Re: $500 million for an error in a policy manual

Subject: Re: $500 million for an error in a policy manual
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:48:13 -0500

From my wife, the quality engineer...
"The correct procedure is incoming inspection for anything that can possibly be a critical material. There is a wide range of possibilities that must be covered. For example, I needed Vermiculite for a purpose very similar to the kitty-litter situation. The purchasing person found an "insulating material" that was much cheaper, and changed the PO. I caught that one before anything bad happened.

"On other occasions I have had arguments about removing incoming inspection to 'save a few bucks' and in each case if I lost the argument there was a catastrophe. One time a wall of a warehouse got blown out in the explosion. Another time purchasing substituted trichloroethane where trichloroethylene was required as a cleaning agent for manufacture of parts for xerography equipment. The customer discovered the resulting failure, which resulted in scrapping millions of dollars worth of product. The cost of incoming inspection on the trichloroethylene was less than $100 per year, but I could not get anyone to give me a sample."

The failure was that management did not correctly identify kitty litter as a critical material. This did not hinge on "tech writing" but instead on management of critical components. The kitty litter had not been a problem until the new wheat-based kind appeared. Perhaps there is a MIL spec for "hazardous spill" kitty litter, but nobody bothered to check.

Some of these problems stem from ISO9000, "Just-It-Time", and the belief that your supplier will give you what you need.

On Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:07:09 -0500, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

Saying "inorganic" instead of stating specific ingredients required or a list of approved products by name for a potentially hazard-creating material would be a serious technical error that goes way beyond being a typo. You can't presume that a purchasing agent or warehouse shipping clerk is going to know the difference between organic and inorganic materials. In today's consumer market, telling someone you don't want organic runs a good chance of resulting in that person not buying or shipping anything with a label stating it's made from organically farmed ingredients

Gene Kim-Eng


On 12/8/2014 8:52 AM, Dan Goldstein wrote:
I can easily imagine someone losing the "in" in "inorganic" during a revision.
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References:
RE: $500 million for an error in a policy manual: From: Dan Goldstein
Re: $500 million for an error in a policy manual: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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