When a non-quality event is identified, a good practice is to first report it and then launch an investigation to determine the root causes. Finally, it is essential to design an action plan to solve and prevent this type of event. Simply declaring a non-quality is not enough to prevent it from happening again. During the investigation process, it is necessary to develop effective long-term actions adapted to the criticality of the event.
Different actions can be carried out
upon declaration of non-quality
The first action to take, when non-quality is observed, is often a so-called curative action. The aim is to treat the event immediately without necessarily considering an effective long-term solution. For example, for a puddle of water in a corridor, the curative actions would be to mop up the water and block the hole in the pipe that caused the leak. At the same time, corrective and preventive actions (CAPA) can be considered and put in place to avoid being confronted with it again.
CAPA follows the determination of the root causes of non-quality. For each root cause determined, following an 8D, PDCA or QRQC investigation, it is necessary to implement one or more corrective actions that will prevent the events from reoccurring. Consideration should also be given to implementing preventive actions that occur before non-quality occurs. In the case of a leak, the corrective action could be to replace the pipe with a new one that is protected by a corrosion-resistant coating and the preventive action to schedule periodic maintenance on the company‘s plumbing.
The introduction of CAPA within the company
is more elaborate than that of curative actions.
The aim being to act over time, it is necessary to define for each of its actions a pilot who will ensure the proper implementation of the actions. It is also necessary to set deadlines for the implementation of the actions, but also to foresee the cost that these actions may generate. Finally, it is necessary to set objectives for the people in charge of the actions and to establish evaluation criteria to monitor their implementation.
In order to list the actions and to federate the company around an efficient quality approach, a tool allowing to centralize the declaration of events, their investigation as well as the associated actions may be relevant to facilitate the realization of these actions. The ideal would be for the company to benefit from a single reference frame with which it is also possible to design indicators. For example, these indicators can be used to analyse the frequency of non-quality events, identify Pareto effects, measure the effectiveness of the actions implemented or the average duration of investigations. All of these indicators are more relevant than the others and could be adapted according to the company’s will to improve its continuous improvement process.
The use of a data centralization tool
could allow you to graphically visualize
The use of a data centralization tool could make it possible to graphically visualize the planning of actions thanks to GANTTs, to notify users automatically when an action is to be carried out, when it is due, or periodically, in order to ensure the management of non-qualities in a certain and efficient way. In a move to simplify the entry of actions and information on the progress of actions, the tool could integrate a mobile application allowing users to consult the details of their actions at any time, to provide feedback on the actions implemented or any other relevant information to be brought up from the field.
In order to get out of the short-term limitations, effective CAPA monitoring is essential to ensure continuous improvement throughout the company.
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