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Return of Product Process - Procedure or Flowchart

cferrer

Starting to get Involved
#11
I guess to give you a bit of background, let me repeat a comment I posted in another thread:

In our company there is discussion about where does the Returns and Repairs process belong (in customer support, logistics, sales). There is a tendency to view the RMA process itself as a system level process that needs to be ran by a quality employee. Isnt it common to have this type of "after market" process come in from the customer support and have the paperwork and overall coordination stay with the operations team in customer support while other sub-processes get called to perform their part, i.e. diagnose and repair, replace and ship or dispose, or CAPA?? Where does the returns process belong? It is an End-to-end process? it is an operations process or an oversight process? should returns be treated together with repairs or separately? It is embeded inside the complaints handling process?

I guess my understanding would be rather that the complaint management is a quality driven, system level process and the returned products get channeled to this process if within warranty or non-conforming and otherwise they get routed to a non-quality operational service process, where regular products come in to be repair or overhauled for any other reason besides NCs and Warranty claims.
 

Tagin

Involved In Discussions
#12
I guess to give you a bit of background, let me repeat a comment I posted in another thread:

In our company there is discussion about where does the Returns and Repairs process belong (in customer support, logistics, sales). There is a tendency to view the RMA process itself as a system level process that needs to be ran by a quality employee. Isnt it common to have this type of "after market" process come in from the customer support and have the paperwork and overall coordination stay with the operations team in customer support while other sub-processes get called to perform their part, i.e. diagnose and repair, replace and ship or dispose, or CAPA?? Where does the returns process belong? It is an End-to-end process? it is an operations process or an oversight process? should returns be treated together with repairs or separately? It is embeded inside the complaints handling process?

I guess my understanding would be rather that the complaint management is a quality driven, system level process and the returned products get channeled to this process if within warranty or non-conforming and otherwise they get routed to a non-quality operational service process, where regular products come in to be repair or overhauled for any other reason besides NCs and Warranty claims.
I'm not sure there is a common or typical organizational structure or flow for returns/repairs; it can be different for each company, and may even be product-dependent. The downside of that is that finding what works best for your company will take some soul-searching and sorting out by your mgmt team.

I don't think that return/repair has to be run by a quality employee any more than manufacturing has to be run by a quality employee: just because manufacturing may generate n/c product or n/c scrap doesn't mean it has to be run by a quality person; likewise with return/repair. Quality may be involved with approvals and such, but it doesn't mean that quality has to run return/repair. Otherwise, we might as well have quality run the entire company, since n/c's can arise from anywhere in the company.

In our case (a small company), we have a separate group to handle return/repair. Receiving has a specific process to receive in returns and pass them to this group. Shipping is handled by the shipping dept. Replacement parts come out of the main warehouse. So, the repair group does not truly handle it end-to-end. But if we were larger, perhaps they would be in a separate location with their own dedicated ship/receive/warehousing people.

The group has escalation paths for complaints, exceptions, etc. to mgmt. We also incorporated repair requests into our MRB meetings, so that we could address any issues/concerns/trends (again, we are a small company, so this addition is not burdensome).
 

cferrer

Starting to get Involved
#13
Does anyone have a sample visual representation on the interaction between the RMA process, customer complaints process and the CAPA process? Is there anything in the attachment database that you know of? I coulnd find anything in my search and a google search didnt get me much further either.
Would really appreciate it!
 
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