Quality Alert is triggered after receiving a complaint from the customer or identifying an internal nonconformity. Its main purpose is to visualize the occurrence of a problem at the workplace. In addition, it serves to improve employee awareness.
This document is one of Interim Containment Actions strategies (ICA). It is most often used in conjunction with the selection and training of employees. Due to the fact that it involves filling in the appropriate form, it improves visual management on the production line.
Quality Alert is most often issued for a period of one month. It can also be implemented for a longer period of time in justified cases. Each time, however, it should be based on the approval of the Quality Manager or other decision-making person. Such a solution can be found in the “Quality Alert” template, which can be free downloaded.
From the management point of view, it is important to properly manage such documents. First of all, we must remember that it should be a system document. What does it mean? The answer is related to the fact that the document should:
– have the appropriate number
– be cited in a given business procedure. In this case, the Claims Management Procedure seems to be the most appropriate.
Quality Alert – document structure
In addition to basic data regarding the identification of the plant location, customer data and the person opening the quality alert, the document should contain:
- A visualization showing the identification of a OK and NOK part
- Where will the activities take place? Here we have to specify the place: e.g. zone outside the line, station number, external warehouse
- What parts are affected by the alert? For clarification can be provided: part numbers for finished products, lot number, date of manufacture, all stock quantities, etc.
- What ICA is needed. Quality Alert, apart from the 8D report, is a great document to define them properly. In this section, we should define the inspection methods and criteria, visual aids, equipment, certified tools and used gauges.
- Description for marked parts after verification. Will they be marked with a marker, sticker or label. In addition, it is worth agreeing with the client in advance where such identification will be located. It is important that one problem does not generate another.
- This same aspect should be applied to a container with certified parts.
- Information, what is the decision regarding parts, components, raw materials in which nonconformity was found? The quantification should concern the number of parts to be scrapped, instructions and the area of repair or return of subcomponents to the sub-supplier.
- What closing activities, product and/or process changes are planned to close the Quality Alert?
- ICA exit criteria, closing actions, process changes, document updates, etc.
As we can see, Quality Alert can perform an auxiliary function in relation to the 8D report. Remember, however, that the 8D report is used for a comprehensive approach to problem solving. From the other hand, Quality Alert is applied as visualization on the production line and raising awareness.
Document distribution in production line must be completed by training the operators. It is sufficient to use the One Point Lesson.
Quality Alert – Effective management
In production conditions, we will usually deal with several quality requests in parallel. For this reason, it is worth defining how they are reported. This applies to both the departmental meeting scenario and the daily management meetings.
One of the better solutions at the level of meetings with the management is to separate a place on the report for quality alerts. Thanks to this, a given person can simply and concisely present how many Alerts we currently have opened. In addition, we can easily check whether any of the documents are out of date and whether they should be extended.
By default, the document should be issued for 30 days. Why? Because after this period of time, the attention of the operators drops significantly and no longer has the same importance as at the time of its issue. In addition, we must remember that this is part of the strategy for temporary actions.