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Complaint or NCR?

Discussion in 'ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems' started by Qualmx, May 26, 2019.

  1. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    hello everyone
    Please give comments about this.
    What strictly is a complaint?, according to the standard is an insatisfaction of the client.
    If we receive an email from the client, saying product xyz is out of specifications, is rejected and waits for replacement, but that’s all, no more.
    Then again , other type of product fails, client sends another’s email, just asking to solve the problem.
    But never mentioned insatisfaction of product, in respect to quality or service.
    Into my system, for me I only raise a ncr report.
    And that’s all.
    But no complaint is registered, just the ncr.
    I suppose a complaint is a written letter or an email, where is mentioned an insatisfaction of product, “please solve this problem, I’m not happy with your product, bla, bla.”
    If I receive something like the previous explanation, well I‘d include a complaint into my system , and give the proper treatment.
    So, is not clear what to register as a complaint, what should I expect as complaint?
    Thanks
     
  2. Antonio Sousa

    Antonio Sousa New Member

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    In the companies for which I work, I write a procedure on how to handle possible defects and possible complaints from interested parties in which I am referring to what is a company for a claim.
     
  3. tony s

    tony s Well-Known Member

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    Try to send again out of specs products or let them wait for some time before sending defective replacements. If they don't "express dissatisfaction" but will not order again, then there's no sense at all for your organization to wait for a formal complaint before taking the right action or as you said "give the proper treatment".
     
  4. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but what would be a criteria to follow considering if in my system my kpi is set maximum quantity of complaint = 4 monthly and ncr maximum=4 monthly.
    So, I only consider a complaint if client sends us an email explaining insatisfaction, if only received rejected product, is considered ncr.
    Why do you think about my approach?
    Do you suggest something?
    Thanks
     
  5. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    A customer could complain about rain on Sunday; I have always advocated for KPIs to measure that which we can actually control. My clients often cite timeliness of initial response, as no one likes the feeling they are sending a concern into a void.

    That said, a complaint is a complaint no matter what they call it. It is appropriate to treat the complaint with an NCR, starting with a review of its validity.
     
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  6. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    What's the question here? Could be both!
     
  7. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy

    Is, exactly what have to be considered as complaint?, an expressed insatisfaction (by letter, email, phone ) of a client.

    Or a NCR (nonconformity report) sent to us.

    It could be very different, because an insatisfaction it may be an explanation of the problem, "your products arrive lately, they are not complaining the requirements we established, etc.
    while NCR , just may defne the NC, "please fix this part, resulted with poor quality", in other case, "Please replace this product, the package was not correctly identified", etc.

    So, I may receive lets´s say 40 NCR at year and not any complaint.
    Again, according to the standard, what have to be considered a complaint?

    I may receive an email, expressing insatisfaction, and additionaly to describe the technical
    non conformity, so in this case I could consider 1 complaint and one NCR.

    Please comment about this.

    Thanks
     
  8. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    Late delivery is a nonconformance isn't it? You didn't conform to the requirement. Once again, I believe you are making this far more complicated than it really is. Don't overthink this stuff. Too many want to make differentiations when non-exist. Let's not forget, ISO 9001 can be used by very immature organizations to do better. If those organization have to split atoms to find the true meaning, it's not going to work.
     
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  9. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Andy is right. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction (nonconformance to customer requirement) or a submitted NCR.

    If you want to reduce complaints, categorize them and search for common cause. Select issues based on value in terms of cost, number, and/or other criteria that suits your business. Implement corrective action, evaluate effectiveness (this may include follow up queries with the customers) and move on to the next most-urgent. Trend your improvement over time, report the trend to top management.
     
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  10. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    I´ll explain my reason to post this case so that you feed me back.
    We had a customer overseas in Engineering and construction (steel industries), construction projects built in 2 years timeframe.
    In this fiield is normal to have tons of NCR´s and are seen normal into a construction project,e.g.
    Reports: 3" valve was installed incorrectly, at 0 instead of 45 degrees, stud bolts were not tightened at right torque in bin 4F, and a lvery, very long list.
    Plenty of NCR´s were received each day, and this issue was included into the contracts.
    However suddenly at some time, the Top Director of the Plant sent to us what we call them complaints.
    A letter explaining dissatisfaction on some issue, quality of engineering, competency of people, etc.
    from here, we organized several meeting trying to satisfy his requirements.

    So for us complaints were different to NCR.

    Please share your thoughts
     
  11. Jennifer Kirley

    Jennifer Kirley Moderator Staff Member

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    Nonconformities are nonconformities and need to be addressed regardless of their having been communicated as a formal NCR or a letter.

    That said, it is important to not issue an internal NCR twice for the same nonconforming event.
     
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  12. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    A nonconformance is a failure to meet requirements. It sounds like your organization is focusing on the source of the failure as the determination of the nonconformance classification.

    While it can be valuable to understand if the source was an internal issue (e.g. such as the installation example you provided) or external (e.g., complaint) as this can be part a higher level of analysis, the point is that there is a failure of some sort that needs to be addressed.

    If a client complains over the phone and then their CEO later sends an email or letter you can link them together, if they are about the same failure. If one is about failure to deliver on time, whereas the other is about product specifications, then they are different entries. Your higher level analysis, however, will allow you to step back and see that there is an overall issue with how your organization services this company and you may wish to develop actions that will focus on their experience.
     
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  13. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all
    In Fact is as you said, we want to identify sources of nonconformities.
    and other additional point.

    in my quality objectives, I have defined % reduction of complaints and % reduction of NCRS
    and according to my approach regarding complaints (that is a complaint when is an email from customer),
    sometimes I find difficult the management, because I may receive in one month 30 RNC´s
    and no complaints and that is my neck pain.

    Maybe I need to change my approach, and not sure if complaints have to be into objectives.

    Thanks
     
  14. RoxaneB

    RoxaneB Moderator Staff Member

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    You could have "external complaint" as a type of NCR - so it would be a sub-set of your NCRs and an objective possible. That being said, your organization cannot control if a client will complain or not, so % reduction of complaints is, in my opinion, not a viable objective.

    Instead, focus on what is driving those complaints and position your objectives there. For example, if the client complains that your deliveries are always late (or too early), create an on-time delivery objective which would be based on customer requirements compared to actual delivery time (time stamped by customer via electronic sign off if possible).
     
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  15. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm right there with the Director of the Plant! I'd be fuming at these kinds of silly non-conformities. I'd be annoyed at anyone who casually acquiesced to such errors as "normal to have tons". As for "putting them in the contract"? What's that? If I worked for such a company, who willfully made "tons of NCRs", I'd be polishing up my resume...
     
  16. hogheavenfarm

    hogheavenfarm Well-Known Member

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    An NCR is written against a nonconformance to a required specification or generally accepted practice. This is all I would consider in any metric. A complaint would not be an NCR unless it was truly a nonconformance, not a subjective opinion. I get complaints about color matching all the time, however we document color matching with a spectrocolorimeter, and if it is within tolerance, it is NOT a NCR, but the customer may still complain it "doesnt look right". That may be a time to talk to the customer and agree on a standard and a tolerance (or in our cases, remind them that there is one).
     
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  17. John C. Abnet

    John C. Abnet Well-Known Member

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    Well articulated @hogheavenfarm . Indeed the investigative process is often overlooked (i.e. we often start to "fix" before we confirm if it's "broken").
     
  18. Bev D

    Bev D Moderator Staff Member

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    First, I think this whole discussion regarding what we call an adverse event with the Customer to be deflective of the true goal which is improving he Customer experience.
    It just sounds like a bunch of semantics to me.

    Here's what my organization does (and we sell direct to the actual user (end Customer). anything that is found to be nonconforming to specifications in our facilities prior to shipment is non-conforming material and gets a document that records the event and the disposition of the material. When something fails in the field, the customer calls us and requests free replacements of one time use product or service of multiple use instruments. These calls and service events are our "Customer Complaints" we do not consider these 'nonconforming'; they are complaints and the service event or replacement material is correction. We have a third category of 'poor quality': we have a connected install base with error detection and logging so that we can track the actual fault/error rates of our products. We call simply call these faults. and we track them as well. A fault might turn into a call and the call might turn into a service event or a replacement. Then we have corrective actions. If our internal defect rate (Non-conforming material) or the field fault rate or the customer call rate or the replacement material rate or the service event rate gets too high - and we have goals around these metrics then we initiate corrective action for the problem to understand cause and prevent reoccurrence. the focus is not on what we call something but on how we are improving the Customer experience....
     
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  19. Andy Nichols

    Andy Nichols Moderator Staff Member

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    It seems to me, based on this description, to be a simple case of the client "complaining" about the number and type of non-conformities. It has been shown that clients will accept a level of "pain" from non-conformities. They expect them to be rectified. However, I'd wager that this limit of pain has been surpassed and it boiled up to a complaint.

    I'd suggest that, before you do anything about setting objectives etc you go back to the "context of the organization" and identify "needs and expectations of interested parties". If you do that effectively, objectives will flow from that.
     
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  20. Qualmx

    Qualmx Well-Known Member

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    Yes
    Yes, is like you said, when lot of nc’s exist is when the complaint arrives.
    According to responses received, it seems that most of iso users, don’t take special attention to complaints.
    Take consideration to nc’s more than to complaints.
    If this is the real practice, then why the standard separates complaints and ncs?
    a clear approach to treat complaints and ncs.
    Maybe I’m overthinking this, in addition I manage as kpi # maximum number of complaints received= 3 monthly
    Please shed some light on me
     

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