Supplier performance is usually critical to your performance. Of course, suppliers have problems from time to time. If these can be captured and recorded accurately then they can be used as a basis for feedback and review or, if it comes to it, claims. The more data available regarding the nature and frequency of problems, the greater the chance you can improve them and reduce the effects that supplier’s non-conformance may have on you.

Furthermore, when used as a basis for review it is essential that you can follow up to see that improvements have been made, that they do actually respond and address the issues.


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

  • Record the complaint as it arises either in goods-inwards or out on the line when materials are used. Include all the necessary supporting information to manage it e.g. supplier, batch, nature of complaint, detail, date of complaint, quantity affected, quantity received
  • Attach any related documents: supplier documents, photographs; 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 – including the supplier contacts directly
  • Use a workflow to manage the complaint and change its status as it moves through the process
  • Record any claims amount
  • 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; Frequency, Response Time, Cost of Claims

When Used with Other Modules

When the Supplier 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.


  • 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
  • Drive supplier performance – use the history of data to drive supplier improvements
  • Improve response times – by improving communication, automatically notifying the right people, promptly and escalating complaints that are not processed in a timely manner
  • 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