Last year, U.S. manufacturers paid out nearly $28 billion dollars in warranty claims. This accounted for 1.3% of product revenue…not a good thing when you’re trying to improve your profitability.
But that’s why quality control exists, right?
Isn’t it there to identify problems before they make their way out into the field?
The problem with maintaining quality control is not a lack of information. You already have tons of that. You have information about your products: where and when they were built, the model type, who installed them, and how well. You have information about your part suppliers: who supplied what, when they supplied it, and where it was originally manufactured. You also have tons of information you’ve gathered from quality control checks; things like pictures, observations, the location and severity of defects, and more.
But if you’re not using the data, what good is it all? Chances are, parts of it are housed in your asset management or other legacy system, while others are collecting dust in a file cabinet or buried on the thirteenth tab of a massively expansive spreadsheet.
That data has the potential to dramatically reduce the damage done when defective products make it out to customers. But you need the right tools to act on it. Mobile software can help. By acting quickly on field observations and quality trends, you can reduce the chances of having to pay out on a customer’s warranty down the line.
In short: product data + analysis and evidence = a better overall look at where problems are occurring.
You’ll be able to quickly see correlations between specific models and certain defects and take action to prevent any more defective units from getting into your customers’ hands.
1. Quickly identify and communicate QC holds
With mobile software, inspectors will work faster and more efficiently by staying organized, and automatically kicking off observations so colleagues can start correcting any identified issues right away. This real-time communication can help them implement QC hold much faster, which for a big company is time saved that will go a long way.
2. Work faster and more efficiently
At the beginning of any QC check, mobile forms can autofill product information from your existing databases. From there, inspectors can record observations and upload pictures directly to the form with their smartphones or tablets to create one complete report. Inspectors won’t waste time entering information that already exists somewhere else in your system or trying to match up the right product to their inspection observations. And because it’s all securely uploaded to the cloud, no stray papers or files can get lost.
3. Get the most from the data you gather
Paper-based programs and desktop software simply cannot create the sort of integrated reporting you need to quickly make intelligent decisions. When you’re gathering information in the field with paper, someone has to manually do the work of combining all the data once they’re back in the office. It can be a mess to organize, prone to errors and time-consuming to turn into a meaningful report. With mobile software, you could have all that data put together the moment you collect it in the field. So not only would you save yourself a major hassle, but you’d also reduce the time it takes to find and fix issues, gain a high-level understanding of product quality, and keep bad product out of your customers’ hands.
4. Draw meaningful conclusions
Mobile forms can sync field data to business intelligence dashboards. This makes it easy to visualize all that information on a map or chart and draw meaningful conclusions. You can see where similar defects happen around the world in real-time and trace them back to the installer/warehouse/manufacturing facility responsible for the problem, then decide whether or not a QC hold is needed.