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Maintenance national meeting: results
The hardware maintenance session previously announced on this list
was held during the national meeting last week. I believe that the
meeting was very successful in providing feedback for Symbolics and in
giving the company an opportunity to describe the steps they are
taking toward providing better hardware service. Mike Hilgenberg
(national customer service manager) and Jay Weber (director of
customer service) were in attendance from Symbolics. The following
points seem to be worth noting:
- Mike Hilgenberg outlined two plans for providing more service
options. One would take the form of a "parts contract" where the
customer would provide much of the labor (with the help of training
and telephone support from Symbolics), but all parts would be
supplied for a flat monthly fee. The other plan is essentially
self-maintenance, which is like the current T&M except that
training and documentation would be available in addition to the
parts repair service. More information on these plans is likely to
become available in the next few months, as the details are more
thoroughly worked out.
- Mike said the parts repair cost schedule is currently under review.
Most customers in attendance agreed that they are currently higher
than would seem reasonable.
- As issues having to do with efficiency of maintenance (response
time, spare stocks, DOA spares, timely ECOs, etc.), Mike repeatedly
emphasized that Symbolics is currently installing an electronic
tracking system to assist with dispatching service personnel and
tracking parts and problems. They expect this system to be
operational in two to three months. They also listed numerous
steps being taken to improve these areas in the interim.
- Symbolics has hired a full time diagnostics writer.
- Customers were advised to not hesitate to call their regional
managers if they experience any problem with their service, and to
call the area manager, Mike, or Jay if satisfactory results are not
- Almost all customers present agreed that, even if Symbolics
improves maintenance quality, the contract cost is high relative to
Symbolics' competition and would be a factor in equipment
I'd like to once again thank Symbolics for attending and listening,
and the customers who provided thoughtful input for Symbolics, and
didn't mind too much when I told them to shut up. I think the result
will prove good for us all.
PS: If I've missed any important points, please fill them in.