E6S-070 What to Expect When You're Not Spec-ing - Spec or Spirit Part 1A

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, brought to you by E6S Industries, your source for expert training, coaching, consulting, and leadership in Lean, Six Sigma, and continuous improvement methods. In this episode number 70, “Spec or Spirit -What to expect when you're not spec-ing,” we review some scenarios where specs and expectations don’t always match... So what do you do? What do you do?  Here we go. http://bit.ly/e6s-070; http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes                        

Objection 1:  If a customer doesn't specify it, it's not important.  They need to take it.

Counter 1: The “spirit” of a design is also under consideration.  If anyone “skilled in the art” (using patent verbiage) understands the spirit of a design, specifying the “spirit” with geometrical dimension should not be necessary.  

Objection 2:  If it's in spec, the customer needs to take and pay for it no matter what. 

Counter 2: Sure.  Maybe by the letter of the law.  But what is being right worth to your business? 

I            Even without a spec, there is often an expectation              

a.       Chemicals: color, smell, appearance.  Expectation that there will be no "sensible" changes between batches,

b.      Machining: Specify hole size for assembly, but really want the assembly to fit, even if in spec.

c.       Furniture & Display Manufacturing:

i.      Technical specifications are made, but specs are not so specific as to exclude blemishes on a visible surface, although the spirit is clear. 

ii.      No spec for "flatness" when a surface is still expected to be flat across the surface.

II         Even one-sided specs may warrant a second side, based on another, perhaps internal need                       

a.       Call center Call time: One-sided spec for "maximum" time, to hit "cost-per-call" target & daily takt rate. 

i.      Why not a minimum time?  One where it's realized a call that lasts less than 20 seconds (for example) is not long enough to get enough information to understand a customer's problem, and the customer feels rushed off the phone.  Bad experience.

b.      Chemical contamination spec: Maximum value for contamination. 

i.      Sometimes the "contaminant" is functional. (aids in the process). May want to consider a min spec."                                                  

Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 70 of the E6S-Methods Podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 71, Part 1B of “Spec or Spirit - What to Expect When Your Not Spec-ing.”  If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, contact us through our website.  Join our mailing list!  Subscribe to past and future episodes on iTunes or stream us live on-demand with Stitcher Radio.  Find outlines and graphics for all shows and more at www.E6S-Methods.com. “Journey Through Success”