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CHANGE FOR CHANGE'S SAKE

In a world of constant technological advances, there is always a search for the latest and greatest. Consumed to the point of a self-induced psychosis, people are obsessed with getting ahead, whether by obtaining the newest video game, phone, high-speed processor, or state-of-art avionics suites. The virtual need for advancements has created three issues that the manufacturer, technician, and consumer cannot solve.

Many manufactures who produce a quality product the first time around falter in creating an upgrade to answer the customer’s demand for innovation. Barely off the shelf, there seems to be a clamor for the next iteration of a tool that meets or exceeds its original purpose. Ideally, such demands of additional development will increase revenue. However, creating change for change’s sake can have its drawbacks. The speed in which an alteration is made can become problematic, since the change is being implemented to equipment that is already operational and error free. Deficiencies occur when trying to meet the appetite of the market or the employer’s request to set them apart. In many cases, as orders pour in, development teams must grow, untested suppliers are acquired, and inadequacies begin to arise, all while trying to meet the impending deadline.

Hasty and reactive modifications can cost a company and consumers more in the long run. Sometimes there is an upheaval as the development team tries to answer management’s desire to satisfy the customer’s need to be on the cutting edge. Such disruptions will break the natural order of invention, creation, manufacturing, testing, troubleshooting, and production of a quality product.

Ineffective products can result in negative consequences that tarnish the brand name of a quality item or manufacturer. Technicians fall prey to customers with high expectations; they are seen as being partly responsible for the inefficacy of a component or its lack of quality. Trying to fix an issue that may have been generated early in development will inevitably reduce the revenue from any job or item. As team assets are utilized to make repairs and adjustments, they take away from the bottom line. Reworks, returns, exchanges, and retro-fixes are symptoms of those that lack vision and the intuitiveness to ask the correct questions.

Being a visionary is not only having the ability to see the end game but having the foresight to analyze all the steps in between. Asking “What if?” is not doubting; it is troubleshooting before the trouble begins. Eliminating concerns methodically is best executed with a cohesive team who is practiced in relevant training and skills.

Two quotes cause the most grief when performing any task. One is, “The customer’s needs come first,” and second is, “The customer is always right.” The first is an admirable goal. Many great innovations have been made trying to meet those needs, and many mistakes are attributed to leaping forward beyond the consumer’s ability to utilize all the technological advances provided to them.

The second quote is a disservice to the customer and their wallet. Education is the best solution to providing the best services to meet their needs. Sometimes, the customers who insist they are always right are the most dissatisfied once the project is over or the item is purchased, because they are not well informed. Due to impatience, rash decisions, and lack of foresight, quality products are incumbered with changes, reworks, patches, returns, and time-consuming redesign-well after production or instillation is over.

Change for change’s sake is rarely the best course of action. Being a visionary means setting reasonable goals, creating quality in everything you do, developing precise steps to accomplish milestones, and becoming educated in the natural evolution of innovation. To be more in life is to partner with your consumers.