Even at the best of times it can be a problem to track the actions needed to address nonconformities, and the subsequent corrective actions. This can be especially difficult when the people involved are not located at the same facility. One way to address this need is to use an online ISO tool to track these actions and ensure that they are completed in a timely manner. This case study, through a process of nonconformance in the design process, will show how you can ensure adequate completion of the tasks for a nonconformity and corrective action using a compliance tool called Conformio.

Steps to take when correcting a nonconformity and taking corrective action

When a company finds that there is a problem with the design of a product, and this problem was not captured in the design review process, there is a need for investigation. First, the nonconformity needs to be addressed and the product needs to be made acceptable for use on a nonconformity report. The company also needs to investigate why this happened and take action to prevent it from recurring on a corrective action request.

You can follow and complete these activities with an online ISO compliance tool that includes nonconformity control and a corrective action process. For more information about this topic, check out this article: What kind of online tool to use for nonconformities in ISO management standards. Take, for example, this nonconformity where a widget design is incorrect in production. The five steps for correcting the problem and taking corrective action are outlined below, and the screen captures explain how this is done using the widget design problem:

1) The first thing to note about this online tool is the access to the nonconformities and corrective actions, which are on the first page when an employee signs in. To start the nonconformity process, enter a summary of the problem in the title bar and hit Enter.

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

2) Once the nonconformity is created, click on the title in the list to access and update the information, so that correction of the problem can take place. In order to track the correction of the product, assign the nonconformity to an individual who will receive assigned tasks and responsibilities through the online tool notifications.

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

3) If further root cause investigation is required, the tool allows you to create a linked corrective action request from within the nonconformity tool. This then allows the nonconformity document to be closed once the correction is completed, even though the ongoing investigation tasks are still being completed for the corrective action.

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

4) The creation of the corrective action is done by completing the information in the pop-up window and saving this to the corrective action module. For more details, check out this article: How to establish a corrective actions process using an online tool.

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

5) As with the corrections identified and tracked through the nonconformity module, the corrective action will allow you to add information and assign tasks. These tasks are then tracked for the investigation of the root cause and determination of the appropriate corrective action activities to take to ensure the nonconformity does not recur.

Case study: How to solve nonconformities using online ISO compliance software - Conformio

Online ISO tools: Making it easier to handle nonconformities and corrective actions

With the easy link between the two processes of nonconformity control and corrective action, an online ISO compliance tool is a useful way to ensure that all actions are addressed, and nothing is lost. Task tracking through the tool ensures that people assigned to the actions know what needs to be done, including notification through email that tasks are assigned or coming due.

In the case study above, the actions to correct the widgets are simply controlled through the nonconformity module. Because it was necessary to investigate why the design problem occurred, a corrective action was created to investigate the root cause and correct the underlying problem. In the future, when you are looking at these records, you can quickly confirm that all the necessary actions were taken to correct the product, and to ensure that similar problems would not occur in future designs.

Click here to open a free account at Conformio ‑ you’ll have free access for 5 users to the unlimited features of the ISO management tool, and you can see a demonstration of how the nonconformity and corrective action modules work.