eCATS was originally developed for the Aerospace side of Honeywell. It has more recently been implemented widely in Automation & Control Solutions.
Note: If you are simply interested in obtaining a user ID for the system, please see the FAQ section below.
Control Products Supply Management Usage:
I. System Features:
- Internet based. eCATS software is centrally maintained and updated, which makes it:
- Secure. eCATS uses SSL for data encryption, which keeps information safe. In addition, each user has a login ID and only has limited access to information.
- Accessible. No special software is required for viewing eCATS, as it can be accessed from any computer with Internet access and an Internet browser. eCATS runs best with Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher at a browser resolution of 1024 x 768.
- Data Maintenance. One of the key features of eCATS is the ability to maintain information on a corrective action from the problem description through corrective action approval and verification. Data for an individual CAR is updated in the main (home) screen of the site. A list of CARs for which you are responsible should appear on this screen. Within the car, there are a number of tabs, each containing a different piece of information. For example, the first tab is the "Assign People" tab, which contains information on the Requestor and Owner of the CAR.
- Reporting and querying for information. The "advance search" at "CAR" tab and "Reports" tab areas allow a person to find detailed information across multiple organizations. When suppliers access these areas, information is given on all of the CARs owned only by that supplier (i.e. they cannot see other suppliers' CARs).
- Integrated with e-mail and MS Office tools. When an action is required or overdue in eCATS, the system automatically sends out an e-mail reminder. Also, information downloads to MS Excel and Word are available.
- Features within a CAR:
- Printing/e-mailing a CAR. Up on the right corner of each tab in the CAR, there are a number of buttons--one is labeled Print. Clicking on this allows a person to view a standard report of all of the CAR information. This report can be printed, or if viewed in PDF format, the report can be downloaded and attached to an e-mail.
- Adding Attachments. Other documents such as test reports may be added to a CAR. The Attach button, used to add a document, can be found up on the right corner of any tab in the CAR. Note: there is no notification in eCATS that a document is attached, so you may want to make a note in an appropriate field.
- Electronic Signatures. All approvals for a corrective action are done electronically.
II. Process Overview:
- As you can see from the attached Process Map, a production or quality engineer typically generates an eCATS CAR. This person is called the Lead/Requestor in eCATS. It is their responsibility to fill out the first three tabs in eCATS as completely as possible. Supplier name is initially left blank so an e-mail is not inadvertently sent to the supplier..
- Supplier Develop Engineer (SDE) or Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE assigned to the supplier in question receives the CAR and reviews it for completeness and to see if it is a supplier caused error. If so, the supplier name is added on the Assignment tab, which sends an automatic e-mail to the supplier. The SDE/SQE role in eCATS is the single point of contact (SPOC)/Coordinator.
- If the supplier is not initially set up in the system, it is not possible for a CAR to be written against them. In this case, the SDE/SQE fills out the required information at ECAT system ("Admin" tab).
- In order to log in to eCATS, a supplier will first need a user ID. To find more about how to obtain an ID, see the FAQ section below.
- Once the supplier receives the CAR, response is due per Honeywell procedures. The supplier must log in to eCATS and type on the "Respond to Car" tab of the CAR. Certain fields will be required by the requestor, and will be shown with a red asterisk.
- The work will only be saved by clicking on the SAVE button at the bottom of the page. If you exit the system without saving, all input information will be lost. At any moment the user can retrieve your saved document even if the response is not completed.
- When finished with a CAR response, the supplier must check the box at the bottom of the Response tab marked "check when complete". A response will not register as complete until the "check when complete" box is checked.
- Once the response is completed, click on "Submit" button. This will generate and automated email and will notify the SPOC of the owner ECAT completion.
- An automated e-mail is sent to the supplier if the response is overdue.
- Once the Response tab is complete, the SPOC will either approve or reject the response. If rejected, the supplier will need to submit a new response. The original due date still applies, unless extended by the SDE/SQE.
- When the supplier response is approved, the SDE/SQE may schedule follow up and effectiveness audits. If no audits are scheduled, the CAR is considered closed.
III. Frequently Asked Questions:
- HOW DO I GET A USER ID?
- Go to the eCATS web page.
- Click on "Register" link below ID and Password fields .
- Follow the instructions detailed here on logging in with the Honeywell ID..
- Save LDAP ID and Password and let the SDE/SQE know about your new LDAP ID only. (save LDAP Password for supplier's users team)
- Complete the registration as specified on previous link.
- Notify the SDE/SQE for any issue you could have getting or registering your own LDAP ID and Password
- Are multiple people within a supplier able to request user IDs, or do they need to share one?
Supplier can share one LDAP ID and Password. For any given supplier, you may have an unlimited number of user profiles. All of them sharing the same ID and Password but login into ECAT system using its own user profile. However, only the main supplier contact will receive automated e-mails from the system.
- Does the system require periodic password changes?
No. You may change your password if you wish on the login screen. But, it is not required.
- I have forgotten my password. How do I log into the system?
Go to the eCATS web page and click on "Forgot Password?" link. You will be prompted to input your LDAP ID and security questions provided when setting initially your own LDAP ID and Password. Follow the instructions to set a new password.
- I have forgotten my ID.
Go to the eCATS web page and click on "Forgot your User ID? Lookup" link. You will be prompted to input your registered email address to retrieve it.
- Why does my CAR open as read-only?
Only one user can access a CAR at any given time, so the system will open the CAR as read-only for other users. If you are sure that the person shown on the read-only notification message does not have the CAR open, that person may have not logged out properly. See the System Nuances section below.
- I am unable to complete my action within the give time period. Can I request an extension?
Yes, but there is no way within eCATS to do so. You must either check the box indicating that the CAR is complete, or contact the SPOC by some other means.
- What is a DUNS#? What is the best way of finding the DUNS# for a supplier?
The DUNS# is a number given by Dunn & Bradstreet that uniquely identifies a supplier. Typically, a supplier will know their DUNS#. Otherwise, the number may be available in OneSource.
- When are e-mails generated by the system?
The general rule of thumb is that when you are required to complete an action in eCATS, you will get an e-mail. An e-mail is sent when a CAR is initiated, when a response is completed, when approval is given or required, and three days before a scheduled audit. The system also sends out an e-mail daily when an action is past due.
- To whom are the e-mails sent?
The e-mail is sent to the person responsible for completing the action. In the case of a supplier, only the primary contact receives an e-mail.
- Can there be more than one primary contact per supplier?
Yes, the main contact for a supplier can be overridden by a local contact name. However, there may only be one local contact per location.
- Is there a document that defines terms used in pick lists, such as "C/A Code"?
Not yet. This document is still being written.
- Where do I go to find CARs assigned to me?
The Home page in the data maintenance tab will have all CARs in which you play a part. If you feel that a CAR was mistakenly assigned to someone else, please contact the assigned SDE/SQE.
- Can eCATS be used for tracking actions other than corrective actions?
Yes. eCATS is set up for tracking a number of different actions, including ISO/QS audit activities. In addition, there are three levels of corrective action: major, minor, and observation. The observation type of corrective action can be used to document process improvements. This type of activity does not count negatively against a supplier if the number of units rejected is set at 0, as supply management measures supplier performance based on pieces rejected vs. pieces received.
- Can the SPOC be changed? Can CARs be transferred between Honeywell locations?
Yes. The original SPOC or an administrator can pass the CAR to a different SPOC, or even a different location. If a different owning location is chosen, the SPOC will default to the site focal point, who can in turn assign the CAR appropriately.
- Can eCATS be used to document the disposition of rejected parts?
No. You may put the disposition information along with containment actions, but eCATS is not designed to specifically track or follow up on disposition activities.
- Can other people see my CARs?
All employees within Honeywell can see CARs from any location, except when the CAR is marked as Export Controlled. This means that the information cannot be shared with employees from locations other than where the CAR was originated. Supplier owned CARs can be accessed by any Honeywell employee, but are unavailable to other suppliers or customers.
- Who can be added to a CAR as a Team member?
Team members can be chosen from the requesting and owning sites.
IV. System Nuances of Which to be Aware:
- If a person does not log out properly (i.e. by pushing "Exit CAR" or "X" button), their session remains active. If they were in a CAR when they exited, the CAR will remain open. If this happens to you, remain logged out until the following business day before reporting it as a problem, as it may take a few hours to reset.
- If there is no activity, the system will automatically log a user out after 30 minutes. Simply typing does not count as activity. You must interact with the server in some way. In other words, you must change tabs, save, or perform any other action that requires a response from the system.
- The system will give a warning message about 5 minutes before logging a user out. If you click the OK button on this warning, you will remain logged in.
- There is a 1MB per document size limit on attached documents.
- The limit on text fields is 4,000 characters.
- Avoid using apostrophes whenever possible (especially in name fields). Some parts of the system are unable to process apostrophes.
V. Additional Resources:
- Training Materials:
- For a direct link to eCATS, click here.