In ST, we are committed to respond to complaints quickly and effectively in order to protect our customers and fully resolve the root causes of a problem.
When a customer launches a complaint, we collect a detailed description of the problem and the conditions of occurrence as well as material evidence and traceability information. We use this information to identify the origin of the parts and investigate any possible incidents. Failure symptoms are also checked for possible recurrences regarding either the commercial part or the customer.
Immediate containment actions are put into place to minimize the impact on our customers, such as segregating impacted lots and inventories or rescreening parts.
Next, a thorough analysis of the problem is performed, which includes
- Symptom review
- Visual/mechanical inspection
- Electrical analysis on automatic test equipment
- Complementary failure analysis tests when needed
The results allow us to confirm (or not) the failure symptoms.
Confirmed problems are resolved using the 8D Team Problem Solving methodology for each defect. This methodology allows us to identify its root causes and take steps to keep it from happening again.
- 5W2H (What, When, Where, Why, Who, How, How Much), a question-asking method used to clarify or understand a fact in more depth
- Is/Is not: a simple method for bounding a problem and understanding its scope
- 5 Why’s: a question-asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a problem and determine a root cause of a defect or problem
- FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis): a methodology for identifying potential failure modes, determining their effect on the product, and identifying actions to mitigate the failures.
Customers are informed about the progress of the complaint. We inform them through
- An acknowledgement letter of registration
- A sample request letter
- An acknowledgement letter of sample/evidence receipt if applicable
- If applicable, a complaint report for non-confirmation. This report includes evidence that the suspected failing component has successfully passed the tests
- The 3D Complaint Report, with
- confirmation of the symptom
- results of preliminary observations
- planning of further actions with schedule
- list of containment actions to limit the impact of the problem when immediate containment actions are not sufficient
- Confirmation of the symptom
- Results of preliminary observations
- Planning of further actions with schedule
- List of containment actions to limit the impact of the problem when immediate containment actions are not sufficient
- 5D Complaint Report, with root cause identification and a corrective action implementation plan
Note: Interim reports are sent to the customer periodically providing information on the progress of the analysis
- 6D Complaint Report (sent on request) listing the corrective actions implemented
- 7D Complaint Report (sent on request) defining preventive actions and cross fertilization
- Final 8D Complaint Report.
The complaint interaction with our customers is normally concluded upon acceptance of the final report by the customer or 14 calendar days after the final report is sent if there is no customer feedback (unless otherwise specified in agreed specific customer requirements). If the customer disagrees with the conclusions of the report, a new analysis is performed. The internal activities continue till the full closure of the 8D methodology.
Complaint resolution may also integrate specific customer requirements, when agreed upon by ST, such as methodologies, cycle time, reports, information or assessments.