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I’ve been around the service industry a long time, over 25 years. I have been able to see hundreds of service operations, servicing a wide, wide variety of products – blood analyzers, medical imaging equipment, overhead doors, coin counting machines, silicon wafer producing machines, copiers and many others.

I am amazed and impressed at the amount of user-service that is in place today vs. even ten years ago. Hewlett-Packard was an early winner on this front, putting much of the print mechanism in the toner cartridge and having users ‘do it themselves’. It really surprises me how willing consumers are to open their PCs and put in a new disk drive.

So here’s my question.

Why don’t manufacturers color code their components?

In some industries there is a strong trend in product design to introduce modularity, or easily swapped component structure, into the device. This is so the service person (or the users themselves) can relatively easily swap out a bad part, insert a new one and be back up and running.

So, if there are five major components inside an imaging machine, why not make one tan, one blue, one orange . . . you get the idea. I think a company could REALLY advance on the user self-service front. Or if self-service is not on the table, technicians could be revenue producing sooner and with less training.

Have you ever seen a product with color-coded components?

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