Case Study 1

Complaint Management System

A comparative study examining the impact of implementation of such system

Brief Introduction of Company X

Company X is one of the world’s 20 largest suppliers and a development partner to the automotive industry. It offers innovative mobility solutions that stand for clean air, fuel efficiency, and driving pleasure. Company X is now present on five continents, 170 production locations and 16 major research and development centers employing 77,000 people around the world.

Brief Introduction of YYAN

YYAN is a hub for quality management softwares which strengthens methodical adherence to processes in manufacturing & automotive industry. It reduces human dependence in process adherence and provides real time management reporting. YYAN uses 8D methodology to reach the root cause and find solution. YYAN has successfully provided its software expertise in Defect Management, Supplier Management & Rating, Audit Management and various other areas.

Challenges faced by Company X

Company X is a large organization with its presence worldwide and across multiple cities in India. When an organization grows it needs to set processes & procedures to ensure standardization in its products supplied to the customers. Company X was also facing similar challenges as others in automotive manufacturing sector while ensuring the processes are followed rigorously by all its employees & suppliers. There were challenges in following methodologies to proactive communication to managing suppliers.

a) Inconsistent problem solving process: The organization followed 8D methodology in handling defects and finding root cause for ensuring their proper resolution. But the following questions arose every now and then:-
   1. Is 8D methodology being followed for ALL defects religiously?
   2. Are all the 8 steps of 8D methodology followed for each defect especially “Actions taken to prevent reoccurrence”?
   3. Are we recording all the defects for knowledge management and future use?

b) Lack of accountability: The defects were recorded in excel and responsibilities were assigned manually. Nobody else apart from the assignee and the person assigned the responsibility of resolving defect knew who was working on a particular defect. If the accountable person is not available, things used to go on slow track until the person is back. Defects used to linger on making customers unhappy and senior management jittery. Accountability was missing as there was no visibility.

c) Reactive communication & status update: The communication happened only after certain milestone is achieved or whenever someone asked for the status. The organization was following a reactive approach in resolving customer problems. Senior management used to rely on weekly/monthly updates and there was no channel to keep them on top of high severity defects and customer issues.

d) Repeat Defects: As most other organizations, Company X was also facing a situation where it was spending lot of precious time and efforts in resolving defects which were a repeat of defects resolved earlier. Sometimes the team missed out on following the “Action taken to prevent reoccurrence” step and the defect reoccurred. Across industry, repeat defects are a big concern. It relates to attrition too and creates a void if the previous expert has left the organization without leaving details on what all he did to resolve some key defects and the defect reoccurred. Organisation has to spend same time and effort in resolving it again.

e) Localized problem solving: Sometimes it happened that similar defect was resolved in some other part of the organization by some other team in some other plant but nobody outside of the team knew about it. Big organizations have their operations spread across different parts of the world. Different plants are manufacturing products, facing defects and resolving them locally without any information outside their team or plant. Company X was also going through this challenge and was not utilizing its own knowledge in resolving defects across multiple locations. Time and effort was spent in resolving same problem again and again at different plants in different cities across different countries.

f) Manual monthly Management Reporting: Company X has multiple plants across India itself. The Quality Head sitting at India Head Office every month asks for a monthly defects report from all the plants in India. The respective plant’s Quality Manager prepares/maintains an 8D report of defects in excel sheet and sends it across to Quality Head sitting in Head Office. The Quality Head coordinates with all the plants and get similar excel reports from all the plants every month. After receiving all the reports, he collates the data together, prepares graphical representations & charts for senior management view and sends it across to the leadership. It takes multiple days in this process of getting reports from all the plants, collating the data together, preparing charts and presenting it to the senior management. By the time it reaches leadership, the data is atleast few days (mostly weeks) old and there was no mechanism to view real-time status in this era of quickly changing world. Time gap and effort spent in this process takes us back to the time when information technology did not exist and speed of change was slow. Organisations could have afforded this speed at that time but now the world is changing every moment and we need to keep pace with it to keep ourselves in business.
case study 1

g) Supplier Defects: Organisations procure various raw materials and finished goods from its suppliers. It performs its due diligence on these goods and sends across to its customers. Company X was also undergoing similar process and noticed that the big chunk of defects it get from its customers have aroused from its suppliers. The defect was passed on to the supplier but there was no proper mechanism to see what steps were taken to resolve it and ensure it doesn’t reoccur.

h) Supplier Ratings: Company X has a vast number of suppliers and it was difficult to manage and rate their services. Managing a big number of suppliers in excel reports based on manual inputs/interference, it was not possible to provide a fair and unbiased rating to its suppliers. It usually leads to incorrect assessments and result in wrong decisions which are not in the interest of the organisation.


Solutions Provided by YYAN

a) Systematic approach to problem solving: YYAN provided a software solution to 8D methodology. For each defect, every step needs to be followed. A defect can’t be moved to next step unless the previous step is closed or updated. Company X has also fixed a timeline to each step failing which the defect will be escalated to the higher up in hierarchy. All the defects are now logged into the software which is building a strong “Past Trouble Database” for knowledge management.

There are organisations where defects are logged in excel, there are organisations where some of the defects are resolved on whatsapp and there are organisations where some of the defects resolution are provided on phone itself without recording anything for future use. Knowledge management using YYAN software can be extremely helpful in recording resolutions of the defects and using them whenever required.

b)Accountability & Visibility: We are all aware how good an organisation becomes when people start taking accountability of the work they do and how worse that can go if people don’t own up to the work they have handled. Have we ever wondered why does this happen? This occurs due to the lack of visibility and clarity in the ownership of a task/problem.

In YYAN, at Step D1 itself, you are asked to assign a team/individual to a defect who will be working on the resolution of that defect. As you assign the team, an email gets triggered to the people that defect has been assigned. There is full clarity on what role those individuals will be playing while resolving that defect and anyone can log on to the software and check who all are working on which defect.

Company X resolved all its ambiguities and issues of accountability by clear assignment of responsibilities at the outset of the arrival of a problem/defect. The benefits are realized by people handling the defects before the software was installed. They only understand how difficult was their job earlier when accountabilities were not fixed and how easy that has become when they clearly know whom they need to approach for what.

Screenshots: D1 Stage - Assign Team case study 1
c) Proactive communication & status update: When Information Technology has reached its pinnacle, Indian manufacturing is still regarded as “laggards” when it comes to adopting technological innovations. Proactivity is the need of the hour. Communication channels should be such that they can provide live updates of every moment to the leadership. Those are the things of past now when leaders used to be happy getting monthly/weekly/daily updates. The world is changing so fast that if they are not getting real time status of what’s going in their organisation and outside they may end up taking their organisation backwards rather than taking it forward. It’s not only about leadership, it’s also about the customer. A customer would feel satisfied if he gets real time updates on the progress of the issue he has raised. This bridges the gap between the organisation and its customers.

After YYAN came into picture, leadership at Company X doesn’t need to rely on one of its employees to chase and spend time getting updates on any high severity defect. Whatever is being done on any defect it is being logged regularly into the software and is visible real time to every authorized person in Company X. There are n number of management reports prepared real time by the YYAN software which helps the senior management at Company X get a big picture view and also charts which helps them drill down deeper into it.

d) Repeat Defects: Repeat defects could be handled by effective data management & performing Step
D7: Action taken to Prevent Reoccurrence rigorously.

YYAN provides a PTDB (Past Troubles DataBase) for storing all completed problems with their solutions for future usage. Old defects could be accessed and checked what solution was provided when the same/similar problem occurred earlier may be in some other part of the organisation. This helps in reducing efforts in resolving similar defects. Even if a person has left the organisation, his knowledge could be leveraged by seeing the PTDB.

Completing Step D7 of 8D methodology rigorously can proactively help an organisation reduce its Repeat Defects by reviewing similar processes and updating relevant documents such as PFMEA, DFMEA, Control Plan etc. Updation of related documents will help the process correction and help in reducing the defects.

Company X has also started on to the process of reducing its Repeat defects and it will take some time to develop a strong Past Troubles Database and use it as a knowledge base. Measures to implement actions for preventing reoccurrence in Company X is taken up with more rigor and intensity as it is a mandatory step before one can proceed on to the next step for concluding the defect.

Screenshots: D7 Stage - Action to Prevent Recurrence case study 1

e) Localized problem solving: YYAN has implemented horizontal deployment with the help of our software and encourages sharing of related defects across locations wherever related process is deployed. With the help of horizontal deployment, Company X is enabled to proactively propagate the defects’ resolutions to other plants using same processes. This not only resolves issues proactively but also support in improving quality of the products.

f) Real-time Management Reporting: YYAN provides access to multiple management reports which keep building up as soon as the defects data is entered into the system. As soon as the Quality Managers or any other Point of Contact punches the defects data into the system, it starts reflecting all across the organisation. Earlier Quality Head needed to wait for him to send across the data but now that time gap has been reduced to zero as he can go to the YYAN system and download the real-time report to present it to the leadership. There are ‘n’ number of reports available in the software and shows data with respect to different plants, segments, defects, complaint type, customer-wise, root cause type etc.

g) Supplier Management System: YYAN has developed Supplier Management System which takes care of defects passed on to the suppliers and assesses them to provide supplier ratings based on multiple parameters. The defect management software finds out the cause of defect and if the defect has originated from a supplier, it will be passed on to the supplier using Supplier Management System to follow the 8D methodology.

Screenshots: Management Reports case study 1

Key Observations from 2017:
After implementation of YYAN at Company X, the organisation has reduced its Annual Target of Defects by 50%. On analysis it was found that around 45% of defects were caused by only 5 suppliers. It was also found that more than 50% of defects at Company X originated from only one type of product. One plant contributed to 49% of defects in 2017 and the best performing plant contributed just 9% defects.

Moreover, the table below shows the number of complaints, the organization has received in the past. Data before 2015 was not available. We tried to find out what other measures were taken in the last year to improve quality but quality team replied that other factors remained same. Their senior management made sure that every complaint is analyzed systematically and they have made it mandatory to log the complaint in the tool.

Year No. of Defects
2015 116
2016 140
2017 78
2018 51
2019 (Till Oct 31) 27


These are few observations which could be quickly analysed from YYAN and there are various other such things which could be derived from the software at the click of a button.