thumb to REQUIRE production people to report quality issues?
Running the risk of repeating a cliche, but quality is not the responsibility of the quality department. Cost-effective quality can only be achieved when everybody feels responsible towards it. Production's job is not to simply to produce goods. Their job is to produce goods that satisfy the customers, while doing their part to ensure profitability.

The mis perception (in your organization) that the quality function is at odds with production is still rampant in the corporate world, unfortunately. Enlightened organizations allow quality to be part of the culture, rather than a department. I hope you have a chance to work in an environment such as that, because it is much more fulfilling and rewarding, both professionally and personally.

Keep up the good work over there.
 
Q

Qualqueen

#18
What a pity that so many "quality managers" do not fully understand the "manager" function in their title, especially when it comes to peer management or in managing senior management. So many of the problems related to quality are actually related to management skills.

Hang on! That's a good title for yet another book on quality. "Management Skills for Quality Mangers":biglaugh: If its already been written can somebody let me know - thanks.
Not sure if you were joking or not but anyway.....I'm sure there's a lot more out there, but here's one. http://www.sh-cbc.com/ASI-QM.html
 
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Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Trusted
#19
They haven't been willing to share documents sourcing their "guidance" but my registrar has said a problem should be resolved within 60 days. But that could be just him - of course I disagree, there is no one set correct time frame. In my tracking logs I differentiate between CA projects and whether the issue is a simple spec update. This gives a little quick insight after time goes by.
As JK notes, what is timely action to resolve a CAR can vary. I have closed some CARs on the same day they were issued to me. Others, I have had open for 8-10 months. However, in the latter case, I communicate with the issuer of the CAR and get their buy-in on my plan of action and give regular updates. And, in the interim, temporary corrective action is implemented whenever possible to protect the issuer/customer until a permanent CA can be implemented. If you respect the issuer of the CAR, which you should, especially if they are an external customer, you will work to keep them happy. It is called respect and professionalism.
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#20
You are correct. The plant manager emmits the attitude that quality is a necessary evil. We (quality group) try to show the financial benefits of the quality system as well as assisting all departments in practically every area from engineering to production, but it still comes down to since we do not produce an actual product from quality we are a burden.

We have some of the largest companies in the nation as customers due to the quality of our products and the quality system that we try to adhere to.

It's all about changing perceptions, I guess.

The sales group understands the benefits of quality and ISO certification, so they help out a lot.
So, you have good quality products in spite of your plant manager, or is he doing something right without calling it what it is?

I think the word quality should be replaced somehow with something else. Using it as a term describing what we do infers that unless one does what we do, one is not doing good things. One might be doing good things, just not conforming to rigorous requirements in a meticulous way.

But I recall this was an AS9100 company. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that my customers want the certificate - if we did not certify, our customers would buy elsewhere. Even I need reminding of that sometimes, when I start feeling like my auditing doesn't bring much business value. Somehow I'm not surprised to learn your sales team is not confused. Maybe they could list the customers requiring the cert... might not help anyway, for people who simply believe it is someone else's job.

But I am coming back to value: value of the requirement, value of the writeup and value of the fix. What kinds of open issues are these, and what is their impact on the system's function and certifiability? For example, if no management reviews were being done the cert is at risk, regardless of what the plant manager thinks about management review.
 
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