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

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Leader
Admin
Sabotage definitely can happen. If we want to stop it, how could the process be made to identify a gap in customer return actions? I deal with that myself, currently tracking through a supplier corrective action because one of our parts never seemed to get correction done at the sub-tier supplier. If someone was fired to take care of it, fine but what would stop the next person from doing same besides a decision? Or, if something suddenly happened to the new person how would a replacement effectively (and hopefully quickly) step in and know what is the status of returns? As Bev said, this is about process.
 

Edward Reesor

Trusted Information Resource
How can I issue a CAR (Investigation report,) for something that I KNOW will never happen on my watch?
IMO, I believe that's attacking the symptom, not the root cause. I write our SOP not for the person who knows what they're doing, but for those who don't know what they're doing. And I often use myself as an example in a self-deprecating way. For example, I approach it like, "Say our warehouse manager is off on emergency medical leave that makes him incommunicado for an extended period of time. Now, we all pitch in around here and I've taken on the role. How do I perform the role in a way that everyone knows that its been done when he comes back? I suggest that you write it like you might not be there for a while, but you'll audit it when you get back.

The other tool I rely on is to do the old thing and ask yourself "Why?" five times. I was taught the Simplexity Method using a series of divergent/convergent analyses that sifts through a lot of the distractions, which is a more detailed approach.
 
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Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
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.
My opinion is you're still at the problem identification stage. How you frame the problem, will help you frame everything else. So a few questions come to my mind:

If it was from 2020, where the heck was the customer at? 4 years -- really???
Did the customer request a resolution at the time of the return? Was there an issue with the product?
Did you credit the customer at the time of the return? If the credit was issued, did this limit any notification of follow ups?
Do you have access to the former employee's emails or other records to see if anything was actually addressed?

Basically, what was the original problem and is that what the customer wants addressed today? Or is the current issue, why did this sit for 4 years unresolved?
 

Rich Shippy

Involved In Discussions
I would also ask the customer if they have some type of signed shipper document from someone in your organization that received it, this will verify if they actually returned a product to your company. You're coming in so late in the game, you may not know if you actually manufactured this product, or authorized them to return it. I've had a lot of instances throughout my years in job shops, where the customer tries to return things we did not make. If it were me, I would beef-up your returned goods authorization process.
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Leader
Admin
I would also ask the customer if they have some type of signed shipper document from someone in your organization that received it, this will verify if they actually returned a product to your company. You're coming in so late in the game, you may not know if you actually manufactured this product, or authorized them to return it. I've had a lot of instances throughout my years in job shops, where the customer tries to return things we did not make. If it were me, I would beef-up your returned goods authorization process.
The OP stated that she had physically located the unit in question.
 

d_addams

Involved In Discussions
While the inputs regarding CAR are correct, the problem employee has been addressed so there isn't much correction to do other than get the return processed. It doesn't address the P part of CAPA - what are you doing to Prevent recurrence. Yeah, Bob is gone, but what happens when you hire Bill, Bob's twin? What is going to prevent the same thing from recurring. This is where more robust controls and metrics can help. For instance, all returns get checked in then we track how long from check in to final resolution. Once a unit exceeds X days, it gets flagged for prioritization. Yes someone could still fail to (accidently or intentionally) check in an item and it falls through the cracks. But there are ways to check that (last month we had 20 calls indicating a unit was coming back and we only got 18.....) and make one process as the check for a different process where one individual can't subvert both processes. The balance is to not over do the controls to make everything idiot proof if the risk isn't catastrophic. A - it's not a good use of resources and B - they will always build better idiots.
 
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