In a perfect world, your workday runs smoothly. But as Murphy says, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Manufacturing facilities see unexpected machine breakdowns, training deficiencies and late vendor deliveries on a routine basis.
Sometimes it’s a machine, inexplicably producing bad parts. Or perhaps your internal auditor spots some inconsistent quality testing procedures.
These situations can be trying. However, they’re also opportunities for improvement – and a true test of your quality processes.
Issues as a driver for continuous improvement
Quality relies on constant improvement. While they can be upsetting and undesirable, issues are a method for making the organization and the group better.
Continuous improvement is also required by ISO 9001:2015. Properly documented corrective action requests (CARs) and preventive action requests (PARs) demonstrate compliance to the standard.
By facing issues straight on, you’ll help check off the boxes for meeting ISO requirements and, hopefully, you’ll have relief that the problem has been solved and is unlikely to recur.
Why you need the right system and tools
Corrective action can be thought of as improvements to an organization, made to eliminate undesirable effects. But driving improvements takes effort.
For example, addressing late vendor deliveries may require a supplier audit to get the vendor back on track with your company’s requirements.
Having a robust non-conformance and corrective action system in place will help your team learn along the way.
The right tools can also help. In particular, software is available to tackle issues like these and help companies avoid repeating the same problems.
For example, software can make it easy to record and assign corrective and preventive action (CAPA) tasks, and track employee progress in completing these.
From there, employees could potentially use the 5 Why’s problem-solving method. This is a way of drilling down to the root causes of problems, so they can be properly addressed and won’t recur.
Sometimes the easiest improvement option is just to stop solving the same problems over and over again.
Corrective action requests (CARs) are the way to get rid of problems. They can also show your company how to improve its manufacturing processes. So, they are at the core of a system of continuous improvement.
So next time you’re faced with a workday filled with non-conformances and problems, remember, solving the issues will ultimately work in your and your company’s favor.