How do I issue/word a CAR for a past employee's failures?

Renea Koski QAM

Involved In Discussions
I replaced the former (terminated) QAM at my company. We keep "finding" problems and misplaced customer returns that he just "hid" because he didn't want to deal with them. One of those customers, who we have contacted about their return, has asked for an investigation. She already knows that this was because of the prior QA Manager's mishandling of their products.
How can I issue a CAR (Investigation report,) for something that I KNOW will never happen on my watch? How do I word such a CAR?
It seems too simple, but am I missing something?
Root Cause--Terminated QAM mishandled customer returned products.
Action Plan-Current QAM has revised customer returns to ensure no products go missing.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Leader
Admin
How can I issue a CAR (Investigation report,) for something that I KNOW will never happen on my watch? How do I word such a CAR?
There is absolutely no value in issuing a corrective action request for something is not going to recur. You can document the issue protecting the identity of the individual in case; you can have a business ethics reminder session for the employees, but, by definition, a CAR for something that cannot be systemically resolved, is useless.
 

Renea Koski QAM

Involved In Discussions
There is absolutely no value in issuing a corrective action request for something is not going to recur. You can document the issue protecting the identity of the individual in case; you can have a business ethics reminder session for the employees, but, by definition, a CAR for something that cannot be systemically resolved, is useless.
Thank you, I feel the same. . . but the customer is asking for an investigation. What can I send them that will satisfy their request??
 

Rich Shippy

Involved In Discussions
IMO, something in the system allowed this to happen. I would suspect not enough record keeping in the returned material process and/or toll gates including the customer service or accounting functions. If the QM "hid" the returns, the customers were most likely requesting credits or product replacements that would usually raise red flags in those other areas.
 

Renea Koski QAM

Involved In Discussions
Believe it or not, we actually found this return in question 2 days before the customer asked about it. And it was from 2020!
The prior QAM did not have any kind of NC accounting or process for handling returns, so this return was shoved on a shelf and collected dust until I came around and asked . . .what is this??? I do have to admit that our ERP system is about 20 updates behind and it didn't alert us to this return sitting somewhere. We are looking to upgrade our system and yes, it was more than just "him" at fault that this sat for almost 4 years un-noticed. And on the customer's end, it took them also almost 4 years to notice too. lol
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Leader
Super Moderator
Occasionally someone does something intentionally…. This is a root cause. The action for this is that the individual in question was terminated.
But since you already know that your ERP and return/accounting systems are ‘wide open’ This is also an ‘enabling cause’ or ‘contributing cause. An addition to your action plan you should add that you are updating your systems to ensure that this kind of thing is noticed and prevented in the future…
 

Kurt Smith

Involved In Discussions
Take this with a major grain of salt, I am fairly new to this stuff myself.

We recently had an audit failing because in the last year, before I started as QM, the company did not hold internal audits. Mostly because they had multiple bad QMs and one long stretch without anyone wearing that hat. In the CAR I put the root cause as "Multiple management personal changes and insufficient training for Quality Management led to Internal Audits not being performed for 2023."

My question at this point is more about what the customer expectation is? Are they looking for a promise that things will improve? If that's the case a simple CAR pointing out that the offending personnel have been removed might be enough. If they are pushing for a systematic change you may need to set up some process where multiple people sign off to prove the job is being done properly. Or some period of extra scrutiny to prove the improvement is real.

Or all of that could be nonsense. I'm still learning myself.
 

greatwhitebuffalo

Involved In Discussions
"Action Plan-Current QAM has revised customer returns to ensure no products go missing." - In my opinion you can expand on this. What was the procedure before the revision, and what has been revised in order to ensure it won't happen again? If you're action plan is stating that you are making changes, then you should be able to bring a root cause around to point to the old procedure. Otherwise, why make a change at all?
 

Ed Panek

QA RA Small Med Dev Company
Leader
Super Moderator
If you root caused a problem to a specific tool, and you threw that tool away so it couldn't be used, that should be an adequate analogy here.
 

Kronos147

Trusted Information Resource
We recently had an audit failing because in the last year, before I started as QM, the company did not hold internal audits. Mostly because they had multiple bad QMs and one long stretch without anyone wearing that hat. In the CAR I put the root cause as "Multiple management personal changes and insufficient training for Quality Management led to Internal Audits not being performed for 2023."
How does management ensure the Management Quality Review Meeting is effectively implemented? Is it a controlled form with placeholders for all the required inputs and outputs? If so, what happened during the management meeting where the placeholder for the internal audit was blank?

IMHO, this is a issue with management responsibility.

Also, what kind of reviews to personnel have? Is is conducted against their job duties? If so, was the job duty "Manage the Internal Audit Program" not included as a duty?

Consider asking yourself the question if the internal audit program has a complete P-D-C-A, plan do check act, routine in place.
 
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