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Missing routers/documented information


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I need help re: missing routers/documented information.

I am new to the document control position and doing my best to educate everyone on quality record retention.
Long story short... Mfg. routers go missing all the time and when I ask about a nonconformance being written for the missing routers and sometimes the parts go missing also, I am told to write a procedure on how to handle missing routers.

I do not think document control should be writing this procedure. I'm not supposed to direct mfg. errors. This should be quality or operations but routers and parts will continue being lost because there is not a written process staing how to handle missing information.
This is ridiculous and I feel it's an excuse for quality mgmt., engineering, and operations to continue w/carelessness. Please help me w/a reply to them.

Thank you!!!!

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Good day CindyG,

Being an ex-document control administrator, I understand your position. It certainly sounds as though they are trying to pass this off on you.

That said, it is hard to enforce a requirement before it exists. So this may be the time to learn the details about what's going on, by consulting with process insiders and those who depend on these routers not getting lost. A lot of the urgency comes down to what information these documents contain - inspection results? Traceability of raw materials and components? Unless this information is captured elsewhere, not having it could seriously impact the group if a need to recall something comes up. You don't say whether or not you're in a regulated industry. If you are, then real leverage is available there. If not, we must find a way to help people understand that keeping production history is important and could be painful/costly if the information is lost.

Sometimes, people need to be slapped upside the head with real life events and the consequences. Every horse can reserve the right to die of thirst...

One of the things we can do is try to find an easier way of managing the information. Can it be done electronically, with workstation "thin clients" or rugged tablets? Trying to ask this question might help communicate you have their interests in mind.

I hope this helps!
What are the consequences of a missing router? Doesn't sound like it really matters if it happens "all the time" and hasn't been corrected. If the risks of missing routers are sever, then you'll need to find out why they go missing and how to replace. If there is no risk from a missing router, then print another copy and get on with bigger things.


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We use red notebooks as routers. The basic instructions are that no one performs any operation on any material without the book present in thier hands. The benefit to this is that everything stops instantly which draws attention to the fact the book is missing, sort of a kanban effect that forces an immediate response. If nothing else, it draws attention to the fact that the fact that the router must be present at all times. At the end the book goes to the production manager who signs it off and turns it in. Having the router be the ticket to the next process keeps it in mind at all times.
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