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Author Topic:   Falsifying SPC Data
Willy
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 7
From:Adair, Iowa USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 20 July 2001 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Willy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What type of disciplinary action would you take against a department supervisor who has falsified SPC Data sheets.

This isn't the first time this supervisor has done this - but this is the only time I could prove it to upper management. The sheets were filled out and signed by this person for products that were processed on the day he was on vacation.

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SteelMaiden
Forum Contributor

Posts: 35
From:NC, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 20 July 2001 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteelMaiden     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Willy,

Without knowing anything about your business and its disciplinary policy, the impact of false SPC info to the end-user, etc. I'll risk some thoughts.

First, if you have a discipline policy, follow it. A standard policy might go something like this:
First offense, verbal warning.
Second offense, written warning.
Third offense, written warning plus 3 day unpaid suspension.
Fourth offense, dismissal.
Disciplinary action plan may be accelerated at the discretion of manager dependent upon the seriousness of the offense and its impact upon safety of other employees and/or customer.

But practically....if this has been happening and management has not done anything about it prior to now you probably aren't going to see much happen unless you actually formalize a complaint.

Good luck.

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energy
Forum Contributor

Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 20 July 2001 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Willy,

Disciplinary action should be Corrective Action directed at his Supervisor. Chances are that Management would not take it as serious as you. That does not mean that they are right. As a Supervisor, he enjoys the privilege of being forgiven and has the support of Management because he obviously "puts out product". They would probably say that only you know that he was on vacation and that he falsified the record. Tread carefully on this one. I'm not even sure you can cite a nonconformance against something, other than your Internal procedure that probably says when the readings are taken, you sign the document. An outside auditor would have to have access to your personnel vacation schedule and suspect something was awry. That's my opinion. Be prepared to explain how this came to your attention without appearing to have zeroed in on this individual for other reasons. Corrective Action requires a response that you keep on file. You say you can't prove previous falsifications. How so? Is it a hunch? Somebody tell you? Look for lack of support on this one.

energy

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Kevin Mader
Forum Wizard

Posts: 611
From:Seymour, CT USA
Registered: Nov 98

posted 20 July 2001 01:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin Mader   Click Here to Email Kevin Mader     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I’m with energy on this one. Tread carefully if you pursue this further.

Here is another slant on things: what caused this supervisor to falsify data?

My guess, energy is probably right again. Your organization has a Product Out mentality and not a Customer In mentality. Trying to discipline the supervisor might work to your detriment above anything else. For him to do this, the supervisor either doesn’t know the importance of this data (training issue), understands a different reward system (product out gets a high rating) or if you are right, just doesn’t give a hoot (perhaps a 6% chance of that being the cause).

Do your homework and do a good cause-and-effect diagram to determine the inputs to this failure.

Regards,

Kevin

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Michael T
Forum Contributor

Posts: 43
From:Cleveland, Ohio
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 20 July 2001 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael T   Click Here to Email Michael T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Willy,

Gotta agree with Energy & Kevin on this one - it's a pretty sticky situation.

One suggestion to reduce the chance it recurrs would be to show this supervisor the effects false/erroneous data has on an SPC program. It sounds to me like this individual doesn't comprehend the importance of accurate data and doesn't realize the consequences gundecking data-sheets has on keeping a process in control.

My knee-jerk reaction would be to choke the @*(#&$* out of this person... *chuckle*

Good luck with this one!!

Cheers!

Mike

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Willy
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 7
From:Adair, Iowa USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 20 July 2001 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Willy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'll be a little more specific. We powder coat as a sub-contractor for a company who supplies seat mechanisms to the auto industry. We have a document called PPIS (Paint Process Information Sheet). This document is supplied with the product when it's shipped to the customer(we're not certified to QS yet). This sheet lists several variables that we try to control during the powder coating process. Examples, Water temperatures, pH levels, titration levels, oven temperature, conveyer line speed, type of powder used and what lot# it came from, mil thickness and cure of five consecutive parts as they come off the line from inspection. Because I knew that the supervisor was going to be gone that day I decided to go see if the Asst. supervisor needed any assistance with anything relating to QS. While I was waiting to talk to him I noticed the PPIS sheet was completely filled out except for the quantity of parts coated. He had even filled out the mil thickness and cure tests for five consecutive parts - this wasn't possible because the parts hadn't even been coated yet. What was even more disturbing is that he filled out this sheet and signed & dated it for the day he wasn't even here.

I have written 20 corrective actions concerning this supervisor over the last 8 months. Shouldn't that be enough! Please help.

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Marc Smith
Cheech Wizard

Posts: 4367
From:West Chester, OH, USA
Registered:

posted 20 July 2001 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Marc Smith   Click Here to Email Marc Smith     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I agree with energy, I would, were I the person with the power, consider firing the person outright on the basis of fraud.

No matter what prompted the 'incident', fraud is unacceptable at any time for any reason. Among other things, fraud carries the explosive potential for legal problems. If you were involved in an avionics contract, for example, and it was found out by the 'wrong' person, you'd be up the preverbial creek. Remember the not-so-long-ago ValueJet crash where the sub-contractor falsified data?

Fraud is fraud. I would be surprised if fraud is not grounds for immediate termination in your company.

I'll say it one last time. Falsifying data is fraud. Fraud is not acceptable for any reason - ever.

(As Bugs Bunny says from time to time: "Ain't I a stinker?")

[This message has been edited by Marc Smith (edited 20 July 2001).]

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Al Dyer
Forum Wizard

Posts: 814
From:Lapeer, MI USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 20 July 2001 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wholeheartedly agree,

In some industries this type of activity is commonplace, we all know the inspector that says "well, it's good enough, ship it". The rub comes where there are safety/environmental aspects. In these cases, human life could at peril and a person intentionally falsifying such documantation should be relieved of duty.

In your case it is a Manager faking data, if he or she does it it will become apparent to the lower levels of personnel that lying and cheating is an acceptable practice.

Most manuals I have seen address certain levels of discipinary action for certain offences, but at the end of the document is a list of offences that lead to automatic loss of job.

As posted above there is a very thin line to walk and make sure that you have your ducks in a row before confronting management. Maybe they are the ones who started and continue to participate in the deception!

Believe me, it happens.

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Jim Evans
Forum Contributor

Posts: 67
From:Union City, MI, USA
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 23 July 2001 10:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Evans   Click Here to Email Jim Evans     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Willy,

What a mess. Marc and Al really hit the salient points. It would seem that even with 20 CARs in 8 months this clown still has the support of your upper management. But Marc is right, fraud is fraud and this type of thing helps promote an atmosphere where cheating is not only acceptable but rewarded. One of the ironies is that the same upper management bozos that accept this type of behavior would be the first to complain if someone within the company was stealing tools and supplies.

My advice would be to keep a personal journal with as much information as you can including supporting evidence in case something should happen and you end up in litigation.

Good Luck,

Jim

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barb butrym
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Posts: 662
From:South Central Massachusetts
Registered:

posted 25 July 2001 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for barb butrym   Click Here to Email barb butrym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
been there and marc/al are right on...And YES It stinks.
I went to personnel, and said I had an issue i needed to know how to handle......Mine was with my own boss...so it was even more sticky. To my dismay, I found he had been complaining about me not supporting him (ie not going along with his BS/lies/fraud) SO that was a whole new bed of nails....I did a journal, but he eventually was let go (downsized)...I was job hunting as my only way out. Management was supporting him, cause he had their ear....it finially came to light as who was right, but it took a year!!! so tread carefully.

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energy
Forum Contributor

Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01 August 2001 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having been away for awhile, no, not in Prison, I finally got to re-visit this thread. When it was first posted, I wasn't aware of the magnitude of the problem. Marc's method of handling it is the same as mine. But then, I would fire everybody, but me. Management's judgement of what people are "valuable" to a company often favors those who have the least concern for "Rules". It's all profit based and Quality oriented personnel are viewed as overhead. Barb's situation is more common than you think and is very familiar to me. With over thirty years in the business, I've seen some terrible things when it comes to Management support for Quality initiatives. How to survive without hopping from job to job? You just make sure that your signature doesn't appear anywhere that you are not comfortable with it being there. Otherwise, start looking for a new job. The problem is that there are more companies who preach good things and in actual practice do the opposite. Fact of life. There out there. For me, I haven't found one that I can say walks the line. But, Quality Folks are never happy. Hang it there. It doesn't get any better.

energy

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Willy
Lurker (<10 Posts)

Posts: 7
From:Adair, Iowa USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01 August 2001 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Willy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was away also for part of last week. When I returned, I learned that management had given this supervisor one last chance.(I knew it would happen) Anyway, on Friday of last week I asked for some of the SPC data that should have been filled out for product processed while I was gone. He couldn't give it to me because he hadn't done it again(pretty smart huh!). He admitted it and knew he'd been caught again. While I was trying to decide how and when to bring this to management's attention(again) he came into my office and threw down another set of falsified data and went upstairs to the president and turned in his key. He left right on the spot - no two weeks or anything.

I've spent the better part of this week helping the new supervisor(former asst. supervisor) get familiar with all the different areas of our QMS. It is such a relief to have a supervisor who actually wants to do the work and who also sees the benefits of the system. If only the original supervisor would have delegated these duties in the first place, none of this would even be an issue.

This forum is great - I haven't posted that many topics but I regularly visit to see what's being discussed. I've recommended this site to several colleagues. Keep up the great work everyone!

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energy
Forum Contributor

Posts: 308
From:New Britain, CT
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 01 August 2001 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for energy   Click Here to Email energy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Willy,

A happy ending as far as I'm concerned. You just never know. He cracked under the pressure. Not you, and you can train the new guy. Good luck.

energy

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Al Dyer
Forum Wizard

Posts: 814
From:Lapeer, MI USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 01 August 2001 06:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Al Dyer   Click Here to Email Al Dyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Train him, but have a good training plan in place so she/he is not overwhelmed. Now is your time to shine!

Energy,

Back with a bang, where ya been? Anger management, or playing the comedy circuit! (Just kidding, good to have you around)

ASD...

[This message has been edited by Al Dyer (edited 01 August 2001).]

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