How many complaints, defects and non-conformances are typical?

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
I was just wondering about complaints, defects and non-conformancies is typical. Difficult to express other than say as a PPM for the year.

I'm in a SME in the automotive sector (and other areas too) that has typically 10 to 25 PPM based on about say 5 customer complaints per year (multiple defects per complaints obviously with those figures). Is that good? I want to get down to below 20 PPM this year or even to about 10 PPM if it's possible as I'm new to the QM role and want to make my impact a positive one.

The reason I ask is a thread asking if a QM should be involved in all quality/customer complaints. The thread kind of implied that there were a lot of complaints happening and that the QM couldn't deal with all of them. I could be wrong but it sounded like the OP wasn't in a big company based on 2 in the quality department so I'd have thought if the system was working and in control there shouldn't be that many complaints a year. Is that naive or are we actually doing things better than average?

Just curious as to what SMEs get in the auto sector.
 
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Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#2
Re: How many complaints?

What does "SME" mean in this context?

Comparing PPM levels between companies isn't a good idea, imo, because there's no good way to tell how the numbers are compiled. Not only that, there's also the fact that even if accounting methods were uniform, feasibility of PPM reductions is going to be different. You shouldn't be trying to reduce the level of a dubious statistic just for the sake of reducing the level. It might cost more to go from 25 to 15 than it's worth.
 

v9991

Trusted Information Resource
#3
Jim, when you said it could be cost too much to be worth attempting to get to 25-->15.
I guess, the kind of reasons for current levels of ppm could determine; like,
if its product/process-design problem, then its different case (1-time investment);
if its process/procedural control problem, then it could be recurring...
...
how do we assess...how much is too much? this could be important because, we need to close(justify!!!) the initiative in that dimension and start looking for improvement in different one...
what OP might have been enquiring is industry norm of ppm level for a given segment or specific-product base...

SME could imply small and medium enterprise...(usually an indicator of size/scale of organization)
 
#4
Re: How many complaints?

What does "SME" mean in this context?

Comparing PPM levels between companies isn't a good idea, imo, because there's no good way to tell how the numbers are compiled. Not only that, there's also the fact that even if accounting methods were uniform, feasibility of PPM reductions is going to be different. You shouldn't be trying to reduce the level of a dubious statistic just for the sake of reducing the level. It might cost more to go from 25 to 15 than it's worth.
Totally agree Jim! I have personal experience of a major component manufacturer who published their process and product performance and, based on what I audited, it wasn't accurate at all!
 

Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#5
Jim, when you said it could be cost too much to be worth attempting to get to 25-->15.
I guess, the kind of reasons for current levels of ppm could determine; like,
if its product/process-design problem, then its different case (1-time investment);
if its process/procedural control problem, then it could be recurring...
...
how do we assess...how much is too much? this could be important because, we need to close(justify!!!) the initiative in that dimension and start looking for improvement in different one...
what OP might have been enquiring is industry norm of ppm level for a given segment or specific-product base...
We need to think in terms of optimization. If something is optimized, it's as good as it can be given the known constraints. It involves understanding all of the variables that can be understood, and controlling them to the extent that it's reasonably possible to control them. When that's been done, or a close approximation of it has been done, the PPM level is what it is, and trying to reduce it without also somehow improving the infrastructure will cause fear and loathing.

SME could imply small and medium enterprise...(usually an indicator of size/scale of organization)
Which could be a company of 10 people or 10,000. :bigwave:
 

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Leader
Super Moderator
#6
As Jim said comparisons of ppm across companies is just not a value add activity. your individual customers will probably do this to some extent as part of their supplier quality program. But they will have a method that is consistant across their suppliers so the comparison has some value. 'goodness' is relative.

Your ppm levels are fairly good for any industry so if your customers are not complaining it might be better to concentrate on internal defect rates as those effect cycle time, cost, etc.
 
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