CAR (Corrective Action Request) Due Dates

embedded

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hi All,

Super simple question from a new quality manager. We keep a CAR spreadsheet to keep track of all open CARs. I understand we need to close all CARs in a timely manner typically 1 month from initiation. My questions becomes what qualifies as closing a CAR? It seems like there are 3 phases.

1.) Identify root cause and establish a plan for as to what corrective actions need to be taken.
2.) Implement corrective actions.
3.) Verify corrective actions are effective.

From my experiences it seems like the due date is typically 1 month (or request an extension) and in this time period we must identify the root cause and a corrective action plan with anticipated implementation date. This leads to my questions:
  • Do you close the CAR once the root cause and corrective action plan and planned implementation date has been identified?
  • I'm thinking a CAR is open, then closed waiting for implementation(sometimes we skip this phase), then closed waiting for verification, and finally closed. Does this sound reasonable?
  • When ever asked how we verify CARs are effective I simply say we ensure the problem doesn't recur, but to be honest I don't have a verification date, it's more like if a problem pops up and a CAR is already closed for the same issue then we need to reopen the CAR. Is this approach OK?
  • Lastly I work at a small company, where I wear many hats, and quality is my new hat(not a full time job). I'm trying to find an efficient way to keep track of all these dates. I'm thinking once a month I'll take a look at my CAR spreadsheet and follow up with anyone that is late or has a due date approaching. Is this a reasonable period, or does anyone have any suggestions on a better approach that doesn't take a lot of my time to essentially be a project manager for quality issues?
Thanks in advance,
Eddie
 
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Kronos147

Trusted Information Resource
#2
Hi Eddie,

This is a good discussion.

One thing I know is you can't check for effectiveness of the actions right away. It takes a while to see if the change takes hold.

Another thing is if the root cause is "the big machine" is broken, containment is to outsource, and correction is to get a new "the big machine", sometimes it may take more than 30, 60, 90 days to save up the $.

What if it starts with a customer complaint and the parts are never sent back? They say they are figuring out how to pack, working on it, blah, blah, blah. How do you close that in a month?

The standard says "timely." Are not the critical time frames containment and root cause analysis? As long as the action has evidence of continued management, isn't it ok to keep open?
 

Johnson

Involved In Discussions
#3
  • Do you close the CAR once the root cause and corrective action plan and planned implementation date has been identified?
We should not say the CAR is closed at this phase.
  • I'm thinking a CAR is open, then closed waiting for implementation(sometimes we skip this phase), then closed waiting for verification, and finally closed. Does this sound reasonable?
This is reasonable and good practice. But it is not mandatory to have a close at each phase.
  • When ever asked how we verify CARs are effective I simply say we ensure the proble doesn't recur, but to be honest I don't have a verification date, it's more like if a problem pops up and a CAR is already closed for the same issue then we need to reopen the CAR. Is this approach OK?
The simpliest way to verify it's effectiveness is to check if it recur. It should have a verifictaion date. It the problem happend again. You may re-open it or create a new CAR and indicate it is a repeat problem. But re-open it is more complicated to handle the documents.
  • Lastly I work at a small company, where I wear many hats, and quality is my new hat(not a full time job). I'm trying to find an efficient way to keep track of all these dates. I'm thinking once a month I'll take a look at my CAR spreadsheet and follow up with anyone that is late or has a due date approaching. Is this a reasonable period, or does anyone have any suggestions on a better approach that doesn't take a lot of my time to essentially be a project manager for quality issue.

  • You may maintain a CAR log sheet or spreadsheet with all these dates recorded. I believe monthly review is reasonable but it is depending on the priority and complex of the problems.
 

Kronos147

Trusted Information Resource
#4
I'm trying to find an efficient way to keep track of all these dates. I'm thinking once a month I'll take a look at my CAR spreadsheet and follow up with anyone that is late or has a due date approaching. Is this a reasonable period, or does anyone have any suggestions on a better approach that doesn't take a lot of my time to essentially be a project manager for quality issues?
Thanks in advance,
Eddie
Outlook calendar reminders are an option.

I also like the concept of centralized calendars. For example, our organization leans heavily on our Internal Audit Plan. It has follow up actions for checking the effectiveness of CARs. We manage the CAR fine, because it is an issue and we are intent on nipping it in the bud, so to speak, but it's easy to move onto the next thing and forget. The Internal Audit plan for us keeps us on track.
 
#5
CARs in a timely manner typically 1 month from initiation
There's nothing magical about 30 , 60 or even 90 days. These are constraints put on us by customers and/or Certification Bodies. As far as internal requirements go, it's going to be driven by how important (top) management see the issue. I've had a plant manager initiate corrective action within minutes of understanding the issue being reported. To have allowed 30 days would have been totally unacceptable to him.
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
While keeping a calendar for due dates might have some utility, it certainly isn't sufficient.

I've found that if we keep our corrections at a manageable number and we have regular management reviews on the progress we get timley and effective corrective actions.

Prioritization is essential. too many and too many trivial corrective actions bog the system down and nothing gets done. While it is 'seductive' to try to solve everything at once the reality is that when we overload the system we bog it down. issuing corrective actions on only the highest effect problems allows the organization to work through problems much faster. for all other problems ask only for correction.

Regular frequent reviews of the progress allow leadership to provide appropriate guidance as well as sets the expectation that corrective actions are important. If you are involved in those reviews you will gain a deep understanding of how corrective actions work so you can optimize your system, you will know how each CA is progressing (you won't need to look at your spreadsheet), and you will have a much better understanding of how and when to verify effectiveness and when to close the CA.
 

tony s

Information Seeker
Trusted Information Resource
#7
I'm trying to find an efficient way to keep track of all these dates. I'm thinking once a month I'll take a look at my CAR spreadsheet and follow up with anyone that is late or has a due date approaching. Is this a reasonable period, or does anyone have any suggestions on a better approach that doesn't take a lot of my time to essentially be a project manager for quality issues?
I just want to share the spreadsheet I'm using in monitoring when the target completion date of the corrective actions are already due for verification. The spreadsheet has an adjustable "warning days" prior to the target completion date. Once the target completion date approaches the current date less the "warning days"you are automatically prompted to arrange on when you can pay a visit to the person responsible for the corrective action. You can set your own "warning days". Be careful to unintentionally delete the formula on the Verification Status column.;)
 

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rickpaul01

Involved in HankyPanky
#8
Generally speaking, I do pretty much what you have outlined. (And it has worked for me.)
You did forget to list the first step - containment.
Best practices would dictate a due date (and actual completion date) for each step.
Also, consider both a corrective action and a preventive action section.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#9
Also, consider both a corrective action and a preventive action section.
Agreed...if...
I would NOT open and document two things, CA and PA.
As PART OF the CA you have a section for "How do we prevent recurrence"...that makes perfect sense.
Starting a PA every time you have a CA and documenting them separately makes no sense.

I figure that's what you meant...'cause you said "section"......just wanted to say it out loud is all...
 
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