SunsAnvil wrote:I work in Medical Devices and we often have difficulty getting well documented feedback from the field.
In such a heavily regulated / cost conscious as Medical Devices we often struggle to get feedback from the field because the service engineers perceive that their "gripe" will not get fixed.
I wanted to use the F1 analogy that issues found at the race track must be efficiently fed back and processed by the factory because they cannot afford to have serviceability, reliability or other quality issues if they want to win.
Hi SunsAnvil, I'm also from Service Engineering, and am currently in the transformer (tier 1) business. Before I explain my experience (none of which is F1), I have to make a very important point: a formula 1 team is a closed loop, so everyone at the track is very aware of the information needed for the factory to solve the issues - they don't have issues with information flow because they are in a testing environment. We, on the other hand, hope to receive information from owners who's only interest is having their machinery back up and running, they're losing money when they are down. That is what drives all actions at the site - they are not interest in investigations, they want their stuff working again. With this in mind, I believe that the difference is pretty obvious, and not easily changed with processes or incentives. I'm a certified 6Sigma Black Belt, and my current data set does not even contain statistical data - a true nightmare! I do not receive the number of operations at the time of failure, so I cannot even use Weibull for failure prediction (something F1 could use for test bed results for instance, but track testing has a too small sample size for it to be useful).
We, in the industry, need to prioritize by safety, then image, then costs, then failure population. Then, we need to add those customers who complain directly to management - they get more attention then others (sadly). At the same time, every investigation we start costs money - our time first, then the others we involve until we need to start tying up resources from other departments like engineering or manufacturing. So the further we go, with or without success, the more we cost our companies.
It would be more efficient and therefore cheaper to get the information and resolve the issues, but then you let a handful of customers suffer for your own interests first, while eliminating risk for your other customers. We understand the need, but being the owner of a 10mil€ transformer or a 250k€ construction equipment (my old area), you have your interest of earning money through uptime, not through helping other customers. The solution? 1) Involve and train the service techs in the problem resolution process, and 2) use your sales techniques to convince your customer to help, without losing him to the competition, by making him feel important to your process and your company. Those are your current chances for better information, in the future online monitoring is a service model which both our industries will need to propagate to reduce our costs.
I'll stop here for now, before I get carried away (can happen now and again I've realized
“Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!” Monty Python and the Holy Grail