How to monitor Engineering Change Requests?

#1
Hi all,

First post although I have been reading the posts for some time now and getting very good information.

I am fairly new to my Quality Manager post and would like to know if anyone can help with a problem that has arisen.

We have a number of customers that are dealt with by the Engineering Department, the issue is how do I monitor whether a ECR by the customer has been dealt with?

We have had a few occasions where we have had a customer complaint due to an Engineer not dealing with an email requesting a change. If it is acted upon the procedures are very clear and all documentation is upissued, modification sheets are produced and the staff informed. The problem comes when the email is not acted on.

Has anyone got any ideas please?

Thanks
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Hi all,

First post although I have been reading the posts for some time now and getting very good information.

I am fairly new to my Quality Manager post and would like to know if anyone can help with a problem that has arisen.

We have a number of customers that are dealt with by the Engineering Department, the issue is how do I monitor whether a ECR by the customer has been dealt with?

We have had a few occasions where we have had a customer complaint due to an Engineer not dealing with an email requesting a change. If it is acted upon the procedures are very clear and all documentation is upissued, modification sheets are produced and the staff informed. The problem comes when the email is not acted on.

Has anyone got any ideas please?

Thanks
It seems to me more of a system issue rather than an ECR issue. The responsible officer who gets the mail addressed TO: must be sensitive to raise an ECR if the mail calls for a change.
Now the question is how do you monitor the customer request. You ( I guess the MR) can have periodic meeting with the concerned to see how all customers mails have been responded internally which required a change. You can have the responsible officer mark a copy of the customer mail and ECR actions taken by him/her to you.
Are you getting this issue more too often ... ? Seems to me like a poor design process issue then ???
 
Last edited:

Randy

Super Moderator
#3
Don't burden yourself with some wiz-bang procedure, just handle them as either a Corrective or Preventive action, all the elements you need to monitor and control are contained there.
 
D

ddunn

#4
You need a single point of contact to receive change requests. If you have a configuration manager or document control manager this would be the right person.

The requested change is then entered into a system for tracking and assigned to the responsible engineer.

There are many automated tracking systems available. Just do a search on "bug tracking". Some of them are free.
 

ScottK

Not out of the crisis
Staff member
Super Moderator
#5
I agree with Randy.
Use a system that's already in place - either your CA/PA system(s) or your document control system

I handle them through my document control system as external documents. The distribution notification then may or may not trigger a design project or changes to our own drawings.
 
Q

QCAce

#6
You need a single point of contact to receive change requests. If you have a configuration manager or document control manager this would be the right person.

The requested change is then entered into a system for tracking and assigned to the responsible engineer.

There are many automated tracking systems available. Just do a search on "bug tracking". Some of them are free.
I agree with ddunn. A single point entry for receiving the email requests should do the trick.

If customer response rate is truly the issue, then you should also be able to develop and report that rate, # of requests received each month, vs % responded to within X days, etc.

The corrective action, IMO, would be written against the process if the response rate is not 100%, (or does not meet whatever goal that is set).
 
#7
:thanx:

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts.

I have spoken with our IT guy and a single contact email is going to be set up that is readable by all the engineers.

We just have to make sure all our customers are aware of the need to send their requests to this address.

I will be checking this to ensure the engineers are responding correctly as per QCAce's suggestion.

This does not happen very often but is very hard to explain to a customer who has sent the information in and it is not acted upon.
 
D

DrM2u

#8
We have had a few occasions where we have had a customer complaint due to an Engineer not dealing with an email requesting a change. If it is acted upon the procedures are very clear and all documentation is upissued, modification sheets are produced and the staff informed. The problem comes when the email is not acted on.
It is hard to dictate the customer how to initiate & communicate ECRs. Based on what you are describing it seems like the problem is with the interface between you and the customer, not after the system is started. I have seen organizations that use a 'funnel' approach to incomming customer communication just to ensure that actions are taken as necessary. I have also seen organizations that hold their employees accountable for their actions. :mg:
 
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