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I want to share with you a continuing saga I'm going through that has so many twists and turns you can have some great discussions in your classes

Back on April 23rd 2015 Kathy and I sold our home and downsized to a townhouse. On that day, we splurged and bought ourselves a complete new set of appliances for our home. We went top of the line on it all. After 37 years of marriage, we figured we could finally treat ourselves! We bought the appliances from an appliance distributor with 9 stores in the Twin Cities. The appliances were delivered on May 1st, 2015. On Sunday May 15th, 2016, we woke to a floor flooded with water, no ice in the freezer, and everything defrosting. Upon reading the owners manual, it stated the unit we bought had a feature that if you called a 1-800 number, the unit would transmit, like the old modem's did, a set of codes to the manufacturer what is wrong. So we called the manufacturer and did as they asked and our frig/freezer unit did it's thing and transmitted the data. They explained the 3 way valve and probably the board had failed. They also asked when we'd had the unit installed. They asked if we realized we were past the 1 year warranty by 2 weeks. We said yes but felt that they should honor the warranty for this since the event occurred so close to the warranty time period and it was their premier model. They agreed to make the repair. So here is what has transpired since then.

5/20: factory repairman came out and replaced the 3 way valve and control board. 5/21: We called factory repairman and told him the repair is not working. Still no freezing. 5/23: Factory repairman came out again and replaced the compressor. Said it was unable to draw enough current to cool refrig/freezer unit. 5/24: Texted factory repairman and said everything is now working perfectly. 6/3: Left with Kathy to go to Amsterdam. Oldest son staying at our house. 6/9: Our son texted us that he awoke to a flooded floor and no freezing occurring. Everything is melting again, plus his insulin is warming up also. 6/9 from Amsterdam: Emailed Appliance distributor that we had this problem is occurring and we wanted this time to run it through the 5 year warranty we had purchased at the time we bought the appliances. That we weren't going to mess with the manufacturer anymore. I explained also the previous repairs. 6/10: We received an email response that their own appliance repairman would be there between noon and 4pm on the 14th to do the repair. 6/14: Repairman came out at 1pm and said we have no freon in the system and have a slow leak. Couldn't chase it down with time effectiveness so was just going to replace the two evaporators and be done with it. Said we'd get a call in 2 days with when parts arrived as he did not have them in his van. 6/14: Went out and bought a small refrig/freezer for garage to get by since family was coming over on the 18th for a cookout. Spent $200 6/16: We get call that parts will be in on 6/22. 6/24: I called since nobody called and was informed that parts are on backorder until 7/16. I explained to "S" the scheduler for the appliance distributor this won't work as this is way too long to be expected to wait. I asked that the problem be elevated to leadership. Which she did. I was told to expect a call on 6/27 with an update. 6/29: I called since I received no call back. Was told they were pushing for a new refrig/freezer unit from the warranty company since this was the 3rd repair in 2 months and the warranty says that any time a unit is repaired for the same thing more than 3 times in a year, the unit would be replaced free of charge. 6/29 "S" calls back and says they refuse to do this as parts are still under factory warranty and they'd just cover the labor and it's up to the facotry to get parts earlier than the 16th. That it's the factory's problem and responsibility to replace the unit. 6/30: Received call today, they are elevating it at insurance-warranty company as well as soliciting the manufacturers help to resolve this

Case Notes:

From a lean perspective, we will have a gone a total of 60 days without a unit and with everyone involved, the "so called " value added time is only about 10 hours. From a supply chain standpoint, the appliance distributor is trying to get everyone else involved to resolve this yet none will get on a call with the other. So from a visibility and synchronization and collaboration standpoint, nobody has it happening. In the meantime, we sit here without a unit stlll. Additional note; the appliance distributor at one point considered voiding our warranty and not covering this work because the factory did a repair two weeks after the 1 year warranty expired from the factory. This lasted until we explained their warranty kicks in after the factory and they should consider themselves lucky the factory did it instead and they as a distributor got out of having to handle two other warranty repairs

So I'd love to hear your thoughts but as I said, I think there's a case study with all sorts of nuances we can use in our classes and at work







Chuck Nemer is a trainer/consultant with 40 years of experience in Supply Chain Management, Lean, Leadership, and APICS. He currently works with approximately 50 universities and 3000 students annually in supporting the use and play of the simulations in the classroom. Within those 40 years, he has taught, and continues to teach, professional certification classes for APICS, professional development seminars and programs on his own, and on behalf of colleges in their outreach programs to local and regional manufacturing firms.


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