A good Saturday morning can be used for sleeping in or it can be used for reflecting on the past week. Maybe both. I'll sort of take both. I did sleep in a bit and I'm going to spend some time reflecting on the past. We send out a survey form with each order we assemble. I'm paging through the stack, like I do periodically, to see how we're doing.
The most valuable comments we get are those that come in when something doesn't go as well as we would like. Those are the ones that help us improve our service.
Following are a number of comments taken off of these surveys and some of my related thoughts.
- "Excellent job over several orders."
- "Excellent customer service. Thanks Chris."
- "We are very impressed with you quick turn around and quality work. We'll be using you again in the future."
That's always nice to hear. We get a lot like this, but I'm skipping all of the positive comments except the three above. The rest are about things that we could do to improve the experience or about quality improvements we have needed to make.
- "More status updates on web would be nice feature."
That would be nice. Right now, we update the web order status (on your MY ACCOUNTS page) when the order is placed and confirmed, when we receive the kit and when the order ships. We've got a system improvement that we are currently working on that will give a lot more detail about where your job is in our shop. I'm not sure when it will be implemented, but probably within the next two months.
- "The boards weren't very clean, had solder flux on them. The hand soldered parts weren't very straight or even with the board's edge lines."
We use no-clean flux so usually, this isn't a problem. Sometimes, though there is more residue that we or our customers would like to see. We send notes like this back to our floor. They'll take a look and see if there is additional training or process improvements that we can implement. Sometimes though, given that we are working on prototypes, we don't pay as much attention to cosmetics as an individual might. We make sure the function and reliability are there and that the solder joints and things meet up to IPC-A-610.
- "My only issue was trying to pay with a Purchase Order. It was not clear (on the website) how to do this. I spoke with someone on the phone who explained it in just a few minutes. Its was easy!"
You're right. It isn't very clear on the website. We do tell you about our policy on credit terms, but it's hidden in our FAQ page. That's a bit of trickery. I could just say what our policy on POs and getting Terms is, but I'd rather give you the opportunity to see it in our FAQ and then browse around a bit.
- "It can be confusing when parts are re-sealed in packaging without updating quantity."
Good point. I'm not sure we've thought of this issue before. Again, this is one I'll pass back to the shop floor. When we get more parts than we need, we do reseal them back into the original bags - especially if they are moisture sensitive parts.
- "Add a way to reorder from the past 'order summary' page."
Another very good suggestion. This is something we are talking through. We do have the capability to do this when we place an order for you over the telephone. We keep the solder stencil for 30 days, so if you reorder within that time, you can even get a discount for the stencil charge. The caution, of course, is that if anything has changed, it's not the same order and we have to treat it as a new one, including ordering a new stencil.
- "Some pins on the through-hole connectors were not soldered. Flux was left on the board. Kudos for completing our boards ahead of schedule!"
Gyarrr! I hate it when that happens. There really isn't an excuse for not soldering pins and ahead of schedule is worthless if it isn't right. Again, this note went back to the floor. This comment came in back in February and I don't think we've had this happen since. See my earlier note on the flux.
It is very important to us that we build your boards the way you want them and when you want them. That's why we're here and why we strive to be the best at this. If things don't go as well as you would like, tell us. If it's an immediate problem, call us (866)784-5887 or email us. Otherwise, just fill out the survey form and fax it back to us.