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Departments: Quality Applications

Root Cause Analysis Solves Complex Problem


Corrective Action Tracking System Improves Data Access





Corrective Action Tracking System Improves Data Access
AssurX's CATSWeb

Solectron Corp., headquartered in Milpitas, California, provides a full range of global manufacturing and supply-chain management services to the world's premier high-tech electronics companies. The company grew by providing circuit board assembly services to the dense circle of electronics companies located in the Silicon Valley. Founded in 1977, the two-time winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was looking for an automated system to extend failure process analysis to customer locations.

Solectron had no way of tracking and reporting product problems nor querying information that needed to be addressed immediately. When customers would demand data, engineers would have to stop what they were doing, spend several hours per week compiling data and producing reports--all of which were completely paper-based. This caused numerous productivity and data-compilation problems; paper-based systems are known to be inefficient and can become outdated in a matter of hours.

AssurX's CATSWeb is a Web-based, zero-client corrective action tracking system designed to help firms track issues and problems from identification through disposition and corrective action. Some applications for CATSWeb include manufacturing defects, audits and findings, customer complaints, supplier returns, and corrective and preventive analysis.

First launched in 1995 as idsCATS, the traditional client/server-based product was eliminated by AssurX in favor of a Web-based version. AssurX realized the importance of the Internet architecture early on and decided to reengineer the product in 1998.

CATSWeb was chosen by Solectron because customers who were standardized on Sun Solaris or other Unix-based systems were able to retrieve and enter data without problems associated with other Web-based systems that rely on Java, JavaScript or VBScript code on the client browsers. Any type of browser could be used to access CATSWeb around the world, and with CATSWeb, Solectron was able to produce instantaneous dynamic reports in real time, greatly increasing the visibility of the problem.

Solectron opted for AssurX's hosted solution, as opposed to installing the system in house, in order to free up IT resources and show potential and existing customers how efficient the company's problem resolution was. Using CATSWeb, the company has increased efficiency and productivity, eliminated multiple databases, minimized report generation and decreased response time. Solectron has also improved failure analysis turnaround times by 68 percent and improved communication internally between manufacturing sites as well as with customers.

"CATSWeb has been invaluable to us," says Maria Munio, site quality manager at Solectron's Milpitas headquarters. "It has significantly improved communication internally and the relationships with our customers and suppliers. Specifically, it's improved failure analysis turnaround times, which effectively decreased the time it takes to solve problems and close corrective actions."

Solectron has plans for the implementation of CATSWeb to include supplier management, bringing in the service group and new product introduction, as well as using CATSWeb as a workflow tool to manage projects. This will provide communication with the customer, facilitate project execution within teams and allow Solectron to share real-time information between sites.

AssurX's CATSWeb


  • Central repository of data
  • Self-governing
  • Provides automatic e-mail notification
  • Comprehensive escalation to ensure timely actions