When Customers Make Changes to Orders

NDesouza

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hello All,
I am trying to implement a process for when customers want to make changes to their orders. We have an issue with customer requested changes going unnoticed in long email chains. We do not have any type of ERP system for handling customer orders. We are a small company that is big enough for an electronic system but management does not feel that we need to spend the money on these types of tools. Meanwhile, we have had enough instances where something was overlooked and customers are not happy because they wanted us to make a change to their order that did not happen because we did not see the request in the email text.
Since getting an electronic system is pretty much out of the question, does anyone know of a procedure that I could implement to mitigate the risk of customer changes getting missed due to a shaky process like using emails? Maybe a form that customers agree to submit when they want to make changes to their orders?

thanks,
Nicole
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#2
If a customer changes their order with me, I ask them to send a separate email requesting a formal change including:
PO# change is made to
Specific thing originally ordered
Specific change being requested to what was originally ordered
Person responsible/authorized for the change on the customer side

This gets it out of a long chain, and gives me CYA data as well.

Simple for a small company, and not too burdensome on the customer.
If your customer are already complaining about things being missed...I doubt they'll complain about an extra email to "make sure it's done".

It also gives you a clean, concise (hopefully) direction outside of all the other communication clutter...and something you can forward straight over to whomever controls production.

Could this work for you?
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#3
Maybe a form that customers agree to submit when they want to make changes to their orders?
From what you describe and, based on my experience, you don't need any form, especially the ones that gives more work to a customer rep. What you need is the ASSIGNMENT OF CLEAR RESPONSIBILITY and accountability within your organization. Those people who interface with customers MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE to identify, review AND COMMUNICATE order changes to the functions at your company, who need to be aware of such changes.
 

Tagin

Trusted Information Resource
#4
Yea, something is going on with people not paying attention or exhibiting due diligence in reading their emails and serving their customers. That needs to be addressed.

Once that is addressed, I think a form could be helpful - it could provide 'guardrails' and guidance for employees gathering customer order change requests. It could help remind employees and customers both to think about impacts to price, lead time, shipping, etc.
 

NDesouza

Involved In Discussions
#5
I totally agree with you @Sidney Vianna . The way it works here is that when someone makes a mistake, they do not typically own up to it. Since there is virtually no official quality system in place, it is very hard to resolve issues. The culture has been to hold on to the "old ways" of doing things because "we have been in business for 50 years and we didn't need to do any of the things you are trying to get us to do before" From the leadership all the way to the shop floor, the culture does not support the objective.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. :confused:
 
Last edited:

NDesouza

Involved In Discussions
#6
If a customer changes their order with me, I ask them to send a separate email requesting a formal change including:
PO# change is made to
Specific thing originally ordered
Specific change being requested to what was originally ordered
Person responsible/authorized for the change on the customer side

This gets it out of a long chain, and gives me CYA data as well.

Simple for a small company, and not too burdensome on the customer.
If your customer are already complaining about things being missed...I doubt they'll complain about an extra email to "make sure it's done".

It also gives you a clean, concise (hopefully) direction outside of all the other communication clutter...and something you can forward straight over to whomever controls production.

Could this work for you?
Thank you,
I will talk this over with our Customer Support Rep.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#7
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. :confused:
Exactly. That’s why I said you don’t need a form. If people disregard customer instructions for order changes in an email string, a form is of no help.

The cultural aspect is the hardest part to change in any organization. If the “leaders” of a company allow a culture to foster that perceives customers as those pesky people who keep barraging us with orders, it is hopeless. No true quality system will ever function, because the fundamental principle of customer satisfaction is just nonexistent.

Customers are the reason, the beginning and the end of any commercial enterprise. Failure to realize that and act accordingly means you simply don’t deserve to be in business. End of story.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#8
I totally agree with you @Sidney Vianna From the leadership all the way to the shop floor, the culture does not support the objective.
There is a 1 sentence explanation for most of your problems. Trying to implement a quality system, correct problems, or improve systems in such a place is a constant uphill fight that you will most often lose. I suggest looking for a job elsewhere or otherwise you will eventually suffer ill health from the frustration of working in such a toxic environment. Life is too short to put up with such crap.

But finding a working utopia is not likely, either. In my personal experience, and the experiences of many friends and colleagues, finding a company that truly walks their talk in the quality world > 90% of the time is very, very difficult. Most companies score about 50-70% in that area. Sounds like your company would score around 10%. YMMV.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#9
IDK, what kind of customer buries a "change" inside an email chain? In our case, once the email and conference calls are done, the change is usually confirmed via a print revision change and a po amendment reflecting the new revision.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#10
Well, it happens in my business fairly often...

"I ordered 30Kg but just got an update on demand...can you make it 45Kg and ship it all together?"
A PO revision takes a couple weeks, and my normal turn time is 24-48hrs.
If they don't email me, it won't get done for weeks. The paperwork drudge catches up with reality a few weeks later.

"I know I ordered 12" wide, but could you make it 14" wide instead?"
Same deal as above.

I just got an email this morning asking for 24Kg due February 6th to instead be 40Kg shipped ASAP. From experience I know that I will get the PO revision after the material arrives at the customer...the email "in writing" is enough to patch the liability hole.

I suppose it depends on the time scale that operations works on. If you have the time to do formal drawing changes and formal paperwork signoffs I would use that method...but there's a whole lot going on in the world that runs a lot faster than that...things that can't handle "stop, wait, there's a change in process". You know what they want, you have your butt covered by the email, and you go and get it done. Paperwork follows instead of leading.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
R Informing Customers of Process Changes - Is this considered a process change? Manufacturing and Related Processes 19
M Sharing QMS Documents with Customers Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 13
D Customer Specific Requirements / Customer Requirements for Indirect Customers IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 10
B Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification for military customers AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 5
P ISO 9001 certification with zero customers? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 11
M Customers Request AS9100 certification - Small Company (less than 20 employees) AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 8
J Which OEM or customers are now requiring the new AIAG/VDA FMEA format? FMEA and Control Plans 6
M Scope of Combined ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 QMS - Non-automotive customers ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
D Do non-IATF customers need to be included in audit scope? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 23
T Was Just told we could ONLY buy material for AS9100 customers if the DISTRIBUTION house is AS9100 / AS9120 AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 3
D Customer and Company Specific Requirements for notification of Customers of a change in Management or Key Personnel Customer and Company Specific Requirements 3
S Returned product due to Customers fault, is it a Non-Conformance? AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 7
Sidney Vianna Interesting Discussion ISO 9001 audits from the perspective of registrants' customers - an interesting paper Registrars and Notified Bodies 0
S How to collect complaint data from customers Customer Complaints 24
A CE Mark PPE Category III for our customers residing in the EU CE Marking (Conformité Européene) / CB Scheme 1
Ed Panek Requirement to track and trend positive feedback from customers ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 12
R Medical Device (IVD) - Selling RUO to Customers EU Medical Device Regulations 2
T Restricting scope of AS9100 certification to a couple of customers AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 4
C What are rules to notify customers if IATF cert is put on hold? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 2
R Concessions - ISO 13485:2016 requires concession approval from customers Nonconformance and Corrective Action 2
G AIAG FMEA - Major customers of the FMEA process FMEA and Control Plans 3
C Record retention for defunct customers? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 11
M Can a foreign manufacturer sell directly to US customers? Other US Medical Device Regulations 4
D AS9100D 7.3 Awareness of customers quality policies AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 18
A Special Procedures for Non Aerospace Customers AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 3
R AS9100 FAI - First Article Inspection to a prior Customers PO AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 7
B TS16949 Section 8.2.2.3 Product Audit - Requirements for various Customers IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 10
Crimpshrine13 IATF 16949 Audits to include Processes and Products from Non Subscribing Customers IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 20
N Do you make exceptions to your process for customers? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 8
D TS16949 requirements for for Directed Buy Customers IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 5
M Document Control Management - External documents flowed down from customers Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 2
K ISO 9001:2015 Section 8.5.3 - Property belonging to customers or external providers ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
M Does AS9120 (aerospace first article inspection) apply to all customers AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 2
D Dual Lot Manufacturing requirements for Clinical Customers Manufacturing and Related Processes 3
A SIPOC (Suppliers Inputs Process Outputs Customers) examples wanted Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 1
J Potential Customers Asking for EIRs / 483s when evaluating a CRO for future work US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2
N Survey to Customers Regarding Our Complaint Response Time Customer Complaints 7
B Creation of CAD solid models using customers supplied drawings AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 7
S CS2 (Controlled Shipping Level) by GM - CB notified. What about other customers? IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 1
E How do you monitor Medical Device Off-Label use by Customers & Medical Professionals EU Medical Device Regulations 5
C Notification to Customers regarding Major Audit Finding IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 25
C Clause 7.2 with no customers (yet) ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 2
T IMDS - MDS request for parts supplied to multiple customers RoHS, REACH, ELV, IMDS and Restricted Substances 15
T Are Customers required to follow a Manufacturers Maintenance Schedule? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 3
L PPAP Approval Woes - Getting signed PSW's back from Customers Supplier Quality Assurance and other Supplier Issues 15
R LinkedIn Customers Allege Company Hacked E-Mail Addresses After Work and Weekend Discussion Topics 0
S Can we be both TS16949 for Automotive Customers and ISO 9001 for other Customers IATF 16949 - Automotive Quality Systems Standard 8
K ISO 9001 vs. ISO 13485 Registration - Approximately 1/3 of our customers are medical ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 4
G Supplier Quality Questionnaire - Asking who our customers are Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 10
Q Internal Laboratory Services - Selling Services to "Outside" Customers General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 1

Similar threads

Top Bottom