Tags: ISO9001 Customer Satisfaction non-conforming products control of suppliers monitoring and measuring

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Some of the bits are missing!

Standards / Tuesday 30th of August 2016

Several bits are missing!

Recognise those words? I do.

Having bought some free standing shelving units for storage in my garage yesterday, I find that four pieces are missing.

So gathering up all the bits, put back in the packaging (which was more or less destroyed in my initial enthusiasm to get the task done), into the car for the 20 minute drive to a well known out of town Home Furnishings and DIY outlet to get a replacement or a refund.

I am not happy because of the inconvenience and cost in time and energy to revisit the retailer. Bet you've made that trip!

Simply, I was not a satisfied customer.

But from a business perspective, what has occurred which has produced this unhappy customer and how can it get resolved.

The DIY store has,

  • A customer satisfaction issue, which it needs to resolve. There might be a formal complaint or negative feedback directly or increasingly via social media. How it responds will inform ongoing attitude to it and its goods and services.
  • It has a supplier problem as some of the goods being supplied to it are not of the quality specified or expected. It might choose to monitor occurrence, in one off cases, or take the matter up with the supplier (probably an importer in this particular circumstance).

The manufacturer/ supplier has,

  • Customer satisfaction issues too, possibly with more than one wholesale customer. It too will need to respond to any complaint.
  • Released product to the marketplace or purchaser. It should be able to follow the product back through traceability to a batch possibly, to aid investigate into how items were missed in the packing process.
  • It has produced non-conforming goods, which are not fit for purpose. To prevent re-occurrence, it could be looking at different actions to monitor and measure performance of the packing process. Quality control and internal audits are key activities.
  • The product was incorrectly packed. Looking into the root cause of this might find that a lack of resource, components or competence existed. There might be a need to look into the infrastructure of the business, its human resources, manufacturing capability and training regimes.
  • The magnitude of the complaint might have a fundamental influence on future supply to that customer in future. Management may need to be involved, reviewing improvement progress on a regular basis and reassuring customers.

While both actors in the supply chain will deal with the issues above in their own way, a Quality Management System (QMS) like ISO9001:2015 creates a framework to work to. It provides a Standard of business activity to adhere to, which if implemented, supports continuous improvement and helps meet customer expectations.

By the way, the lovely gentlemen at the DIY store apologised, found a replacement item, checked all the components were there, waived the returns process and even offered to carry the goods to the car. 

Chris Reading