Owner of Company Doesn't Understand Corrective Action....

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
My boss, the General Manager and Owner of the company I work for does not understand corrective action. Although, he seems to think he does.

If there is an issue, no matter how blatantly isolated the cause is, he "demands" corrective action so that it never happens again.

Excuse the phrase, but sometimes you simply can not fix stupid.

The isolated issues range from:
  • Incomplete Paperwork - Operator forgot to fill it out...
  • It took an extra day to run a product - the material for the product didn't arrive on time due to construction back-up on the Turn-Pike.
  • Weight of product in container was off by .25 #'s - Product left the cover to the container on the scale and did not properly tare the container.
Regardless, of how isolated the issue, these are examples of CAR's that I just can't bring myself to work on. I do not find any of these items reason for correction, while there are more important items to take care of.

How would you respond to your boss if he told to conduct an entire investigation and come up with a correction to such an isolated issue?:argue:
 
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Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Cool thing about working for the owner...you always know what drives him/her. You never have to guess.

Owners like MONEY.
Put it dollars and cents...it's their money your talking about, and theirs to spend how they will.
"If I try to correct construction on the Turnpike, it will cost 87 billion dollars and 11 years. That's not really what you want, so I looked at pursuing a corrective action by ordering everything early to allow for unexpected delays...the inventory holding cost would increse by $ XXX. I'll put this CA through if that is what you think is best...I'm not sure if that is the best use of your money, so I wanted to leave that call to you."

At the end of the day, your and my opinions of what's best don't rate...not when there is an opposite desire from the owner. Regardless of what the job description is, the owner can choose to use your time however he wants...he owns the place and he's renting your time.

You can give the best suggestions you can, and try to come to an agreement. In the end, it's his call. You serve the owner best by educating him/her...not by disagreeing.

JMO
 
J

JQuality

#3
I hate to say it, but every single one of those failures could be fixed and prevented from ever occurring in the future if the proper resources were put into the corrective actions.
If it were me, i would put together a realistic corrective action and attach the estimated costs associated with the corrective action and present it to the company owner and let him decide if truly fixing the problem is worth the money required.
For instance, the data entry deficiency issue could certainly be fixed by requiring the data to be entered into a database that won?t allow the job to be finished until all data entry fields are completed. Unless you have a computer programmer on site and/or software that could be modified easily by a programmer, the cost could be quite high. If however the owner truly wants to fix the problem forever he will pay the cost, or back off of unreasonable requests for corrective actions.

:2cents:
 
J

JLang

#4
Smack him...

Atleast that's what I'd WANT to do :)

Best bet is probably what NINJA mentioned. Put it in terms of $. "It cost you $50-100 worth of my time to fill out a full CAR on this simple human error. Is that really the best use of your money?"
 

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
I hate to say it, but every single one of those failures could be fixed and prevented from ever occurring in the future if the proper resources were put into the corrective actions.
If it were me, i would put together a realistic corrective action and attach the estimated costs associated with the corrective action and present it to the company owner and let him decide if truly fixing the problem is worth the money required.
For instance, the data entry deficiency issue could certainly be fixed by requiring the data to be entered into a database that won?t allow the job to be finished until all data entry fields are completed. Unless you have a computer programmer on site and/or software that could be modified easily by a programmer, the cost could be quite high. If however the owner truly wants to fix the problem forever he will pay the cost, or back off of unreasonable requests for corrective actions.

:2cents:

Oh yes... I am sure there are corrective actions for each of the isolated issues that happened. I don't feel correction is needed since we have bigger fish to fry. We a medical plastics company. I have a lot of testing to do and investigations to take part in.

I suppose I should have compared the issues above to those that are of more importance to us.

I would rather look into a possible recall, rather than material showing up a day late...

I will definately take you both up on the cost idea.... That should definately turn things around...
 

insect warfare

QA=Question Authority
Trusted Information Resource
#6
I would show him about correction vs. corrective action from credible sources. For example, ISO 9000:2005 definitions:

3.6.6
correction
action to eliminate a detected nonconformity (3.6.2)
NOTE 1 A correction can be made in conjunction with a corrective action (3.6.5).​
NOTE 2 A correction can be, for example, rework (3.6.7) or regrade (3.6.8).

3.6.5
corrective action
action to eliminate the cause of a detected nonconformity (3.6.2) or other undesirable situation
NOTE 1 There can be more than one cause for a nonconformity.
NOTE 2 Corrective action is taken to prevent recurrence whereas preventive action (3.6.4) is taken to prevent
occurrence.​
NOTE 3 There is a distinction between correction (3.6.6) and corrective action.

ISO 9001:2008 paragraph 8.5.2 also says "Corrective actions shall be appropriate to the effects of the nonconformities encountered." This may not be the correct standard in your case, but the concept is universal.

Then I would cite some real-world examples in the language of "green" (dollars and sense). If he didn't bite after this, at least I can say I tried...sometimes it's just a crapshoot.

Brian :rolleyes:
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#7
Incomplete Paperwork - Operator forgot to fill it out...
[*]
I use to spend 3-5 hours a week 'fixing' paper work that operators forget to fill out and the customer gets. The customer sends the paperwork back requiring it to be correct.

To me, the corrective action on this would not fall to you to fix, but send it to the operators direct boss. Find out why the operator cannot fill out the paperwork right. Would you accept 'bad paper work' from accounting when they mess up your pay check, or put the money into the wrong account with direct deposit?
 
K

KathySmith

#8
1) This is a double edge sword, but sometimes CAR's get confused with Disciplinary Action paperwork "can't fix stupid". Hold folks accountable:argue:. Accountability is what motivates the world. I made that quote up last week on an inspector that had an escape. The supervisor wrote him up.
2) Does the boss really want you to fix the problem, but is saying this by demanding a "CAR?? Fixing the problem may take a team effort and he might want you to lead that team. :agree: Buy in from several folks that hold different parts of the resource pot. Maybe he expects you to show some leadership.
3) There are always going to be systemic low cost operator induced issues that can never be completely eliminated in companies that are trying to make money. Yes there is, I challenge all the diehard CAR oriented quality folks that work for large companies with deep pockets and can afford a bunch of quality engineers. Go work for a mom/pop company that is tier 2 or 3 and owner has no formal quality system training and margins are low. Anyone can draw a fishbone and spend a million bucks to make the paperwork issue never ever come back. Do it with no budget, one or two occurrence?s a year and your customer thinks you?re the best supplier.:lmao::applause:
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#9
I'm aware that construction on the turnpike is causing delays. Logistics can tune into 1610 AM radio and hear the updates, and plan a re-route. If it can keep from setting production behind for a day, why not plan to go around the turnpike bottleneck instead of just sitting in traffic?

Your boss's approach reminds me of Pee Wee baseball league when my son was young. The little kids would be positioned out there on the field; the coach would hit a ball out there and they'd all run after it and pig-pile on the ball. The coach would hit another ball and the entire group would run after that ball: a clot of little arms and legs - and they'd pile on it again. One kid would meanwhile be crouched out there somewhere, picking and eating wild strawberries - completely oblivious to the Keystone Kops routine happening elsewhere.

The Post Attachments List has some attachments dealing with Cost of Quality, including calculators. The ones I put in were pretty complex but not all the fields need to be populated for the calculations to occur. They can help you calculate ROI for resolving issues. You can make histograms and ask your boss which ones he'd like you to pursue.

Once you line up these issues it may help, in the same way as making a budget, to understand where the issues are. What would it look like if they were added up - is a "death by 1,000 cuts" set of operator (can''t fix stupid) problems going on? Maybe these nuisance issues are actually more than a nuisance.

Then there are the basic facts that issues like recalls naturally have urgent priority, and that others could help solve select problems. Where is the production supervisor? If Boss Man wants the operator to more completely fill out the paperwork, maybe the supervisor can deal with that... unless the paperwork itself is a nightmarish affair and it's really important. Is it? Such a question doesn't fit neatly on the quality cost calculator except to consider the consequences of this-or-that not getting done in your regulated environment.
:2cents:
 
Last edited:

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#10
...For instance, the data entry deficiency issue could certainly be fixed by requiring the data to be entered into a database that won?t allow the job to be finished until all data entry fields are completed. ...
:2cents:
...Excuse the phrase, but sometimes you simply can not fix stupid....
Take a step back and look at the situation systemically (as opposed to looking at individual roles or people).

You are correct, you can't fix stupid. But you CAN build a system that won't allow 'stupid things' to cause significant harm to the business. JQuality's example is a good example of the system preventing omissions...even if they happen for stupid reasons.

We all have stupid days...well, at least I do anyway.

But as Jquality also points out, there is a cost involved in changing a system. It's the owners choice whether the value is worth the cost...it's yours to present him with the choice.
 
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