THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: June 15, 1995 10:30 AM Thursday;
Took car to S&C Ford for maintenance, trip to San Diego.
2...Radiator Coolant Hose
3...Belts, Cracking Observed
4...Action Items Missing
5...Interpreting Invoice Entries
6...Serpentine Belt Replacement
.....Belt Problem Not Immediate
7...Power Steering Flush
8...Verbal Notice - Power Steering Flush
9...Documentation Needs Improvement, S&C Working on Changes
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0201 - S & C Ford O-00000569 0203
020101 - Mr. Carl Redling; Service Advisor; Service Department
0202 - S & C Ford O-00000569 0201
020201 - Mr. Bob Radcliff; Manager; Service Department
Millie's Mercury Sable, 940423
Mercury Sable, 1993
Service for trip to San Diego
0708 - ..
0709 - Summary/Objective
071001 - Follow up
071003 - Follow up ref SDS 7 0000, ref SDS 5 0000.
071005 - Received WO ref DRT 1 setting out service and estimate of cost. Work
071006 - was completed with discovery of additional items that need
071007 - repair/replacement. Some were done today, others will be performed
071008 - when we return from vacation.
071012 - ..
0713 - Discussion
071401 - I pulled into S&C about 1030 and Carl was in the customer order entry
071402 - area. Had to wait only about 3 minutes.
071404 - ..
071405 - We checked the record and decided to do the Fuel Injection service and
071406 - change the oil, plus do a safety check. I asked if the mechanic could
071407 - check the tension on the brake pedal. Carl asked if I thought it was
071408 - defective. I said it seems adequate during normal driving but when we
071409 - are stopping on downhill grade, such as California Street in SF, there
071410 - may be more softness than there should be. I would feel better if the
071411 - mechanic tested the brake pedal to see if he thinks a more extensive
071412 - brake inspection and/or service might be indicated.
071414 - ..
071415 - I advised Carl that we are going on another long vehicle trip and so
071416 - would like a safety check like they did the last time. This is in the
071417 - WO at ref DRT 1 line 58.
071419 - ..
071420 - Carl said my timing was not good in arriving.
071422 - ..
071423 - The entire shop takes a 30 minute break at 1030, so no one can start
071424 - work until 1100. He said the fuel injection service takes about 45
071425 - minutes.
071427 - ..
071428 - I asked if it can be done concurrent with changing the oil, rather
071429 - than sequential.
071431 - ..
071432 - Carl said he will personally take the car to a mechanic he feels is
071433 - conscientious, and will ask him to have the car finished by noon.
071438 - ..
0717 - 1145 discussion with Carl
071801 - Radiator Coolant Hose
071803 - He said the safety inspection showed a slight leak in a radiator
071804 - coolant hose. Carl said his preferred solution is to replace the
071805 - hose,and that this is covered by warranty. He will investigate to see
071806 - if he has the hose in stock, and if so, they will install it now which
071807 - will take another half hour, because the access is difficult. If he
071808 - does not have a hose, they will put a temporary clamp on it, and we
071809 - can get it swapped out when we return from our trip.
071811 - ..
0721 - 1205 discussion with Carl
072201 - He said he was successful in locating a replacement radiator hose. The
072202 - work is underway and will be complete in about 30 minutes. He is
072203 - going to lunch. I will be notified to sign the documents when the
072204 - work is complete.
072207 - ..
072208 - Belts, Cracking Observed
072210 - Carl said the mechanic has reported seeing some cracking in a belt. It
072211 - is not a safety concern for our trip over the next week or so, but
072212 - Carl feels consideration should be given to replacing the belt within
072213 - the next few thousand miles, depending upon how long our trip is.
072215 - ..
072216 - I asked if this work is covered under warranty.
072218 - ..
072219 - Carl said the warranty is 3 years or 36K miles which ever comes first.
072221 - ..
072222 - I asked Carl to have the mechanic or someone enter this recommendation
072223 - as a pending action item in the invoice, so I can be alerted to
072224 - schedule action before the warranty expires. I explained that I may
072225 - not remember to create a task for this based solely on Carl's verbal
072226 - explanation. However, our practice is to review the documentation for
072227 - indications of needed follow up, and so if the mechanic enters a
072228 - pending action item, this entry will help ensure I remember Carl's
072229 - verbal notice. I will also be able to link the new follow up task to
072230 - the entry in the S&C invoice, so it is clear when it comes time for
072231 - action, what needs to be done and why. Carl said he will ask the
072232 - mechanic to make a clear entry in the invoice that further belt
072233 - inspection is needed.
072235 - ..
072236 - See below. ref SDS 0 4567
072239 - ..
0725 - 1244 notified car ready
072601 - A staff person stopped in the lounge and asked if my car is the grey
072602 - Sable, and noted that if so it is ready.
072604 - ..
072605 - I went to the window where the invoice is paid. There was a 10 minute
072606 - delay or so due to analysis in the "Warranty Department."
072608 - ..
072609 - I was asked to fill out a TQM form. I did that, giving S&C high marks
072610 - on everything entered on the form. At this time it seemed everyone
072611 - had done a great job.
072613 - ..
072614 - Action Items Missing
072616 - When I received the invoice, I looked for the work replacing the hose
072617 - and for a notice that the belt needs inspection after our vacation. I
072618 - could not find these entries. I asked the person who assembled the
072619 - invoice and took payment, for assistance to find these entries. She
072620 - asked me to discuss it with Larry at the other service counter.
072622 - ..
072623 - Walking to the Service Counter I asked for assistance in finding
072624 - Larry. A staff member introduced himself as Bob and offered to help.
072626 - ..
072627 - I explained my discussion with Carl, and asked for help finding in the
072628 - documents where the hose lead and replacement are identified, and
072629 - where the belt inspection is reported as requiring follow up action.
072631 - ..
072632 - Interpreting Invoice Entries
072634 - Bob reviewed the form with me for a few seconds. He drew my attention
072635 - to the line on page 2 that says:
072637 - 32033 590 TOP FLUIDS, LUBE, CK BELTS AND HOSES RECOMMEND HEATER
072638 - HOSE REPLACEMENT DUE TO LEAK POWER STEERING FLUSH AND SERPINTINE
072639 - BELT CK BRAKE PEDAL OPERATION OK
072641 - ..
072642 - Bob feels this entry comprises a recommendation by the mechanic that
072643 - the following work be performed:
072645 - 1. Replace the heater hose due to a leak.
072647 - 2. Power steering flush [meaning unclear]
072649 - ..
072650 - 3. Serpintine belt [something be done]
072652 - ..
072653 - I asked how to interpret the invoice to draw the meaning Bob cites?
072655 - ..
072656 - Bob said he feels the invoice should have some more commas.
072658 - ..
072659 - I noted the use of commas on the line above the one in question, and
072660 - asked how the customer can determine where more commas are supposed to
072661 - be implied to clarify the intent of S&C Ford?
072663 - ..
072664 - Bob feels this is difficult for the customer to determine.
072667 - ..
072668 - Serpentine Belt Replacement
072670 - I asked Bob where the invoice accomplishes the request this morning
072671 - for S&C to set out a pending action item for belt inspection, so I can
072672 - follow up? ref SDS 0 1521
072674 - Bob said follow up action is implied because the mechanic recommends
072675 - replacement of the serpentine belt and there is no action in the
072676 - invoice showing this recommenation was carried out. He cited the
072677 - entry that says heater hoses and clamps were replaced, as the basis
072678 - for concluding that more work is needed on the Serpentine belt.
072680 - ..
072681 - Bob indicated this interpretation does not accomplish our intent to
072682 - give the customer a clear notice that further action is needed.
072685 - ..
072686 - Belt Problem Not Immediate
072688 - When Bob and I looked at the belt (he said there is only one belt
072689 - in our car, despite the invoice reference to "belts"), we could
072690 - not see evidence of cracking, cited this morning. ref SDS 0 1521
072692 - I explained our interest to err on the side of safety, recalling a
072693 - trip to Oregon a few years ago when car failure occurred going up
072694 - Grants Pass, ref SDS 1 9675. We don't want that to happen again.
072696 - ..
072697 - At that time we had a Chevrolet.
072699 - ..
072700 - So far we are pleased with our switch to Ford based on their more
072701 - prudent approach to preventive maintenance.
072703 - ..
072704 - Bob said the belt does not need to be replaced at this time. S&C
072705 - will continue to monitor conditions on subsequent service visits,
072706 - as part of preventive maintenance.
072708 - ..
072709 - Bob plans to review belt replacement standards with S&C mechanics.
072711 - ..
072712 - We considered replacing the belt as a warranty item. Since the
072713 - car is still under warranty, it might be prudent to go ahead to
072714 - minimize the cost of future repairs.
072716 - [On 950717 Serpentine belt replaced no charge. ref SDS 9 2622]
072720 - ..
072721 - Power Steering Flush
072722 - Verbal Notice - Power Steering Flush
072724 - I asked what this phrase means, and how we would be alerted to take
072725 - action?
072727 - Bob asked if Carl explained this.
072729 - ..
072730 - I said he may have, though I did not recall. My concern is being able
072731 - to draw from the document that an action is needed, what it is, who
072732 - should do it, when, and so on. There is nothing apparent in the
072733 - record that flags action for "power steering flush," whatever that
072734 - might be.
072737 - ..
072738 - Documentation Needs Improvement, S&C Working on Changes
072740 - I mentioned to Bob my discussion with Carl, that we mainly rely on the
072741 - documentation to set out what needs to be done, what is done, and any
072742 - material information we need to decide on action. Verbal comments
072743 - alert that action may be needed, but documents are the only sure way
072744 - we can work consistently on everything that needs to be done in order
072745 - to avoid oversight. This means we have to be able to adequately
072746 - interpret the documents.
072748 - ..
072749 - We wrote to S&C on Apr 8, requesting assistance with this issue (see
072750 - ref DIP 1).
072752 - ..
072753 - Bob feels S&C's documents need to allow more room for the mechanic to
072754 - clarify findings and recommendations. He said S&C will work on this.
072756 - [On 960122 Ford Motor encourages local vendors to improve work
072757 - processes. ref SDS 10 9976
072759 - ..
072760 - [On 990507 S&C developed Quality Care form that provides a
072761 - checklist, but little room for explanation and clarification,
072762 - ref SDS 11 6722
072764 - ..
072765 - There likely is tension in the process of capturing the record and
072766 - doing the work itself. The mechanic is closest to the work and so
072767 - needs to report his findings. He cannot spend all of his time
072768 - however writing reports because the cost of the work would
072769 - accelerate.
072771 - ..
072772 - One solution might be to keep the existing system of the mechanic
072773 - jotting down in any convenient fashion his findings and
072774 - recommendations. These then should be organized and spelled out
072775 - in a conventional and gramatically adequate format by a customer
072776 - rep in a way that will be understandable to the customer and to
072777 - everyone else weeks, months and years later. The idea is that
072778 - that when the Customer Rep explains something to a customer, the
072779 - customer should be able to find support for what has been
072780 - explained in the documents.
072783 - ..
072784 - I noted my sense that Carl and the entire S&C team have done an
072785 - excellent job. We enjoy working with everyone at S&C.
072788 - [See follow up on using for example of communication problems, ref
072789 - SDS 8 line 39.]
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