JLG promotes a climate of teamwork and cooperation throughout the corporation. To meet customer demands for a high quality product at a reasonable price, JLG has focused on improving internal processes as well as communication with its suppliers. Six corrective action processes are integrated into one cohesive process that looks at internal and external processes.
Prior to initiating the ISO 9001 registration process in 1993, JLG did not have a cohesive methodology for documenting procedures. Many processes were not documented and performed only by verbal instruction. To prepare for ISO 9001 registration, JLG documented the manufacturing processes related to the requirements of the standard. For example:
A top tier procedure to unify all the corrective action procedures was developed.
Purchased materials which are defective at incoming inspection or found during the manufacturing process are entered on a Defective Material Report. Based on JLG's experience, five occurrences of the same problem in a seven-day period represents a trend which should be investigated. Fifteen or more occurrences in a thirty-day period for purchased material also represents a trend. Investigation of trends is initiated using a Corrective (and Preventive) Action Request (CAR).
Customer feedback is received at JLG in several formats such as by phone, FAX, letters, and service reports. Results of the customer's inspection of equipment upon receipt are also submitted. The information is received by JLG's Customer Assurance Department and is acted on immediately as required. This information is tracked, analyzed, and forwarded to the quality engineer. He logs and examines the information to determine if any trends develop or if a potential safety issue or major system breakdown of equipment occurred in the field. In either situation, a CAR is issued to conduct a root cause analysis and determine both preventive and corrective action.
Quality product audits have been added to the corrective action process. Each customer now completes a new machine inspection report as part of the warranty registration. Product audits are performed on a random basis each month on completed machines that have been dispositioned as ready-to-ship. Any defects found are corrected and recorded. If four or more of the same defect occur on the same product line within a six-month interval, the authorized representative is notified, and reports are provided to the plant manager where the defects were found.
Quality System Audits are now performed to ensure that the JLG quality system is in accordance with the ISO 9001 requirements and that the employees are following the requirements as documented in the procedures and work instructions. Any discrepancies are documented with a CAR and a follow-up audit is conducted to verify and validate the effectiveness of the corrective action.
CARs are generated whenever a safety issue is identified, or a major product breakdown or trend is detected. It requires that the issuer check with other areas to determine if similar problems occurred in those areas. The issuer must complete the cause investigation portion after considering the standard fishbone diagram questions. JLG issues a Supplier Cause and Corrective Action Report when problems have been traced and identified to a supplier. Depending on the corrective action taken by the supplier, a visit to the facility may be required to verify the corrective action.
This comprehensive new process has helped tie corrective action processes into a cohesive set of formalized actions to eliminate the cause of problems and prevent their recurrence. The ISO 9001 process that stimulated formalization of the quality practices has already shown benefits through increased customer satisfaction, an improved rating of new machine acceptance, decreased warranty costs, and improved communication between departments.
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