The information revealed through a CAPA process can lead to real customer and business benefits. On the other hand, triggering too many CAPAs creates unnecessary noise, burdens the CAPA management team and can pull resources away from more important activities.
Triaging customer issues to determine which ones warrant starting a corrective and preventive action (CAPA) process can lead to great efficiency savings, particularly if a certain root cause lies behind a number of customer issues. But how do you go about pinpointing when it’s worth creating a CAPA?
Let’s take the example of an imaginary head of customer service at a life sciences company – Tim.
At Tim’s company, the service desk team handles day-to-day management of customer issues using Jira Service Desk. They know when to escalate an issue to the authorised representative but, in the vast majority of cases, are competent to take issues through to a satisfactory resolution for the customer.
Tim regularly goes through the issues that have come up recently to see which should trigger a full blown CAPA process. He’s particularly keen to spot the ones that are not isolated incidents but part of a pattern that needs investigation so, over time, he has developed a set of methods that help him quickly identify them.
Tim’s methods rely heavily on the built-in reports and data available in Jira Service Desk. Here are few examples:
1. Identifying at-risk components
Each month, Tim checks the number of customer issues associated with each of a pre-defined list of ‘components’. He then checks these against the equivalent figures for each month over the last year. A significant increase in the number of issues raised for a particular component may suggest that something fundamental has changed for the worse, making it appropriate to trigger a CAPA.
2. Investigating regional differences
Tim also checks where the customers who report issues relating to each component are based. Using pie charts created automatically in Jira enables him to see at a glance the whole spread of components for each country. If the split between components is markedly different in one particular country, that could indicate a specific local problem that merits investigation via a CAPA process.
In the example below you can see that packaging-related issues are much more prevalent in the UK than in other countries. This might be due to a quality control issue at the regional level, such as in the warehouse. The fact that this geographical difference has been highlighted gives Tim and his team the opportunity to look into the problem and, hopefully, eliminate it.
3. Monitoring issue resolution performance
Tim’s team is committed to certain response times, which are outlined in their service level agreements (SLAs) with clients.
Having had time to perfect its processes, the team manages to meet those commitments for the vast majority of requests. However, the fact that Jira Service Desk automates the monitoring of missed target response times means Tim can easily access a list of issues where the first response was late. He can then apply the benefit of his experience to work out where it might be worth implementing a CAPA process to investigate the reasons behind the delay.
4. Standardising best practice
The end result of this approach is fewer CAPAs, each of which has a greater potential impact on the way Tim’s company works.
Even better, triage methods like the ones he has developed are easy to spread, because the reports and graphs created are readily available to other key stakeholders, such as the quality assurance manager. This means the criteria can easily be incorporated into standard operating procedures (SOPs) for dealing with customer issues, forming part of the company’s official methodology.
All this drives efficiency and makes the work Tim puts into working out when to implement a CAPA process even more worthwhile.
If you would like to experience these benefits and more for real, speak to us about how we could help you make the most of Jira Service Desk for your quality management.