E6S-071 What to Expect When You're Not Spec-ing - Spec or Spirit Part 1B

Intro:  Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, brought to you by E6S Industries, your source for expert training, coaching, and leadership consulting in continuous performance improvement methods like Lean and Six Sigma. In this episode number 71, “Spec or Spirit  Part 1B -What to expect when you're not spec-ing,” we continue our discussions over some scenarios where specs and expectations don’t match...  Helpful tip: The customer is always right, except for when they are wrong, and you’re willing to lose them.  Here we go. http://bit.ly/E6S-071; 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?


 ***Spec or Spirit -What to expect when you're not spec-ing - Part 1B***


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."                                                  

III      When to be willing to argue over a non-specified condition            

a.       “The customer is always right, except for when they are wrong, and you're willing to lose them.”

i.      When there is a potential legal issue

1.      Sheet metal failure that created a costly leak at an aluminum casting plant.  Which was also a safety issue.

2.      When a customer tries to link failures in their processes to an unauthorized change in your process

a.                   Ask yourself, is this the time I will destroy my relationship here?  Yes.

ii.      When absorbing the cost of rework/repair far exceeds the revenue or other relationship value of the customer.

b.      Otherwise, the customer may be technically wrong, but it's not worth the relationship damage to force them to admit being wrong.               

i.      You could win the battle, but the customer is the “cash-holder” and in the end can choose to drop you, taking you out of the war all-together

ii.      Usually not worth it.  Even if you are in the “right” going through the specs, defensive posturing, figuring out who’s at fault from which company, most often still results in the same outcome.

1.      the supplier still absorbs the cost to rework (or maybe shares it)

2.      lands significant damage to the relationship.                                       

Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 71 of the E6S-Methods Podcast.  Stay tuned for episode number 72, “Go the extra MILE MR TOYOTA.” We kick of a new series regarding the 8 wastes, how to recognize them and how to take action against them.   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”

 ***Spec or Spirit -What to expect when you're not spec-ing ***