When a defective product is found at your customer’s site, Japanese customers would never accept go close this issue just by replacing with a new product. This is one of the differences from foreign manufacturing companies.
They would of course temporarily accept to replace defective product with new one, as they do not want to stop their production line. However, after that, they would strictly request product supplier like us to take corrective action urgently.
And the problem is that the understanding about “Corrective Action” is different between Japanese companies and overseas companies.
Please imagine that you are automotive component manufacturer and have been supplying automotive components to Japanese customer. And they find one piece of defective product which lack, for example, only one screw.
You would firstly need to inspect visually all the product stock in your customer’s production line and in your warehouse. Then you will be requested by your customer to submit “Corrective Action Report”, which should include followings:
1. Root cause why this defect was made
2. Root cause why this defective product was not inspected before shipping
3. Corrective action against item 1.
4. Corrective action against item 2.
The difference of understanding about “corrective action” between Japanese customers and oversea customers is that Japanese customers always ask us “Why?” many times.
For example, if we report that the root cause was simply because of “operator’s error”, they will certainly ask you “What operator’s error happened?”. ?So if we answer that the operator’s error was because of lack of training, they will certainly ask you “Why lack of training?”…
So in order to make corrective action report which Japanese customers can accept, you should think “Why?” repeatedly so that you will find the real root cause and its corrective action.
It is essential that you have the knowledge like the above. And if you cannot take action like this, it would be quite hard for you to do business with Japanese companies especially in the automotive and electronics industries.