Non Conformities (NCR):
Non conformity means deviation from a requirement specified in the purchase order or its associated documents (specification, data sheet, etc.). Non Conformity Report can be categorized as minor and major.
Please note that even if the vendor is using a better and more expensive material because the original material is not available in the market, it is still termed as non conformity unless a concession request is made and approved by the client.
Please note that concession request should be made before a non conformity is committed otherwise a non conformity shall be raised and closed with an approved concession request.
Please note that concession request should be raised if a deviation is observed after supplier signing the purchase order. All deviations requested by supplier before signing the purchase order is called a deviation that if accepted by the purchaser or client, shall be incorporated within the purchase order. In this case no need to raise a concession request.
Supplier is always encouraged to raise a deviation request (tell purchaser what he is going to change rather than after signing the contract).
All closed NCRs shall be included in the manufacturer data book.
Non Conformity Report (NCR) statistics is always used as one of supplier’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Unfortunately, most purchase orders do not consider punitive measure for non conformities raised (say withholding 5% of contract from each payment due until the NCR is closed). That is why, NCR raised by the client or his inspector may actually backfire because once the package is completed, around 95% of package price has already been paid to the supplier and while the client’s inspector can not release the package because of NCRs raised and supplier’s reluctance to provide evidence in order to close them.
Therefore, it is very important to instruct the supplier to raise an NCR in first place rather than being issued by the client or his inspector. This way, the burden of maintaining an NCR register and closure lies with the supplier with the client following it up via email, telephone call and weekly meeting until their orderly and satisfactory closure.
Please ensure that the NCR raised by any of the client’s personnel (inspector, buyer, engineer) is reviewed by the quality engineer before formally processing the NCR.
Package or Supplier Quality Engineer (SQS) shall ensure that:
• NCR is issued against a tangible valid non conformity
• has a target completion date
• corrective action proposed by the supplier is acceptable to the originator and relevant package team member
• preventive action (for recurrent or major non conformities) proposed by vendor is acceptable
• and finally NCR is closed within the stipulated timeframe following satisfactory corrective action and preventive
action (if any)
It is always a good practice to know how to close the NCR before even initiating it.
NCR should not be used as tool to pass the buck or deferring responsibilities or for personal animosity.
Always review and approve NCR originated by the buyer, client’s inspector, package engineer and other disciplines before officially issuing it to the supplier.
Supplier should agree on NCR content and be ready to perform corrective action, otherwise NCR could be serious job stopper without serving much purpose.
Non Conformity Report (NCR) can be resolved in three ways only:
1- Supplier issue a concession request accepted by the client’s package engineer
2- Supplier proposes and implements a corrective measure that is acceptable to the client.
3- Supplier rejects the material/component altogether and uses new material.
Package cannot be released until all NCR are closed. Therefore, exercise caution when raising and dealing with NCR as it could seriously jeopardize the delivery of the equipment and even delay the whole project.
There shall be an NCR register; maintained and updated regularly to keep tab of open NCR and close them in an orderly fashion as some open NCR could impede moving forward with subsequent activities.
Prior to a non conformity to happen, there are almost always telltales.
It is always better to issue a site observation report (SOR) thereby flagging off a concern that could potentially turn in to NCR if not dealt with in time. Try to resolve issues by calling, communicating or raising them during weekly meeting with supplier before it gets out of hand and turn into an unavoidable NCR.
NCR is compared with Swiss cheeses with many holes. When all the control points fail or missed by people, it eventually leads to an unavoidable NCR, so, be proactive.