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functional vs. process reporting

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  • #33008

    boettler
    Member

    I work in a billing group, and wanted to get some thoughts on reporting. We are in the communications business, so to bill a customer correctly requires a coordinated effort starting with sales, order entry and provisioning, pricing setup, billing and collections, and customer service. One of the metrics that ties to customer satisfaction is the number of corrective adjustments we need to give to a customer’s invoice(the less the better). The problem we’re running into is that some people want to tag these adjustments by the type of problem that caused them(and possibly a sub level below that), whereas the other camp feels that the error should be tagged as the function that caused the error(sales error, order entry error, etc). My experience with six sigma would say to stay away from tagging to a functional owner, since errors can build throughout the process and “break” with a specific function. Deming has also said functional type reporting hides more than it brings out. My questions is…which one should be pursued?

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    #88735

    DaveG
    Participant

    For What It’s Worth, I agree with you, but I know all too well how people cling to their own inputs – I’m certainly guilty of that.
    Your objective is to find the method which will most quickly yield the greatest impact.  Is there a way to do both methods at the same time for all failures?  If not, can you “split” the reporting for a week or so then evaluate which group yields the better insight?  Also, you have not indicated how this data will be used – does a single failure generate an action?  are you using trending?  pareto?  criticality?

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    #88737

    boettler
    Member

    It will be difficult to track both, as the entry is not centralized so the training is difficult, and we need to submit the requirements before hand regarding what will be needed in the entry tools, etc. A good idea though, so will look into it.
    We will be using the data to determine bias, so an individual failure would not necessarily drive an action(unless it was very special). My plan was to do control charts on the number of corrective adjustments and the dollar of corrective adjustments, and have the appropriate data to do at least a two level pareto as needed. From there, we will use the data for improvement focus and benchmarking of our gains(I hope). The data will be lagging, so it’s not preventative, but we hope to use it to determine key upstream variables that we can report on and control to reduce impacts to the customer.

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    #88738

    DaveG
    Participant

    Rob,
    In parallel with, or even before, this project, you should strive to pull together a multifunctional team to do an FMEA.  Identify the people who actually “touch” the process and make or elicit decisions – call center staff, customer service, etc.  I guarantee these people will predict, and provide solutions to, a fair number of pre-existing potential failures.

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    #88739

    boettler
    Member

    Dave,
    Thanks for your input. We have included the cross functional people in our initial efforts, and many ideas have been generated as to what are the specific failures and what is causing them. The problem we have is getting agreement on the size/volume of our failure causes and the failures themselves, and how we should report them(should a failure mode or failure mode cause be reported as a “function”, etc). Fun
     

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    #88740

    DaveG
    Participant

    It sounds like the reporting will be done electronically thru some big IT project.  Why not just give all the “data collectors” tick sheets to summarize things manually during the day?  I can also advise you on a MS Word application I created to log customer complaints on an Intranet – which leaves IT out of the loop.

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