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Continuous Improvements in the Customer Complaint Handling Process


As part of West’s Global Quality Initiative, the company is reviewing and revising a variety of processes and procedures in an effort to meet rising customer expectations, prepare for the challenges of tomorrow and exceed the market’s high-reaching quality expectations for safe, effective and clean pharmaceutical products.

The quality improvement initiative, however, is not limited to West’s products. It also applies to the overall customer experience, including areas such as technical customer support and the component complaint handling process. To help ensure that our customers receive the quality response that they have come to expect from an industry leader like West, we’ve implemented a program designed to meet or exceed customer expectations for the complaint response process.

“West always strives to produce high-quality products, and we are committed to helping our customers reach the market with components and systems that are safe and effective,” said Lucia Ino, Director, Quality Systems. “Because our customers are extremely sensitive to quality issues, we recognize that when a problem does occur, they need accurate responses in a timely manner that will help to minimize the impact of the problem.”

The complaint response improvement project was designed to provide a better understanding of our customers’ needs, improved quality of the response and reduced response time. The project began with a thorough review of the Company’s complaint process in the form of a Rapid Improvement Event implementing Lean/Six Sigma practices. A multi-discipline team from West’s Americas plants participated in the project.

Targeted improvements focused on specific areas of the component complaint handling process have allowed the team to reduce complaint response turnaround time from an average of 37 days at the beginning of the year to 19 days as of July, a trend that shows significant improvement. Additional improvements to the process flow will help to guarantee that the  trend continues as the team works to ensure that complaints are resolved as efficiently as possible while still meeting customer expectations for the quality of the response. Several customers have provided positive feedback that recognize West’s efforts to improve the quality and turnaround time of the complaint responses. 

West’s goal is to provide continuous improvement to product quality to meet or exceed the pharmaceutical industry’s  quality aspirations.  In the meantime, customers can expect their overall experience to move a little faster as customer service processes like complaint resolution continue to be updated for quality and speed. 

“Our teams work hard to respond to complaints promptly, accurately and with the utmost courtesy,” said Ino.  “West’s goal is to meet our customers’ expectations by providing not only high-quality product, but also excellent customer service.”

For more information, contact your account manager.