Supplier doesn't accept the complaints

Graciel

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hello!
I have a lot of suppliers that don't accept a complaint. They sometimes show that their process cannot create the issue or sometimes they say that the complaint is actually acceptable by the automaker.
Sometimes we don't have the time to go to the supplier facility and understand their process and what we have is their presentation or written arguments. How to really understand and decline a complaint opened ?
Thank you!
 
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John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Are your complaints also nonconformities? If not you may need to tighten your specs and renegotiate the contracts.

Is your Accounts Dept still paying these suppliers to whom you have reported nonconformities? If so, your accounts payable process needs to connect with your control of nonconforming services or products.

Do these suppliers have a relationship with your top management which undermines your authority and allows them to ignore your complaints? That may contravene your supplier selection criteria and is tricky to address (although you could be open and truthful about the actual selection criteria).

Suppliers managing risk (instead of quality) may choose to ignore complaints that do not have any immediate cost consequences.
 

Graciel

Involved In Discussions
#3
Are your complaints also nonconformities? If not you may need to tighten your specs and renegotiate the contracts.

Is your Accounts Dept still paying these suppliers to whom you have reported nonconformities? If so, your accounts payable process needs to connect with your control of nonconforming services or products.

Do these suppliers have a relationship with your top management which undermines your authority and allows them to ignore your complaints? That may contravene your supplier selection criteria and is tricky to address (although you could be open and truthful about the actual selection criteria).

Suppliers managing risk (instead of quality) may choose to ignore complaints that do not have any immediate cost consequences.
Hi.
Yes the complaints are written by quality inspectors when they find an issue.
Some suppliers justifies saying that there is no previous analysis of our process to check if this happened in our warehouse or process. Or they consult the automaker (GM, VW,others) to check if that is a problem. Ok, in this second scenario when the automaker says is not a problem we can consider the complaint canceled.
I'm an analyst and sometimes I think is strange the way our quality inspectors open this complaints. Sometimes they open and doesn't analyse the issue first with supplier directly. They immediately open the complaint in the company system. Which, later I have to do the follow up.
Thank you!
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#4
So, the automakers are accepting nonconforming products? They may be watch certain nonconformities very closely but know their spec is stricter than it need be. Does this affect your product liability insurance? Please keep excellent records of who authorizes these design changes.

You did not say if your company is paying the suppliers for their supply of nonconforming products. Please take a look at this possible cause of them ignoring complaints.

Hair trigger but accurate reports from inspectors can be welcomed if they highlight the use of overly vague or stringent specifications as well as product nonconformities. Both may be worthy of corrective action.
 

Graciel

Involved In Discussions
#5
So, the automakers are accepting nonconforming products? They may be watch certain nonconformities very closely but know their spec is stricter than it need be. Does this affect your product liability insurance? Please keep excellent records of who authorizes these design changes.

You did not say if your company is paying the suppliers for their supply of nonconforming products. Please take a look at this possible cause of them ignoring complaints.

Hair trigger but accurate reports from inspectors can be welcomed if they highlight the use of overly stringent specifications as well as product nonconformities. Both may be worthy of corrective action.
Is not that the automaker is accepting defects. For example, sometimes our inspector finds an odd appearance issue that he never saw before. Buy when the supplier asks the automaker they send a document that says that in that area that "thing" is not an issue. But this is very rare to happen. Most o the times our suppliers are saying that the issue in the complaint does not happen in their process.
About payment: our company charges the supplier for all costs related to the internal inspection, selection, rework etc caused by the NC.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
"Most of the times our suppliers are saying that the issue in the complaint does not happen in their process."

This sounds like denial or the supplier is suggesting your inspector is mistaken.

Are your inspectors required to agree each nonconformity with the supplier at the time of finding it? Seeking such agreement (or contrary facts) can elicit an accepted basis for the inspector's decision. You may also end up with more reliable inspection reports.
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Super Moderator
#7
the short anwser is for you, your pruchasing group etc....begin the replacement process, unless this is a directed supplier by your customer or they are the only entity that can provide such a service or product....not worth the aggrevation
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Super Moderator
#8
a bit more Graciel, from the above dialogue it sounds as though the supplier is not executing any type of problem solving, 8D or similar structured process...even if they conclude it is no a defect/complaint at least the 8D or similar will document this finding for future reference, lessons learned etc...it helps build up the database....all valuable stuff!!
 

Ed Panek

QA RA Small Med Dev Company
Trusted Information Resource
#9
Depending on your leverage over the issues you can update your SQA to mention rework being invoiced back to the supplier. Start documenting the literal hours you spend solving the issues and charge them back for it. This is going to piss off your suppliers so be careful. Make sure you have held a come to Jesus type meeting before hand.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Staff member
Super Moderator
#10
Keep in mind that the easiest way to address a complaint is to reject it...
Your company is complaining because the issue hurts your profit.
They are rejecting it because they are trying to protect their profit.
It's a normal hurdle to get over. Try complaining to Citibank, or Apple, or Microsoft...the complaint process is made difficult on purpose...for profit protection. You should see some of the complaints I've had...completely ludicrous. Just look at some of the absurd warning labels...each of them came from complaints (and lawsuits).

So the real question is:
About payment: our company charges the supplier for all costs related to the internal inspection, selection, rework etc caused by the NC.
Do they pay?
If the answer is "Yes"...you're done here. Just make sure you are charging them properly (for profit).
If the answer is "No", then you've got some more work to do to get over that intentional hurdle.
 
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