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The Nonconforming Output Control Procedure ISO 9001:2015 describes the process of handling and disposition of nonconforming material, which might by a defect, but also includes unidentified materials, customer returns, or suspect materials. All nonconforming material is to be identified, segregated, and documented to prevent its inadvertent use. All nonconforming material will be analyzed and reviewed to determine its appropriate disposition.
This procedure applies to all nonconforming material found by your company during inspection, testing, and verification. Part of this procedure also applies to products returned by customers. (10 pages, 1108 words)
ISO Nonconforming Output Control Procedure Responsibilities
The Quality Assurance Manager, with the help of the Production Manager, the Engineering Manager, and/or the Procurement Manager, is responsible for determining the disposition of nonconforming products.
All Employees are responsible for identifying nonconforming or suspected nonconforming product or materials and notifying management of the nonconformance.
Nonconforming Output Control Definitions
Nonconforming Material (NCM) – That which does not meet specifications (i.e., one or more characteristics does not meet specified requirements). Nonconforming material is typically found during verification, inspection, and/or test activities.
NCR – Nonconformity (or nonconformance) report.
RGA – Return goods authorization; giving a customer express permission to return product that does not satisfy that customer’s needs.
In manufacturing we know what a defect is. Good products are made to specifications and therefore meet customer requirements. A good product meets the intended purpose, has the right dimensions, and is what was ordered. The product does not break when used. It is free from dents, scratches, or material blemishes. The product should be clean, safe, and shouldn’t make the customer think. It should just work…
If your background is in manufacturing, it can be difficult understanding what a service nonconformances can look like. If you are not sure what it is, then it is even harder understanding how to document these service nonconformances. If you’re having trouble documenting any kind of nonconforming condition, it most likely means that your customer requirements aren’t clear. After all, manufacturing defects are pretty obvious right?
We see product defects. They are pretty obvious. So why can’t we see service defects?
Manufacturers also have service requirements. The product must be delivered on time. If it does fail in the field, then timely support should be available to fix the problem. Many products are sold on credit (a service). Some even install, train and maintain the product, an obvious service requirement.
That’s right, it is a service too. The customer expects a manufacturer to take the order correctly, to understand the customers business enough to know what the product is being ordered to do in the field. Customers also expect to interact with friendly and polite personnel that understand that the client’s time is valuable.
Yet, many manufacturing organizations only seem to think in terms of product or material defects even though there are apparent service requirements in every business. Nonconformances are not only about product failures. In today’s world, many companies are assembling and integrating components (a service) more that manufacturing them from scratch. We are realizing that we are actually more of a service economy than a manufacturing economy. So we need to start understanding our service failures to start tracking our service nonconformances.
Services contain many implied requirements based on your industry, which defines your customer’s expectations. Failing to deliver upon the clients expectations might produce customer complaints and would constitute service nonconformances. Perhaps you receive feedback from your customers when an expectation is not met. Customer feedback for corrective action is more than complaints. So what are the top ten customer expectations that lead to service nonconformances?
In general, any problem related to interactions, delivery, quality, schedule, or budget. Failing to meet customer expectations is an example of service nonconformances. Does the customer really have to tell you that they want you to answer the phone, deliver a product that works, and fits within the budget of the target customer? This is basic service and any manufacturing company should be practicing basic service more and more to survive in today’s service based economy.