"What's in the Box?"
(Some important questions to ask about
your rejected parts process )
You got the call, email or the box just showed up. One of your customers rejected some parts. The box winds up in inspection and everybody (maybe it just seems like everybody) wants to know what happened. One of your inspectors or Quality Manager pulls a piece out of the box and checks the validity of the rejection. Yep, they’re right. The part is bad and now comes the fun part.
Sound familiar? This initial “process” is very common and frankly, is mentioned here only because it’s a bit funny to watch. But now that you know the parts are deviant, do you have a standardized process for dealing with this rejection?
I ask this question because in many companies, the way a rejected order is handled is completely different than that of a “regular” order. True, a number of differences are to be expected. BUT, there should be a process in place to deal with the particular nuances of any rejected order.
Without getting into the particulars of each subject, ask yourself the following questions to see if your company has answers for each;
1) Once the rejection is verified by inspection, where does the paperwork go?
2) How and when does accounting get involved in the rejected order process?
3) How is the order entered and does engineering/quality and/or purchasing get to review the order before it is released for rework/replacement or re manufacturing?
4) Who checks for other orders for this part in your system and what about any finished inventory of these parts on your shelf?
5) Are similar parts you make for this or other customers examined to see if the same type of defect exists on them as well? And if found, is (are) the customer(s) notified?
6) Once quality defines the type of rejection, is there a feedback to manufacturing to clarify/change the existing process to positively correct the problem for next time or is this a one-time event?
7) Is there some kind of internal tracking of rejects to see if there are trends within the manufacturing process that need correcting (training, machine issues, tooling issues etc.)?
8) Since these parts were deviant as shipped, is the inspection process examined to determine how this defect was not detected?
These questions scratch the surface of what can be a daunting affair if these sorts of orders are not handled in a standardized manner regardless of the type of remediation required to “fix” the parts. Nowadays, with quality being assumed for most vendor/customer relationships, any slip may cause you a hit to your quality rating or worst case, to lose orders. Quality must be built into your process and verified by inspection along the way and at time of shipment.
Rejects are a pain but they must be handled smoothly with transparency and with the intention of correcting systemic problems. My father had a saying- “Its better to fix, than to fix blame”. Certainly, you’ve got to get to bottom of each reject, assign responsibility and correct the problem found. There’s just no need or use to beat a dead horse to make a point.
Should you want to discuss your answers to the questions above or how you can improve your order and reject process, contact me, David Senkfor at TopGun Consulting using the contact information below.
Check out our new "Exhaust Notes" video using the link under the picture of my 1967 Chevelle to the right. In this month's video, I talk about handling orders that have been rejected by a customer and some of the considerations you need to think about.
To check out our rest of our videos including the "Profit Power" video series, click on this link. Click Here for Videos In the coming months, look for more and exciting content that will surely help you improve your business in this very competitive industry.
Please feel free to explore my website at www.topgunconsulting.com and see how we can help you improve your efficiency and get you on the road to higher profits and greater success!
I look forward to talking with you soon at 602-510-5998 or email me at email@example.com
Your Profit Driver