Suppliers not responding to Supplier Corrective Action Requests (SCAR)



I recently Start a new position and I'm having a hard time Getting suppliers to respond to Scars. Some do not even acknowledge them. any advice..


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Re: Supplier Corrective action request

It is a tough one, but;
1) Ask the buyers to find out who the best contact for SCAR resolution. You may be sending to a person who is no longer at the company.
2) Send the SCAR in an e-mail with a read request.
3) Call after you send the e-mail to inform the recipient that it is on the way, and that you are there to help out in order to obtain an effective resolution.

Still no luck?

Take them off the ASL - the buyers will probably get really involved at this point.


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Re: Supplier Corrective action request

I sympathize.

Be sure you are only issuing SCARs when it is appropriate. Do not burden yourself with doing this for issues that do not merit a SCAR.

Everything [Kronos147] said.


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Re: Supplier Corrective action request

I sympathize.

Be sure you are only issuing SCARs when it is appropriate. Do not burden yourself with doing this for issues that do not merit a SCAR.

Everything [Kronos147] said.
Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Don't send a scar for every little issue. Also, when you have a problem pick up the phone and talk to the supplier. Discuss the situation and then determine if a scar is warranted. It will go a long, long way to getting a good response.
Re: Supplier Corrective action request

As others have pointed out quite well, not every nonconformance need a Scar.
I look to see if it is a systemic issue, if so, I issue a Scar, since I see a problem if uncorrected will continue to get me bad parts.
If not, and I get a few bad parts, then I send a "Quality Alert", which just points out the issue and asks for some extra attention to the problem, done deal, unless I get more of the same , then is escalates to a Scar.
Otherwise a simple NCR for the isolated issue.
Some form of written communication is essential, as we may need to disposition or replace or rework parts and a record is required. While I can pick up the phone, this leaves me in a spot where we cannot document the issue unless I follow up a call with the paperwork.
I have been of the receiving end of a Scar with triplex 8D required within two weeks for individual isolated defects, and that is not a fun place to be. We actually charge those customers more now due to the extra work that may be involved if there are any issues.

Sidney Vianna

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I recently Start a new position and I'm having a hard time Getting suppliers to respond to Scars. Some do not even acknowledge them. any advice..

If you really want insightful feedback and actionable advice you need to provide much more information and context for the situation. Otherwise people will speculate the thousand and one possibilities why your suppliers are not responding to your corrective action requests.

The usefulness of responses is proportional to the amount of relevant information you provide when asking a question.


That's why methodologies such as PPAP (UPPAP in UTC), Airbus GRAMS/GRESS etc pay out at the time of selecting the best supplier. The have to prove in advance that not only they're able to meet schedules but their QA system is robust enough to prevent quality escapes and if happen to provide a solid root cause/corrective action analysis. In UTC Aerospace Systems for each recurrent non-conforming the supplier have to provide an RC/CA using an 8D, DIVE or similar solving tool. In Sikorsky, former UTC company, the supplier are also charge for each MRB.

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
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I recently Start a new position and I'm having a hard time Getting suppliers to respond to Scars. Some do not even acknowledge them. any advice..

Maybe you need to take some time and make a face-to-face visit with the suppliers that you feel aren't responding. You are new, the suppliers, don't know you and how you work. A personal visit is always helpful. You can let them know what you expect from them, and you can let them know the importance of solid and verifiable responses.

Just a suggestion from someone that has been in similar positions.

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
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I see a lot of excuses being made for the supplier's lack of response. In my experience, that is the 20% (at most) of cases where the supplier has some justification for not responding or responding "late", etc.

IMO, most often it is just the supplier's fault, period. The request for a RCCA is justified for a significant issue; the request is clear, fair, and sent to the right people; adequate time is given, all that.

If I don't respond to one of my customers' request for RCCA I can expect to get my butt hauled into the boss' office for a proper butt-chewing. One of thr reasons I got my job is because my predecessor could not seem to learn that lesson. And at least half of our top customer's RCCA requests turn out to be not our fault, but they are the customer and I owe them the professional courtesy of a response. If I need more time, I ask, before it goes past-due. I develop a rapport with my customer. By showing them I care, I get a lot of goodwill built up.

But to give no response, IMO, is unprofessional, even if the request is for what you may think is a minor issue, etc. Talk to the customer, show them some respect, and discuss it like professionals. Just do not ignore it. They are the customer, the reason you have a job, so act like it.


As a customer, Mike S. would be what I consider a good supplier.

I cannot stand when my suppliers don't respond to my SCARs. It took me work to GET the information in the system and I don't do it because I am bored. I do it because the issue is slowing down my processes and costing me money. If I was bored, I goof around on the internet or something. Trust me. We don't "come up with issues to justify our jobs" like it sometimes feels. There are PLENTY of issues in a regular day. Admittedly - it does get a little inconsistent as to WHAT we raise as an issue, and the reason is the volume of competing issues. If I have 3 major spills going on, your minor ding (that may be a problem) isn't going to get attention. But, if I don't, it is. Which is why to the supply base it sometimes feels that we are picking on you. We aren't, you're just not the worst supplier that day.

Stop whining about having to fill out 8Ds or whatever. Just stop it. A supplier who fights the 8Ds, I usually pull out several of their emails and say "Look, the information that goes into the 8D is all in this pile of emails you sent me (making more work for me). Why didn't you just consolidate this all together and fill out the 8D? You are choosing the path of MORE work fighting it." And it is ALWAYS true.

(Insider tip - if you send me a ****, disorganized 8D, I am going to dig. And don't forget, it's our job to dig, and we have gotten good at it. We can make you miserable. So show a little professionalism and don't pencil whip it.)

(Second insider tip - Yes, I know, I have customers too. SOME 8Ds are ridiculous. They are, in truth, 8 pretty simple steps. 3 of them *I* have to fill out, not you, so your work is really only 5 and the last step is "Congratulate the team." But some people start down this road of "It would be great if we had ... a FISHBONE in the 8D. THEN they want a 3x5 why. Then a PPS outline. Then this, then that. These are all great tools, but you don't have to use every one, every time. So if your customer is giving you one of these goliath 8Ds, my suggestion is ... make your own. A neat, SIMPLE 8D. 2 pages max. THEN if you NEED to use one of the "tools" (and you should use one, they DO work, pick the appropriate one), ATTACH it to the end. Look at your customer and say "We would prefer to USE OUR 8D because that STANDARDIZES our shop. And if we standardize, you get better product." MOST customers will agree because it makes sense. But again, it can't be half ass. Make a professional template. Use it every time. And soon, it won't be nearly the work you think it is. You want your customer off your back? Be quick, concise and professional. There are plenty of other suppliers out there who AREN'T that will distract them.)

(Third insider tip: Do NOT put "operator error" as the root cause. For some reason, that's like a trigger phrase with supplier quality. 95% of the people I know in the trade, and I know a LOT of them, go on a hunt with an almost palpable fervor if you send an 8D that is "operator error.")

Now - your ORIGINAL question was ... how do you get the supplier to respond. There are a few ways.

1) Get off your butt and go see them. Show up at their place and demand their attention. Tell them "I am here because I am not confident in the data you are sending me, so we are going to look at it here."

2) Get your purchasing department off their butts and have them notify the supplier they are now OFF the bid list.

3) Get your accounts payable department off their butts and have them debit the payment of the next shipment the cost of having to deal with their quality problem.

4) Call their TS-16949 registrar and have them de-certify them, which they can absolutely do. This (should) take them off of EVERYONE's bid list.

All 4 work. Some better than others. But always remember you also have to have a RELATIONSHIP with your supplier. This doesn't mean you have to always accept bad parts. It DOES mean you have to listen to their side and sometimes be understanding of their problems, some of which YOU definitely create.

And don't forget, when the dust settles and all the faffing around is all done, fingers pointed, root cause documentation published. All the ****. It boils down to two, and only two, questions:

Supplier: Do you want these parts?
Customer: Do you want my business?
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