Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Four Key Considerations of Handling Rejected Manufacturing Parts

If you’ve been in manufacturing for any length of time, you’ve gotten some product back from a customer.
Regardless of whether you are a small shop or large, all manufacturing companies take rejects very seriously (as they should).

After the box gets opened and you’ve had the traditional informal meeting of everybody who isn’t busy at that time to see what’s up with the rejection, it is my belief that this event must be treated with care and urgency.  Here are four thoughts to keep in mind when handling rejects:

The paperwork has to be forwarded through order entry quickly and the type or response (repair, re-manufacture or replacement) be determined to allow the shop to turn the parts around.

This order must also make its way to the accounting department to allow it to handle the money side of the order with the customer. Most customers will expect credits that they will take whether or not you have that credit in your files or mail it to them. There is no accounting problem that your accounts receivable clerk hates more than to receive a check with a deduction they are not aware of.

Your quality department will likely investigate the matter to see if it is an isolated instance and if any process changes are required. They will also want to know how these deviant parts got out of the plant without being found. Transparency is important because it insures that continuous improvement will occur to correct any systemic or process problems found.

Under no circumstances should parts be touched without a routing slip to go along with them. Seems a little tough, but think about it. If the parts are not entered into the system, somebody is trying to do an end around the process. I’m not a suspicious person but without an order, you’ve got to question the motives of those involved.

Rejects are a pain in the #$% but if handled in a prescribed manner, the pain will be minimized and you’ll be able to recover with the least cost.

Read more about this in our September newsletter.

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