Online MES complaints

No organisation wants complaints, but the least you can do if you receive them is handle them in a prompt, professional manner. This means the customer complaint management process must be handled properly from receipt of complaint; to assigning ownership; management of the complaint; investigation; and ultimately to resolution and closure.

Complaint management can involve many people in an organisation and touch numerous departments and areas; it can be all too easy for complaints to go astray, or stall, or worse get lost.

Investigating customer complaints relating to the manufacturing process is often a bottleneck as it means trawling back through records of production runs. If these are paper based records, there is often a major issue locating the records; finding the information needed; add to that the fact that legibility can be an issue; all in all it can be very time consuming.

Increasingly today, information is stored in different forms, from paper records to Excel sheets or some computer applications. All of this adds to the difficulty of accessing the information and collating it to form a coherent picture.

Finally corrective and preventative action plans need to be created and managed throughout the organisation, in big companies managing this in a coherent way can be a real challenge.


The Customer Complaints module of Shopfloor-OnlineTM Lifescience Edition  MES provides an easy to use tool to allow complaints to be recorded and managed through to resolution. With the Customer Complaints module you can:

  • Record the complaint when it arrives, with all the necessary supporting information to manage it e.g. customer, contact, nature of complaint, detail, date of complaint, quantity affected, quantity received
  • Attach any related documents: scans of letters, photographs; emails, so that all the information is captured to create a full paperless record
  • Assign ownership to an individual to manage the complaint, the system can automatically send emails to alert the owner and other relevant people
  • Use a workflow – manage the complaint and change its status as it moves through the process
  • Use the information about the complaint to drive the traceability investigation, e.g. serial numbers, batch numbers, production runs, production dates, manufacturing lines
  • Automatically drill into information that is available. e.g. records of production runs; quality checks; materials used (as with other modules of Shopfloor-OnlineTM Lifescience Edition)
  • Record any claims amount and manage the approval process related to claims
  • Create an action plan to handle the complaint. These can follow templates, for example containment actions; corrective actions; preventative actions
  • Assign the actions to different people within the organisation
  • Ensure all actions are closed before the complaint can be closed
  • Track the progress of the complaint and any associated actions
  • Track the age of each complaint and with email alerts ensure all complaints are managed to a timely conclusion
  • Use a set of KPIs to monitor complaints like: Complaints per Quantity produced; Response Time, Cost of Claims

When Used with Other Modules

When the Customer Complaint module is used in conjunction with other modules of Shopfloor-OnlineTM Lifescience Edition the speed and ease of investigating complaints improves drastically. For example:

  • With the Job Tracking module you can immediately find the production run associated with the complaint, to know Production Order, manufactured date and time, production Line(s), shifts and crews
  • With the Quality module you have access to the results of all quality checks done (or not done!) on the production run
  • With the Traceability – Consumption module you can see what lots of materials were used in the process. If you have concerns about the material you can work back up the other way and immediately find all production runs that used the same material – even if you have not had complaints yet.
  • With the Build Traceability module, you can extend traceability down to serialised parts and see every step of the production process
  • With the Labour Tracking module you can see who was running the manufacturing process at the time of production


  • Standardise response to adverse events – enforce the process of complaint management through the system, ensuring all complaints get handled properly from receipt to closure
  • Convenience – attach documents, like photographs, makes access to information easier for everyone and accessible from anywhere. No need to move paper files around the organisation as the complaint gets dealt with.
  • History – develop a history of complaints to support continuous improvement activities: complaints can be analysed by all dimensions for example by customer, product, defect, line, department, shift, crew
  • Improve response times – by improving communication, automatically notifying the right people, promptly and escalating complaints that are not processed in a timely manner
  • Visibility – increase the visibility of complaints in the organisation