The manufacturing, operations and field service/call centers often do their fair share for product reliability. They have critical roles in a products ability to meet customer reliability expectations.
Product Reliability Participants part 7 FMS Reliability
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Product Reliability Participants part 7
Reliability Participants within an Organization
T his will be the last of the series, considering the dif f erent positions in an organization that deal with product
reliability. We’ve moved away f rom the positions where the f ocus on reliability is central, but there are important
considerations in relation to product reliability f or each of these roles still. In this concluding post the subjects
are the manuf acturing team, and f ield service and call center staf f s.
Manuf acturing Team
Manuf acturing can only make a product’s Q & R worse. It is impossible to create a product as good as the
design intent owing to material, assembly, and environmental variation. T heref ore, the role of the
manuf acturing team is to minimize variation that adversely impacts f ield reliability.
Understanding the critical Q & R elements of design enables the manuf acturing team to f ocus on monitoring
and controlling elements that have a high impact on Q & R perf ormance. T he common f ocus on production
yield is of ten related to f ield Q & R perf ormance, when the production testing includes the ability to detect
latent def ects or signif icant adverse changes to the expected product durability.
Field Service and Call Center Staf f s
T he primary role of f ield service and call center organizations is to support installation, operation, and
restoration of product f or customers. Members of these teams must also understand the Q & R risks to better
enable rapid troubleshooting and restoration f or customers. T he Q & R inf ormation required should not come
f rom customer complaints; rather, it should come f rom product development, new product introduction, or
manuf acturing teams.
Another critical role played by f ield service and call centers is to provide early detection of f ield f ailure issues.
To enhance this capability these teams should understand what is expected to f ail or cause complaints, thus
permitting the detection of unusual events or trends. Another role is to secure inf ormation and returned
products that exhibit f ield f ailure or unusual behavior. It is of ten time consuming and f rustrating f or the
consumer to work though a detailed diagnosis and troubleshooting procedure, so replacing the product can
restore the customer’s use of the product and also permit a detailed f ailure analysis of the f aulty unit.
Setting up an aggressive replacement policy f or limited periods of time, along with creating a dedicated f ailure
analysis team to analyze returns and implement improvements, enables reliability improvements. T his practice
is best done at the beta testing phase or early during the product launch when the number of units in the f ield