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Question about AQL - Why did the customer reject our products???

buffalo_hua

Starting to get Involved
#1
Dear All,

I have a question about the AQL, recently our customer rejected more than 10,000 of our products due to one minor problem occured in its plant, I wonder that according to the principle of AQL, as long as the out-going report for our products is OK and the customer also has not checked the defect after our products have been transferred to its plant, the products can be accepted by the customer, then why did they reject our products, does not this disobey the principle of AQL?

Hope someone can answer my question.

Thanks a lot in advance!!

---Buffalo_Hua :confused:
 
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#2
buffalo_hua said:
Dear All,

I have a question about the AQL, recently our customer rejected more than 10,000 of our products due to one minor problem occured in its plant, I wonder that according to the principle of AQL, as long as the out-going report for our products is OK and the customer also has not checked the defect after our products have been transferred to its plant, the products can be accepted by the customer, then why did they reject our products, does not this disobey the principle of AQL?

Hope someone can answer my question.

Thanks a lot in advance!!

---Buffalo_Hua :confused:
If I were the Quality Manager of EITHER customer or supplier, I would want a detailed report of WHAT the nonconformance was and whether it was process-related or damaged after processing, in handling or shipping. I would also want to know how the nonconformance affected the customer's operation (is the customer absolutely unwilling to use ANY of the product for fear a bad one might get installed and create a life, health, safety problem?)

Some customers have a "zero tolerance" policy - the supplier should have known that from the Contract Review. If the contract does NOT provide a zero tolerance, the return MIGHT be negotiated.

As part of the return, is the customer also asking for repair or replacement? Alternately, is the customer returning product and canceling order? If the customer wants to cancel the order, there may be a deeper problem than mere quality issues. We need more information.

Bottom line:
Without detailed information on the product, the nonconformance, and the real effect on customer's operation, we can't offer much more than sympathy.
 

Govind

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
I agree with Wes feedback. You have to read the contract more thoroughly. I do not think your customer could reject 10,000 products due to a “minor” problem.

a.Your organization and your Customer may not be clear on the operational definition of “Minor” “Major” and “Critical” before entering into the agreement.
b.AQL May be tighter than you think. Assuming 10,000 as 1 lot, for a Level II, code L, Sample size is 200, until AQL 0.1, the acceptance # is “0”. Your description of minor problem does not match with this degree of AQL selection.
c.If the above 10, 000 were made of few lots, after rejecting the first few lots, customers would have rejected the entire consignment to save inspection time.
d.If you maintained a good traceability of lots for investigation and “homogeneity” of lots, you have a better chance of containing the situation.

As suggested by Wes, more details are required. Take a look at the business contract or Procurement Specification or Service level Agreement whatever the language being used. Some organizations maintain Quality agreement and Business contract separately, some blend them together. Anyways, check both.

Regards,
Govind.
 
M

M Greenaway

#4
I would think that your customer simply wants to return the burden of screening the batch for defects back to yourself - which sounds fair to me.

AQL is often linked to acceptance sampling plans, have you used an agreed sampling plan in this instance ? If so take a look at the OC curve, and understand the 'producers risk' and 'customers risk' when it comes to sampling.
 
Q

QA Lady

#5
Quality Planning

Up front Quality planning at the beginning of a job/project typically
will uncover your customer requirements. I make it very clear to my
suppliers that our company uses the " Zero Acceptance Number "
C = 0, Sampling plan. With that known, one defect (minor or not) rejects
the entire lot.

Hope that helps........
 
M

M Greenaway

#6
QA Lady

Do you use a 'proper' zero acceptance sampling plan, or simply knock the numbers down to zero in a standard sampling plan ?
 
Q

QA Lady

#7
Sample Plan

It is an established sample plan :

Zero Acceptance Number
C = O

Author : Nicholas L. Squeglia

It is widely accepted throughout the industry, even in the
military world due to the fact it is recognized by ISO and more
comprehensive than MIL-STD-105.

Good luck !
 
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