Something I read before was related to having only 5 champion products in APPLE, somehow that Steve jobs cut so many average projects, honestly if we do this, we'll probably get better position in the market focusing the best personnel including their time and equipment to launch nothing but the best... maybe many more companies might reach to APPLE levels doing the same.
currently in many facotries they build in some cases only 300 or only 1000 units for especial orders for customers that might not even represent profit, this create a hidden factory behing the small request and very low profit.
Possibly the issue is related to lateral thinking. For tens of thousands of years the human brain has been adapting so that it can deal with the unexpected, this is why we are so successful as a species, because we do not require a genetic modification to take advantage of our surroundings or changes within our environment.
But I suspect that we are reaching a break over point where technology is maturing at a faster pace than our brains can deal with, again this reflects directly into customer support, specifically because there is an inbuilt need to communicate complex situations and conditions to be able to explain the issues related to the product.
Many people just expect a product to work because it should, but I suspect there is a 'house brick' mentality developing, that is to say people look at the outside of a product then mentally map that into their internal database of experience.
Consider a baby, we have all seen babies exploring their environment, chew it, drop it, dribble on it, bang it, throw it, and yet I still see parents giving their mobile phones and tablet devices to babies.
As a result people begin to perceive the required reliability of the product based on its shape rather than the technological contents of the product.
This then results in unreasonable demands of the product or in some cases mistreatment which then leads to issues related to perceived satisfaction, throw into this mix customer support and the multitude of websites that promote the view that the customers are being ripped off by poor design or materials. Most of these websites are run by people with little or no design expertise as a result they have absolutely no idea about the difficulties in designing a product for mass production manufacture or indeed a mature outlook on how to support such equipment.
Hardcore, Your comment was very interesting. If a competent qualified electrician finds it difficult to install the said electronic device, we can think of a disaster for a lay person. But critically looking into the tail end of your comment , someone may be competent but if he fails to read the manufaturers installation instructions, it may end in such a problem that was described. Over confidence based on daily experience and practice can elude the sense of paying absolute attention to certain procedures.......if I may be right.
I have been at the 'blunt' end of product returns for a couple of large UK companies:
Argos & Homebase, generally they expect 'their' product suppliers to issue them with spare stock and take returns back on a no questions basis.
If you saw the condition of many of the returns, you would soon get a fairly low opinion of the general publics ability to handle any sort of technological product.
In one case we had a company owner threaten us with legal action based on the fact that one of his qualified electricians had recieved an electric shock, whilst fitting our product to a wall. (it was a mains powered security device)
As you can imagine this had the potential to be quite a serious issue that could have impacted our sales to large retailers.After several days we received no further contact only to state that "the matter had been resolved internally", a solicitors letter was sent on behalf of our company to ensure the return of the "defective product", and a 2:1 offer of replacement.
On examination of the returned product, we instantly identified the cause:
The 'electrician' had fitted the product to a wall, by inserting a couple of 6" wood screws through the front cover, through the PCB & out of the back of the unit, and in doing so into the integral mains cable. I would not have minded, but there were NO fixing marks on the front of the product, rather they were on the back and consisted of a plastic hanger, that located over the head of the (1" supplied) fixing screws.
If A competent qualified electrician is incapable of installing a product correctly, what does this say about the educational system that allows such a situation to arise.
"We live in a technological era, unfortunately in many cases the required skill set to operate such equipment is missing and to a greater extent is not even part of the educational curriculum."
We very often seem to ignore the fact that the people who use Tech products are not very well versed in the Goings on of the product and what makes it tick.This is a problem which is not very well appreciated and understood by most (Market Observers and Companies alike).
Most Techie products have gotten way to complex today and really do need more than basic knowledge about how to operate products(& unfortunately our education system is today lacking as you so rightly point out)....
I would have to say that my background precludes me accepting Idle gossip as an in-depth analysis of any companies support service.
For a balanced discussion and proper analysis, then facts have to be presented. I'm not excusing Apple or saying they are without problems (we only need to look back at the number of mistakes they have made in the past), but that does not necessarily make them any worse at support than the other companies named.
The examples I presented were in response to a non-factually verifiable post, and indeed It could be argued that I also made the anecdotes up.
There is no readily verifiable information other than the service reports I have on the Mac Pro and even they do not have any sort of temperature analysis for the failed system.
However, Apple do tend to have an autocratic way of working and this can also be found to some extent in their service attitude, but that does not necessarily make them bad at support (having dealt with both Apple and Sony, I can say my preference would be for Apples support system), indeed when Apple support is provided with the information in a format that they require I have been given excellent service, in one case an on site visit within a few hours, but I also appreciate that this may not be the same for everyone that uses their service, and again the service may possibly vary from country to country, but I suspect a feeding frenzy on 'Apples poor service' or any other vendors support hardly proves anything.
One thing I can say is that if I were to make up a totally ludicrous fault for an Apple product then post the information on line, I would get others saying they had the same fault and still more people berating the quality of Apple products based purely on the fact that they feel the need to comment just so people can hear them.
We live in a technological era, unfortunately in many cases the required skill set to operate such equipment is missing and to a greater extent is not even part of the educational curriculum.
Your anecdotes are interesting, hardcore. However, the point remains that there might be a difference in the user-friendliness of Apple service as against the Sony, HP of the world(have heard this complaint often from proud owners of Apple products).
Do you feel the same or do you think Apple service is just as good as the rest of them. Solving your problems yourself is always a good option, but not for everyone.
Although expected, it always makes me sad not to see the semiconductor giants as big brands. No Texas Instruments, No ADI, No Qualcomm in the list. Intel did make it, but why is it that other semi con companies cant have such a public image?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.