Why do quality and reliability feedback loops not always work in practice: a case study

P.A. Molenaar, A.J.M. Huijben, D.G. Bouwhuis, A.C. Brombacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing competition in the market of consumer electronics forces industry to simultaneously improve the functionability, reliability and costs of their products. Due to the strong dynamics of this field an important measure in improving product quality is the feedback of information on actual field behaviour of a product which is extremely relevant for product development. This information, usually gathered by the service department, can help development to learn from the failures of earlier products and to improve the next product generations. This feedback process, however, does not always bring the expected benefits. This paper presents a model, based on an actual case study, of the structure of the feedback process in terms of information flows. The information flow model describes the chain or network of activities in the feedback process as a function of (different) drivers such as cost, time or quality. Using this information flow model it is possible to explain how quality and reliability related information propagates through a business process and where and why communication problems lead to disruptions in the feedback of this information. With this model, it is easier to understand the function of different parties in the service or after sales process, so that management of the information in this process becomes more transparent and can be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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