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USG PQDR logistics process improvement

December 10, 2012

United States Government Product Quality Deficiency Report (USG PQDR) process improvement

According to my experience, the current USG PQDR logistics process is not efficient and it hurts the users and the suppliers. This topic was discussed many times with my partners in the US Navy and US Air Force, and we all had the same understanding but no power to modify the USG DCMA PQDR logistics process.

Below is a description of the current PQDR logistics time line:-

  1. The user experiences an issue with a new delivery (“bad out the box”) and fills a PQDR form.
  2. The supplier receives an email from DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) with a request to authorize return product under PQDR.
  3. The supplier agrees to receive the PQDR item for repair or replacement (within one working day).
  4. DCMA authorizes / instructs the user to ship the unserviceable item(s) to the supplier. This process stage takes, according to my experience, between 3 to 10 months due to internal USG DCMA processes.
  5. The supplier evaluates the returned product under PQDR after repair/replace and submits a report according to the PQDR requirements, including a request for shipping instructions (within 30 days usually).
  6. DCMA sends shipping instructions to the supplier within 1 to 2 months.

There is no reason for a 12+ months process time to address PQDR. Also there are a few facts that make this process more painful.

  1. 10% to 50% of return PQDRs are CND (Can Not Duplicate)
  2. The services do not manage stocks according to “first in first out”. I have seen “bad out the box” returned a few years after it sold. In such cases it will be very painful for the supplier if there is a need for corrective action such as a product recall. For the user, the product may now be outside of the product requirements and there may be need to close the PQDR without resolution.
  3. In case the user needs immediate replacement from the USG supply chain, the user will have to pay the cost of new product.

The supplier should aim to address any “bad out the box” as fast as possible, implement if needed any corrective action to the ongoing production ASAP, and if needed recall similar sold items.

The proposed new PQDR process:-

  1. By definition (contract) the supplier authorizes/agrees to accept any PQDR and will cover shipping cost from the user to the supplier (for a limited period depending on product shelf life/requirements for storage free of failure).
  2. USG will field new products based on “first in first out”.
  3. Return item shipping address under PQDR after repair/replacement will be defined in the PQDR papers that came with the return item.
  4. USG (DCMA) will authorize to return the item(s) to the user after reviewing the closing report.

I hope my proposed process will open discussion between all parties involved to create better logistics PQDR process.

I volunteer to use my expertise in this field to be the facilitator for this topic discussion.


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