The 8D report is a way to process complaints regarding faulty products within the supply chain and is part of quality management. Created by the supplier, it is transferred to the customer and documents the approach taken for processing a complaint. It thus serves to assure supplier quality, both in the present and in the future. The term “8D” comes from the eight steps required (the disciplines) which, according to this process, must be taken in order to ensure successful complaints management.
The 8D report was predominantly standardized by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The type of complaint, responsibilities and actions for eliminating the failure must be documented in the report.
The 8D methodology is to be used to ensure that a systematic procedure for handling complaints is implemented and complied with. Thorough documentation of the relevant solution steps and a facts-based approach ensure that the failure in the product or system is investigated in depth and can therefore be eliminated permanently instead of just solving the customer’s issue in the short term.
The 8D method is used predominantly for solving big problems. It is important to document the entire complaint process in an 8D report. This is the only way that an 8D report can function effectively.
These eight steps are taken in every 8D report:
1. Establish a team that will solve the problem
A team with a good knowledge of the process and the product is built up. They analyze the issue, come up with corrective actions and monitor their effectiveness.
2. Describe the problem
In this step, the problem is defined as precisely as possible and the source of the problem is identified.
3. Immediate actions
These actions provide fast troubleshooting for the problem and serve to mitigate the damage until a permanent solution is found.
4. Find the cause of the problem
Various tests and experiments are used to find the causes of the problem. The most likely causes are then presented. This step is to ensure that similar failures do not recur again in the future.
5. Plan corrective actions
Then the team looks at which means they could use to remedy the causes of the problem. Tests are used to ensure that these actions solve the problem efficiently and that no unwanted side effects occur.
6. Implement the corrective actions
Once the corrective actions have been implemented successfully, the immediate actions must be stopped. In the automotive industry, the only permitted corrective actions are actions which improve the process.
7. Prevent recurrence of failure
In order to ensure that this type of failure does not recur, preventive actions which are monitored by the team must be introduced. To ensure this in the automotive and aviation industries, manufacturers are requested to use the FMEA method to evaluate the risks found during the cause investigation. In addition, the regulations and procedures of the quality management system may also need to be adjusted.
8. Appreciation of the team’s performance
In the last stage, the team’s performance should be recognized and their experiences should be shared.