Should I Be Pushing My Client’s Buttons?

Let me set the stage a little bit first.

The medical device client relies on a third party vendor to manufacture their device. The product is a reusable electronic device. If the device has issues at the end customer, the customer might contact the medical device company to troubleshoot and possibly send the product in for repairs. In recent months, the medical device company has been receiving about 5 devices per week in for repairs.

The contract manufacturer went through some internal process changes and quickly got behind on the repairs. The medical device company began experiencing a great deal of frustration and angst while the backlog of repairs got bigger. Eventually, the contract manufacturer began to get back on top of the situation, reducing the backlog of repairs to almost zero.

Now, there is still a bottle neck. There are about a dozen devices still waiting for repairs. However, the backlog has shifted from the contract manufacturer’s court to the medical device company. The company needs to give to go ahead to the CM before the final repairs can be made. Additionally, there are another dozen or so where the medical device company has logged the customer issues yet the product has not been sent in for repairs.

The CM has been good about providing frequent updates. In the most recent update, I reviewed the status of all the pending repairs. I responded with my interpretation of the current situation. I noted that all the open repairs were all being held up by the medical device company.

This is a company who has been quick to point out the shortcomings of the CM. Now that the spotlight is on them, they don’t seem to like it so much. It probably didn’t help that I chose to point this out too. Yeah, I pushed a few buttons.

I applaud the medical device company president, though. He actually picked up the phone and called to talk to me about this. He said I should discuss these concerns directly with him rather than respond to the email chain.

Yeah, he’s probably right. But right now, I’m trying to push for actions.

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