OCAP – Customer Complaints / Feedback

In addition to the above KPIs, the OCAP requirement includes “Customer Complaints / Feedback” as requiring a “Quality Objective”.

This data is typically highly subjective (e.g., customer “perceptions”) and is much more difficult to analyze due to numerous factors. For example, some customer complaints and feedback (e.g., from “Customer-Satisfaction Surveys”) are directly related to customer-imposed restrictions on the level of control the company has over its processes (e.g., customer-mandated suppliers and/or service providers, customer-specified material/parts, fixed/frozen or customer-approved processes). In other cases, after reasonable efforts have been made to understand the customer’s requirements, the customer continues to communicate incorrectly/poorly stated requirements – primarily due to the customer’s continued inability to adequately define and/or articulate their requirements.

Upon re-visiting AS9100, sec. 9.1.2, “Customer Satisfaction” we read:

Information to be monitored and used for the evaluation of customer satisfaction shall include, but is not limited to, product and service conformity, on-time delivery performance, customer complaints, and corrective action requests. The organization shall develop and implement plans for customer satisfaction improvement that address deficiencies identified by these evaluations, and assess the effectiveness of the results.

Since customer complaints and corrective action requests are already required to be monitored, it makes more sense to establish “objectives” associated with this data rather than to initiate subjective “Customer-Satisfaction Surveys”.

Examples of potential objectives include:

KPI Objective
Customer Complaints ≤1% of Orders Fulfilled
Customer Corrective Action Requests ≤1% of Orders Fulfilled

Based on the concerns described above, the company should have a process for analyzing “customer complaints” to determine their validity prior to being input to the KPI.

Also, since AS9100, clause 8.5.1,c,2 allows for sampling, it is recognized that there will be an acceptable number of defects delivered (through an assigned AQL or AOQL). Consequently, the company should have a process for analyzing all “corrective action requests” received from customers to determine whether the associated nonconformity was the result of an “Assignable Cause” variation (which can be addressed through a corrective action) or was the result of a “Common Cause” variation (with NO assignable cause) in the process. Where the nonconformity was due to a “Common Cause” variation in the process, the only way to address this is through changing the process (if possible) or introducing risk controls to mitigate the probability or impact of recurring nonconformities.

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