Q&A - Normalization Units

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These questions have to do with the determination of normalization units.

Question 9318 — For category 7.6.1 Procurement Services, NPR and SQ. The tracking requirement for each is based on "Unit." Could you please provide a definition of "unit."? We have organized our measurement system to track "orders", not individual "units". By tracking in this manner, we reason that we are in fact being more critical of our performance, than if we were tracking by unit. (For example, we often ship orders of thousands of small quantity off-the-shelf commodity units. We feel tracking by orders will be more representative of our customer's true level of satisfaction with our performance.) We have also used orders to determine our on-time-delivery percentage as well.

Answer — The normalization units used for the TL 9000 measurements have been chosen to optimize the comparability across the products in a particular product category. In order to maintain that comparability, there is no option involved in their use. While it is certainly true that using orders will result in a numerically higher value, it is not the required normalization unit and therefore is not in compliance with the TL 9000 Measurements Requirements. Its use will result in data that is not comparable. The required normalization unit of "unit" shall be used for reporting NPR and SQ. The number of line items shall be used for reporting on time delivery (OTI). If it is felt the "orders" would provide a higher level of comparability for any of these three measurements for category 7.6.1, please submit a suggestion to the TIA QuEST Forum for input for consideration of a change to the category table. The suggestion should contain rationale on why the proposed change will result in a more comparable measure.

Question 9407 — Services: I need some clarification on the NPRs: the book says the normalization unit for category Physical Installation is a "job". In our case would "Job" = the number of audits the customer performed during the month or would it be the total number of jobs we completed? The reason I am asking is that if you report the number of jobs, you are not comparing the correct monthly data to what problems the customer is reporting.

Answer — The number to report for NPRs is the number of jobs completed in the month or the number of jobs started in the month. Either can be used as long as they are used consistently, and no job is counted more than once. As you have noted, this can lead to a disconnect between the month a given job was counted in NPRs and the month when a problem report is received against that job. Since a customer problem report can be generated some time after the completion of a job, this is really the only practical method for counting the number of jobs and the problem reports.

Question 9409 — Services - For 7.x category products, what does NPRs stand for? Is it the shipment amount in the report month or prior 12 month before the report month? I am confused by the question though I have read NPR example from Could you give me a clear explanation?

Answer — In category 7.x, NPRs is the number of normalization units, per 
Appendix A, Table A-2, that were accomplished and/or started during the reporting month. In Physical Installation, NPRs is the number of jobs completed in the month or the number of jobs started in the month. Either can be used as long as they are used consistently, and no job is counted more than once. In category 7.4, repair services, NPRs is the number of units repaired during the month. For categories such as 7.7.x, where the NU contains the word “shipped”, then the quantity shipped in the 12 months ending with the month being reported shall be used as described in the notes in Table A-2.

Question 10215 — End-Customer Services: Private Networks (category 9.4), what is the meaning of 10MB bandwidth (normalized unit)?

Answer — This is the simultaneous capacity of the VPN circuits in terms of 10 megabit increments. A single gigabit Ethernet circuit would be 1000 MB or 100 10MB normalization units.

To help you calculate the NU for this service, it is suggested you work with a product manager or engineer and the customer service organization to get a better understanding of the equipment to determine the measurement application.

Question 12358 — In table A-2 the normalization factor NU for NPR is defined as "order" for category 7.7.5 Logistical Services. What is the official definition of "order"? The glossary at the end of the measurements handbook does not define it.

Answer — Most organizations simply use the order designation within their ERP system to determine the number of orders to report for the month. This can be the number of orders opened or closed during the month, just as long as the method is applied consistently from month to month. A formal definition of order would be a request from a customer, written or electronic, for the acquisition of an item or service or list of items or service.