Thursday, June 12, 2014

Giving the Customer What They Want

I hear a lot of things in the customer service area in regards to how to satisfy a customer. Some say “Under promise and over deliver.” Others talk of exceeding their customer’s expectations. While these are lofty goals, I’m going to go out on a limb and call “BS” on these and other similar comments.

Certainly, you’ve got to satisfy your customers to remain in business. However, in the manufacturing world, customers contract for a product at an agreed upon price, to be delivered on a particular date that meets the blueprint and purchase order requirements. That’s it. Simple enough.

Here’s the rub. Let’s say you’ve got a dimension on the print that has a fairly open tolerance. Many choices are available on how to measure this dimension. These choices may range from a simple set of calipers to a sophisticated coordinate measuring machine that is capable of inspection to millionths of an inch. Both will give you acceptable results. What do you do?

I know of many companies that will put these parts in the CMM and measure away. I say it’s a gigantic waste of time and MONEY. I submit that all you are required to do is comply with your purchase order at the least cost to you. You’ve got to be able to document (as required) what you made. But other than that, you’re done.

I had customers in my gear #manufacturing business that only wanted to know that we had put the right number of teeth on the gear. Others wanted everything. (Those of you that do this kind of work know what that means)

What I’m getting at is that by attempting to satisfy by over delivering, you are wasting money and time that could be better spent on exactly meeting the expectations of all of your customers

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