Tablet repair isn’t exactly a matter of life and death. But if we acted like it were, would we be doing it better? If we studied organizations where failure means a lost racing title, a flaming car wreck, or a patient who didn’t pull through, would companies and consumers see more value from tablet sales?
When Atul Gawande addressed a class of graduating physicians in 2011, he told them to leave their ideal of an independent, omniscient doctor in the past, where it belongs. Medicine has grown too big for a single education, he said. The best results come from doctors and nurses who form “pit crews” – who distribute the inordinate time and expertise needed for complex treatments across a team of specialists. People aren’t cars, but when the professionals who fix both look totally different, something is probably amiss.
On it’s glossy face, a tablet doesn’t much resemble a human body, or the hurtling machine that carries one. But tablet repair has plenty in common with high-stakes maintenance, and should take cues from both medicine and car repair.
No pause button
In a NASCAR race, ten seconds of repair means a quarter-mile lead for the competitors. Market research suggests that this is a pretty good metaphor for the tablet industry. Quality might be king, but firms that lag in resale or refurbishment time tend to pay a hefty price. Getting intact tablets back in stock should be a priority on par with getting back in the race.
Integrate or disintegrate
To get back in the race, you need a pit crew. Tablets and cars may not defy one person’s skill or comprehension, but they defy one person’s ability to perform ten services at once. Unimpeded workflow often calls for small and interdependent teams that perform both testing and repair, ideally in the same workplace, and ideally in easy shipping distance from a large customer pool.
But such a team wouldn’t necessarily be integrated, only differentiated. It wouldn’t be a team at all without regular and responsive communication between testing and screening specialists. A growing body of data seconds our call for optimized front-end testing and screening. It wouldn’t do for pit crews to dismantle a working vehicle, before the driver tells them he was feeling lightheaded. Why should tablet repair be any different?
To date only one vendor has fully heeded our call. CTDI’s NightHawk Test System offers the industry standard for reliable and user-friendly functional testing, with assays of tablet connectivity, multimedia capabilities, battery, display, sensors, and system information. And with its front-loading tray system, NightHawk actually can perform ten tests at once. Responsiveness and integration don’t have to come at the cost of throughput. The most intelligent solutions are often the most inhuman.
Speaking of false dilemmas…
Don’t follow the money
Sometimes return on investment doesn’t just diminish – it takes a U-turn. The best hospitals in America are not just the most cost-effective, but among the cheapest. And some of the most expensive hospitals rank near the bottom in patient outcomes. It’s no coincidence that the CTDI NightHawk Test System offers one of the best values on the testing market. We have every reason to think that, by learning from CTDI’s example and applying our recommendations, countless vendors could follow their lead. Schedule a strategy session today to find out how.