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Customer STA (SQE) Ignorance and Arrogance

Is Your Customer STA (SQE) Arrogant?

  • NA - but want to see the poll results.

    Votes: 11 40.7%
  • My STA (SQE) is a sweety.

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • My STA (SQE) is OK.

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • My STA (SQE) is tough, but fair.

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • My STA (SQE) is arrogant.

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • My STA (SQE) is arrogant and ignorant to boot!

    Votes: 7 25.9%

  • Total voters


Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Recently I was speaking with 'my' Visteon STA with respect to a PPAP submission. One of his comments to me was "Send me dimensionals and don't fudge the numbers." Personally I was offended and p***ed that he would make such a remark. I felt I was being accused of being subject to fraud. Your comments?
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
Fudging numbers?

Marc, you have been around long enough to know that companies routinely 'fudge' PPAP, R&R, SPC, FMEA, PPk,......
The big three know it too. This results in the perception that ALL suppliers engage in that. Some folks are lucky enough to have the same STA (or equivalent) for a number of years and build a relationship of trust. Most don't have that luxury.

I think that this is one of the biggest problems in our industry. The customer’s don’t trust their suppliers, who don’t trust their vendors (and backwards as well).

Regardless, I would be concerned if it didn’t tick you off a bit. When you start looking at incidents like this as just part of the game, you should start to worry.

One quick suggestion. Turn your STA on to the Cove. If he is worth any salt at all, he should immediately understand you are straight shooter and give you no further static! He might even become a major assest to the Cove!

Al Dyer


A couple I have worked with were "seasoned" and knew their jobs and how to interract with the suppliers.

On too many occasions there have been "greenhorns" that graduated from Tim Buck U and feel they know how business is supposed to run and feel that they are one of the choosen few to save the world because they know how to fill out an X-R chart.

Although they don't know how to interpret data or work with the tools at hand.


Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Well, to be honest I already have him on a leash now that the dust has settled. In addition, I doubt he's the Cove type. But I may clue him in just in case.

What gets to me is the defacto guilty. It comes as no surprise that many people are turned off by the attitude. One tries to start out by being friendly and communicative and this is what one gets, I suppose.

I'm not insinuating they're all bad but this one is a humdinger.

As far as 'fudging' numbers being routine - I have no problem agreeing that it probably is a problem here and there, but I hear this in the first real talk with the fellow and it blew away any respect or concern I have for the guy. That's why I got him on a short leash quick (I have some tricks up my sleeve, too). He's still being testy but has backed off and apologised twice.

I asked the question above as I really am curious if a lot of people feel trod upon by their STA and what comments or stories folks may have.

As a last comment, I included the ignorant part because it surprised me how little he knows about what's going on, particularly within his company.

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member

If so, the SQEs and project managers I have worked with go the full spectrum. Most that I have worked with at GM have been of the Tim Buck U variety: mostly ignorant and arrogant. The turnover rate is purely unacceptable from my perspective as many new engineers fail to understand their organizations requests on the supplier.

On the other hand, I have had a number of good experiences with folks from Mazda, Volvo, Honda, Toyota, and Hummer (under the direction of GM although they have communicated to me the same issues I have experienced. Come to think of it, Saturn felt the same way too!).

Nonetheless, good or bad personalities, I am disappointed by the level of knowledge OEMs have of QS9000 (or their equivalent) System requirements many years after the release of the requirements. I blame this on high turnover experienced at these OEMs. In seven years dealing with the OEMs, I can't recall a single SQE that went beyond a year (some two dozen or so). This goes for the Project Managers, various buyers, and Supplier Management.

Imagine the cost associated with all this turnover...and the aggrivation it breeds!




Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Yeah. I think that plays a big part of it, Kevin, and may be the 'main' failure mode.

One of the things I have found with Visteon as of late is that no one communicates and no one will take responsibility by, for example, putting in writing what they want or what they agree to. The STA (SQE) is in Royal Oak, the plant is in another state and the 'home office' is in yet another state. It's the old "Right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" issue. On top of that, each wants different, contradictory things. On top of that, getting a valid print took over 8 months (that's 8 months after beginning of shipping!).

Back in college I took a course called Formal Logic. I fear it has done me harm as now when I analyze things I see how few people think logically, especially corporate and other 'top management' types (to be fair, at all levels) I get depressed when I think about how many idiots are running around. Had I not taken that course I may have been more dumb and happy. I don't know.

I will say that after watching this stuff for years what used to worry me now makes me chuckle and laugh. Being back in the trenches again for the first time in a number of years is making me laugh. Quite a lot. I used to take all the frustrations and worry home with me. I think people here must think I'm smoking something - They keep asking why I laugh all the time. I just answer "I'm thinking of a 3 ring circus and all the clowns" which is basically the truth...



The reason they feel like everyone is fudging is that many times, they don't allow the supplier enough time to do the job right. Over 20 years many times the STA (SQA,SQE) would be pushing to get his paperwork long before the process was ready so he or she could make their charts all green. The supplier is in a no-win situation. If they hold up the paperwork, the STA gets upset and makes your life miserable, if you make up the numbers, you risk long-term problems. This is the core of the problem with the auto industry. My Japanese quality counterparts had no problem extending deadlines if required to make something right. Its no coincidence Japan still leads the world in quality. :bonk:

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
Yes he did. How did he phrase it when responding to the question, "When will we catch up to the Japanese?"

"How is it that you catch a speeding train gaining speed all the while?"

Aiming at targets outside of the system's capability only will make matters worse.

I have noticed such commments generally come from younger and/or inexperienced SQEs. I compare it to happy talk we get from newscasters.

It seems to come from a need to be cute/cool/part of the "in" group/whatever; a need to swagger verbally and to show you are in the know. When it occurs I generally nod and smile.

However, when it comes from more experienced personnel, I do not let it pass. "God Lord, have we been giving you fudged numbers?" or some such commnent usually shuts them down.

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