Vallee Tip
 

Is it more important to identify where a defect occurred or when the defect become apparent?

Several children in 2016 were left disappointed after their Christmas Gift, Hatchimals, did not hatch.

In a statement to Global News, Spin Master said they have added extra resources to help customers in the wake of a spike in calls.

“While the vast majority of children have had a magical experience with Hatchimals, we have also heard from consumers who have encountered challenges. We are 100% committed to bringing the magic of Hatchimals to all of our consumers,” said a company spokesperson.

“We are committed to doing everything possible to resolve any consumer issues. We sincerely apologize and thank everyone who is experiencing an issue for their patience.”

Spin Master

Which stakeholder was impacted the most in the defective product issue above?

  1. The child?
  2. The gift purchaser?
  3. The distributor, like Amazon?
  4. The product manufacturer, Spin Master?

While this was just a toy that went bad, think about the same questions for any other product and ask the same question again, “Is it more important to identify where a defect occurred or when the defect become apparent?”

For example:

  • Cracked syringe for onsulin injection
  • Diary product that is expired
  • Top-drive gears use on an oil-rig

Benefits of finding and analyzing a defect early in production:

  1. Company reputation
  2. Safety to customer
  3. Less delay between defect occurrence and relative evidence
  4. The ability to stop the production process immediately

Cons to having the customer report the defect:

  1. Magnitude of impact to safety and customer business can be greater
  2. Product fixes are closer to triage and damage control repairs as opposed to identification of root causes
  3. Degraded company reputation
  4. Harder to collect how the customer used the product in the field
  5. Takes more company resources to investigate the problem
  6. You have to earn the clients’ trust back no matter how well you remedy the problem

Timeliness of defect identification as well as finding the real root causes of the problem is vital for a business’s success and longevity. Recovering from a defect that escaped to the customer no matter what the fix is, becomes a loss of trust. So what are the recommendations to be proactive:

  1. Identify defect opportunities critical to customer success.
  2. Mistake-Proof for the critical opportunities when possible.
  3. Develop visible triggers and indicators at time of occurrence for defects that cannot be prevented 100 percent.
  4. Track and Trend types of defects, defect occurrence locations, gap between time of occurrence, time of identification and time to complete the corrective action.
  5. Track repeat occurrences and analyze for the failure of the previous corrective action…. Often related to poor root cause analysis and/or poor corrective action.

For continued discussion on the defect identification and correction, I look forward to your comments. Or even better, I look forward to seeing you in one of our TapRooT® Root Analysis Courses.