The Importance of Root Cause Analysis

Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 in UEA Blog

With any company in the 21st century, quality is at the forefront of doing business. UEA is no different and we are continually improving to make our products second to none. In order to make that happen, we have to understand both our internal and external quality issues.
At the root of this (pun intended), is root cause analysis. This is a method of problem solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or problems. A root cause is a cause that is once removed from the problem fault sequence, prevents the final undesirable event from recurring (Wikipedia, 2014). With this wonderful tool, we can begin to understand that there is more to the issue that has arisen, rather than it being just black and white. The gray area requires identifying all possible ideas that could have led to the non-conformity and proving out which is the actual root cause.
At UEA, we use an industry standard corrective action procedure that challenges us to think “outside of the box”. Through this we can find the ultimate problem and put measures in place to stop this problem from re-occurring. Involving a cross functional team to look at the problem at hand, we open the doors to greater knowledge and improvement. It is imperative that we work closely with our customer to also understand their product. This gains a perspective on the interaction between our product and the complete assembled product.
As much as our customers rely on us to determine the problem at hand and to remedy the situation, we also look at our suppliers to do the same. We aim to work closely to come up with solutions and a plan of how to ensure reliability and durability to benefit everyone in our supply chain.
Without root cause analysis, the effectiveness of a corrective action would be similar to a slip ring without electricity. It simply is not going to work as intended.

Shari Pruett
Quality Assurance Specialist