What’s the Purpose of Maintaining Nonconformance Records?
Creating and maintaining nonconformance records play a more significant role in quality management than enterprises think. NC record generally comprises the quality problems, the root cause, preventive measures, and corrective measures implemented to resolve it. Maintaining Nonconformance records is even recommended as best-practice to meet regulatory compliance.
What Information Does a Nonconformance Record Generally Contain?
A non-conformance record generally includes the following information:
- The main reason behind filing a non-conformance (or, what exactly went wrong)
- What led to the non-conformance?
- Is there a possibility to prevent the reoccurrence of the non-conformance reported?
- What were the immediate actions taken to resolve non-conformance?
When should you consider filing a non-conformance report?
Based on the industry-focus, there could be multiple scenarios that require you to report a non-conformance. For example – if you are in the electronics and appliances industry and the appliance is not performing the intended function it is designed for, you can file a non-conformance report. Similarly, if you are in the construction industry and work built doesn’t meet the approved specifications, it calls for non-conformance reporting. However, not matching the specific requirements of a customer cannot be filed as non-conformance. Every individual may have their needs and preferences.
Who can file a non-conformance?
The project head primarily issues a non-conformance report. The report shall contain all the occurrences along with their objective evidence. It will support the claim you want to make. The detailed information shall also be mentioned with conditions for reporting and resolution whenever the issues get resolved. The non-conformance reports can also be treated as excellent training tools for the quality managers to train their team to prevent similar situations from reoccurrence.
What can be the possible consequences of reporting non-conformances?
While reporting non-conformances help you eliminate inconsistencies from the system, they can invite certain troubles too. Non-conformances generally demonstrate your inability to manage product and process quality issues. The financial institutions consider them as a red flag, and you can expect financial troubles. Nonconformance records involves a lot of paperwork, including the information, specifications, corrective and preventive actions, procedures.
What are the next steps after non-conformance reporting?
Once a non-conformance is reported and files, you must act proactively to identify the sufficient resolution. It will require you to;
- Meet the person who has reported the non-conformance to understand the problem in a detailed manner.
- Initiate a CAPA immediately to perform inspection and investigation, and identify the root cause.
- Develop and implement the best action plan to resolve the quality issue effectively and efficiently.
- Notify the team members and seek approval from the top management for the action plan(s) (if required).
- Document all the details in the right order to prevent any compliance, audit, or inspection failure.
How Nonconformance Reporting Contribute to Quality Management?
Nonconformance reporting makes a critical contribution to Quality Management by highlighting the key areas that need improvements. After all, a product’s quality, reliability, and safety depend on its conformance and compliance with internal and external specifications.
What’s the Role of Nonconformance Management Software?
The advent of technological solutions like next-generation nonconformance management software has become quite simple and straightforward to manage non-conformance reporting.
The powerful and secure Nonconformance Management Software like Qualityze streamlines your defect and deviation management processes by providing closed-loop workflows that document, verify, disposition, and investigate product and process non-conformances, noncompliance, and deviations.
What are the core benefits of nonconformance management software?
An advanced nonconformance management software can drive multiple benefits for your organization, such as:
1. Reducing the number of Nonconformance occurrences
Once a non-conformance is identified and reported, you can immediately kick-start the resolution process. It will also help you identify the preventive measures and action plans to prevent the issue from reoccurrence. It will save you the administrative time and efforts to rework on or resolve the same problem again, allowing you to save money and resources on repetitive tasks.
A nonconformance management software helps you record non-conformance and the resolution activity and objective evidence so you can utilize them as preventive action against similar issues in the future. The software automatically documents the detailed sequence of activities so that auditors’ or the regulatory authorities can instantly trace any NC events at the desired time.
2. Minimizing the costly impact of non-conformances
Nonconformance highlights the quality issues, but it comes with several other issues, including its costly impact on overall production, manufacturing, and operational processes. It can cost an organization a fortune in terms of brand reputation, overhead expenses, and resources.
With the nonconformance management software, you can significantly reduce the costly impact of the non-conformances. You can gain better control and confidence in managing quality issues without impacting the overall production cycle. Most importantly, you can protect the brand reputation by encouraging sustainable best-practice in your organization. Would you still continue with the traditional nonconformance management system that holds you back from gaining a competitive edge?
3. Improving product/service quality
Every time a non-conformance is identified, it introduces an opportunity for the organization to improve their product or service quality. It will demonstrate your commitment to quality best practices, including continuous improvements, even if they are minor ones. It instills more trust and confidence in your customers that you provide them with nothing but quality.
A nonconformance management software often helps enterprises to foster a culture of continuous improvements by integrating with existing quality systems to create a closed-loop quality system and ensure sufficient resolution every time. Quality improvements work wonders to retain your customers and create a loyal customer base.
4. Increasing customer satisfaction
As we have already discussed above, non-conformances help improve product and service quality, which is imperative to achieve customer satisfaction. Higher will be the quality of products or services you deliver; higher will be the level of customer satisfaction. And, you are likely to receive lesser customer complaints.
The nonconformance management software helps track the source of non-conformance reporting so that you can quickly respond to your customers with effective resolutions, mainly if the non-conformance is recorded through a customer complaint or feedback. Regardless of the source, the software accelerates the nonconformance management processes to ensure customers’ quality products and services on time.
5. Ensuring efficient utilization of resources
Since a non-conformance enables enterprises to figure out what went wrong, they can plan more efficient utilization of the available resources. You can miss on an aspect or two with traditional nonconformance management solutions. On the other side, the advanced, cloud-based software solution allows you to perform timely analysis and plan your activities accordingly, ensuring proper utilization of the resources.
The nonconformance management software reduces the wastage of resources by keeping track of their utilization in different phases of the production cycle while keeping you informed on resource inventory. The software comes with alerts and notifications capability that automatically notifies the quality teams whenever the quantity of raw materials reaches below threshold quantity.
6. Improving overall QMS performance
The most critical aspect of automating the non-conformance processes is improving your quality management system’s overall performance. With the nonconformance management system software, it becomes even less time-consuming to identify, manage, and resolve the quality issues while increasing the existing quality management system’s effectiveness.
It makes more sense for enterprises to invest in a powerful nonconformance management software that can help them take a holistic approach to quality management, identifying and eliminating all the quality issues. It will be even more beneficial to implement a configurable nonconformance management solution like Qualityze EQMS Suite to personalize the workflows and dashboards while ensuring maximum productivity.
Built on the most reliable and secure cloud platform, i.e., Salesforce.com, Qualityze ensures greater scalability, flexibility, and accessibility to manage your nonconformance records.