Timely Response for Preventive Actions - How can we assure a timely response?



I am interested in your statement from the topic CAR/ PAR system, which goes: 'As to timely responses, persistance is the only answer !'. How can we assure a timely response? Is there a system which may guarantee such?
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Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member

Knowledge of the inputs to the system is necessary. What variables exist to the poor response time to issued CARs or PARs?




Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Kevin has it on the money. Bottom line is if someone is tracking the CAs and people are not responding, it is a sure bet there is a situation of responsibility being assigned without authority. In addition, your system is supposed to have an escalation feature. This is to say the person has (as an example - 30 days 15 days, 45 days - whatever you define in your system) 30 days to respond. After that time period the 'incident' is supposed to escalate to a higher level of management. You may have 3, 4 5 or more escalation levels, but eventually it is supposed to reach top management. If I was an auditor I would have trouble even approving your system if you had no escalation feature with defined triggers to ensure that escalation will occur.

Timely - this is open to interpretation, however common sense should apply. Timely with consideration to the circumstances and particulars. Typically you should be able to get an initial reply within 10 working days (my opinion). I personally would escalate monthly. Timely for follow-ups depend upon the specifics of the problem identified.


What variables exist to the poor response time to issued CARs or PARs?

I think the problem exist in that we require a CAR for every critical defect found during QA inspection, and 'critical' is any defect which may not be screened out (escapee) during processing, may pass QA inspection and is a potential customer complaint. Since we are a semiconductor company, there are a lot of defects we consider 'critical'. With this scenario, engineers tend to give a part of their attention to this problem and a some part to that and so on.
We sort of integrated the 'control of non-conforming products' with 'corrective/ preventive actions'. Are we really required to do such by QS9000 or are we given the prerogative to choose problems which needs corrective actions?

You're right, Marc. Our escalation process here is not working as it should. We are being overwhelmed with too much problems that we (more often than not) forget that there are parts in our quality system which may be able to help us. Point is, we have a CAR system which doesn't seem to be effective in reducing the DPPM level. Thanks for highlighting this to me. This only proves that this forum is indeed very helpful.
BTW, are there any other CAR/PAR system aside from the Ford G8D?

[This message has been edited by Marloun (edited 06 March 2000).]

barb butrym

Quite Involved in Discussions
Why not review and identify critical defects, and issue PARs only for trends, not the "one off" stuff ...and those repetitive stuff? Too many CAR/PARs tend to make them of less importance individually, and too difficult (as you have seen) to manage..maybe a different approach is needed for addresing the "All critical defects".....requirement. Maybe a part of the NC material program?

OOPS foot in mouth ...reading back, i see you already were touching on these...so YES i agree...LOL

[This message has been edited by barb butrym (edited 06 March 2000).]

Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Staff member
"With this scenario, engineers tend to give a part of their attention to this problem and a some part to that and so on"

It sounds like engineering is getting spread pretty thin, making them less than effective. This is a classic example Deming speaks about in Out of the Crisis. In his words, an approach like this "gaurantees that things will only get worse." In his example, he speaks about how management has the engineering department looking at every defect produced, to evaluate it to find what is wrong and how to fix it. His point was that without knowledge of the system, the efforts of engineering were being wasted, when they should be focusing on other things. They were treating every cause as a Special Cause when in fact, most were Common Cause. Systems will produce some level of nonconformance. But when should you react?

Before reacting, you need to evaluate the inputs and the outputs. Is your process stable, but producing some level of nonconformance? What causes a product to be considered nonconforming (perhaps the criteria is incorrect)? Before adjusting the process, you need to understand all you can. Making an adjustment without this knowledge will probably make things worse. Additionally, if an adjustment were made and improvements were noticed, there would be no gaurantee that a relationship exists (things got better by chance and would have without the adjustment).

Still, what can be done to the CAR/PAR systems to make them more effective? I would suggest using the PDSA/PDCA approach to refine the CAR/PAR process. By observation and perhaps by audit (both Check/Study activities), the process is less than effective. Was the plan good to start with (was the procedure any good)? Did it have the proper authorities defined to monitor activities(as Marc pointed out, authoriy may not have been properly delegated)? What caused the failure (was it special or common)? Should the plan be rewriten (Act)? Create the new plan and deploy to begin the cycle again. This is a never ending cycle. It is a continuous improvement cycle.

I fear that your engineering department maybe overadjusting, one way, then the other. They are treating common cause as special cause. This would account for the many CARs in your system, receiving poor attention. It would be better in my opinion to follow Barbs advice and sort the vital few from the trivial many and concentrate efforts on improving the process. Make the time invested by the Engineers a value added operation. Otherwise, they will be wasting alot of time and effort, not to mention getting very frustrated.


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