Falsified documentation and defective product - Management gone mad

Steve_ASQ

Starting to get Involved
#1
Hello,

I'm new here. Just registered, but I often enjoy the help that can be found reading existing posts.

Through no fault of my own I have been railroaded into performing an internal audit at the Company where I work.

I have uncovered a major failure in the QMS involving falsified documentation and defective product that was returned by the customer.

Essentially the CEO has decided to allow the Production Manager to take over QC.

This is a sensitive issue. Can I get help here?
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Hello,

I'm new here. Just registered, but I often enjoy the help that can be found reading existing posts.

Through no fault of my own I have been railroaded into performing an internal audit at the Company where I work.

I have uncovered a major failure in the QMS involving falsified documentation and defective product that was returned by the customer.

Essentially the CEO has decided to allow the Production Manager to take over QC.

This is a sensitive issue. Can I get help here?
It does not matter who take over QC, but if your internal audit trail unearthed a NC, you are to just report it in the audit report and provide your evidences towards the same. You need not even classify it as a major.
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
This looks like a legal matter in my opinion. My only suggestion is:

If you feel uncomfortable, integrity is threatened, and you feel strongly about this...I hate to say this, but it might be better to look for another position.

I was put in a situation similar to this, at a company I was working for. They wanted me (since I was connected to the DCASR/DCMA previously and still had people I knew) to submit cracked landing gear casting to the Government for acceptance without notifying them of the issue. This may not be the same as what you might be going through, but I put my integrity, and reputation in front of my job, and choose to resign my position. I was not going to let the life of the Pilot(s) and a multi-million dollar aircraft be in jeopardy.
 

Brizilla

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
Quality is a field where your ethics and integrity are in the forefront. Did you report the NC to the owner? Do that, every other decision you make will be based off his reaction to your findings. Good Luck.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#7
If the defective products could result in personal injury, there might be a crime being committed. These situations must be dealt with an abundance of caution due to the liability involved.

One must be extremely careful dealing in those situations and we have threads about whistleblowers in this forum. Seeking legal advice, as Marc suggested, is highly advisable.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Some questions you need to ask yourself:

How do you know the documentation is "falsified?" Is it false or just disagreed?

How big is the organization? Is there a legal department? Are there whistleblower procedures?

What is the product and issue in question? Is it safety related (as Sidney indicated)? What is the real risk?

Why was the product returned? And how was it handled?

What are the company politics involved? Is the Production Manager somebody's brother?

Your doing an internal audit, do you have a lead auditor/supervisor to report to? Can you punt and put it into their hands?

You say railroaded, have you even been trained to do an audit? Have you done any others?

Just make sure you aren't over reacting and moving forward with a calm, cool head. Good luck.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#9
For all the wrong reasons this thread is much too timely; Volkswagen/BMW/MB, Kobe Steel, Nissan, etc. it all comes down to ones own moral fiber and integrity.....better to speak up, perform due diligence and articulate the glaring problem(s), you will sleep better too...
 

Steve_ASQ

Starting to get Involved
#10
Hi all, and let me say thanks for your replies.

My situation took a very abrupt turn this morning, so I'll try to fill in the blanks and yet remain vague enough to not incriminate anyone.

In 1976 I completed a 4 year apprenticeship in the UK. I am an old dog and there isn't much I haven't seen or heard.(not bragging)

Currently I am involved with a small job shop that machines mechanical components. Taguchi talks about 'loss to society' and I follow that.

Our resident ISO expert departed and left a hole that was filled by a person whose title would suggest that 'production' was their primary responsibility.

This 'production' role had the power to restructure the QC department and essentially the day to day job of running said QC department was incrementally taken away from me.

It may appear that age discrimination is a term I should use in this communication but we'll just leave it at that for now.

CNC machining centers can make bad parts and these parts can find their way to final inspection. SOP dictates that you call your customer and let them know there will be a delay because of unseen circumstances. And that delay is approximately equal to the amount of time it took to make the parts in the first place. That's the way you have to do it. It doesn't matter if your customer is a new customer who is evaluating your delivery performance. If you make bad parts you have to make them again. Period.

These are general guidelines, if you will. There are obviously exceptions. If you are doing prototype work it's possible you could call your customer and determine that they will accept bad parts for non production use.
This can be taken care of with a phone call or an email. I consider it good practice to provide a copy of the email or reference the phone number of the specific individual who determined that bad parts were acceptable. It's also a good idea to make a note on the traveler at the final inspection operation that says something along the lines of ' Flatness OK per Jane Doe at Flatparts Incorporated'.

Let's get back to bad parts. Top management team reactions can vary at the news of having to do a rerun. Some will react stoically, "we made a mistake guys, now we have to correct it". I like these kinds of people.

Some will react violently...screaming obscenities while almost putting their foot through the plate glass doors. I try to stay away from these kinds of people.

Imagine a situation, and this is purely hypothetical, not meant to describe a living person or a true event. In this hypothetical example a QC representative finds a defect on every single part of a lot that is ready to ship. This employee informs several other relevant employees of the problem then puts the part on hold, and goes for lunch. Maybe he or she doesn't like scenes either.

When this person returns from lunch they are told that the parts are 'OK' and they are being shipped.

Some days later these hypothetical parts are returned. They have been rejected by the customer.

(sorry guys, I have to eat now but I will continue)
 
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