Getting something wrong in business is not always a bad thing. Learning from your mistakes is one of the most important things a business can do, and the process of continuous audit is likely to bring up some issues that you need to work on in order to become a better business. This can bring you more success in the future, and this is why non-conformance reporting is vital.
Here, we look at some common non-conformance reporting (NCR) issues, and 5 ways that non-conformance reporting can improve your quality score.
1. The same NCR’s are raised, month in month out.
If you’re constantly receiving NCR’s for delivery lead times for example, then this should make you take a long hard look at your supply chain, to see what you could be doing better. Particularly when it comes to International trade, lead times can vary, and it could be that you need to revise your delivery schedules or revise your service offerings to clients. If you can’t make next day delivery the majority of the time, then perhaps you shouldn’t be offering it. Promising something achievable to your customers will improve their impression of your company and may bring you more business as a result.
2. Supplier Compliance
If you’re receiving stock that isn’t 100% up to scratch, you’re likely to take a look at your supplier anyway. Keeping accurate records however, should ensure that you tackle the problem the right way. Rather than going to your supplier and telling them “every shipment we’ve had recently has had a few faulty goods”, through non- compliance reporting, you can advise them of the issue immediately, work on a plan of action and targets for them to deliver against, and weed out any issues that are causing this faulty stock at your suppliers end. You aren’t only improving your business and your quality score; you’re actually helping your supplier out too. Everyone’s a winner.
3. Unrealistic Expectations
If you’re staff are not conforming to your targets, and you’re getting non- conformance reports pertaining to your staff not meeting demands, then you may have to consider the fact you’re asking too much. It’s all very well to expect your staff to be able to complete a certain number of tasks per day, but if the workload increases, you have to expect the quality to drop if you don’t take on more staff. However, you must be very careful not to blame your staff if this is the case. Opening the lines of communication via an email detailing the non-compliances and asking staff to contribute to an open discussion on how to reduce them could make your working relationship with them better.
4. Improvement of procedures
This stems off from the last point. If your staff are aware of non-conformance issues, then they may have some ideas on how to improve the systems and processes to avoid this happening in the future. Opening a discussion with your staff on a regular basis once your regular non-conformance reporting is done so that they can share ideas for improvements may come up with some really good new ways of working that you had not considered which may improve your quality score further. Not only that, but your staff are far more likely to feel valued. Happy staff=More productive staff.
5. Planning for the future
Without knowing what works and what doesn’t, a business will fail to thrive. Looking at non-conformance reports from other service offerings will serve to provide a workable blueprint for further services, leading to fewer non-conformance reports and a better standard of practice, therefore ensuring that even if you add new markets, products and services, you have the base in place to ensure you’re doing it right, and your quality score won’t suffer.
It’s abundantly clear that there are so many benefits, outside of improving your quality score that come from non-conformance reporting. It’s certainly one side of your business you can’t afford to ignore!
Have a great week.