By Larry Shirk

Over 20 years ago, while a student at Utah State University, I operated a wave solder machine for Campbell Scientific. This piece of equipment was used to flow solder onto the bottom of the assembled printed circuit boards in order to quickly form the solder joints and electrical connections. I learned quickly that the outcome of this process depended on my conscientiousness. The option was mine to either correct the defects or pass them on. It didn’t take long to learn that the expectation was high and that perfection was an option. As challenging as this process was, I was able to measure and monitor my performance and gradually decrease the defects, while at the same time meeting my internal customers’ expectations. I learned that quality was based upon the expectation of my customer.

Many years have passed and there have been many changes throughout the company, as any growing organization would experience. However, one thing has remained constant, and that is our vision of quality. At Campbell Scientific, quality is measured by the pride and satisfaction the customer feels when he makes his first measurements with his new equipment. That quality is reconfirmed year after year through collecting good measurements with that same equipment. Quality is also found in the voice of support on the phone when a customer contacts us for assistance concerning any issue, from orders to applications.

The opening statement of our quality policy states: "We at Campbell Scientific are committed to value oriented quality from the perspective of the customer." Clearly, you as the customer are the reason we are in business, and we are serious about your needs and the measurements you make.

Years ago, Paul Campbell, our company president, made a significant statement regarding quality at Campbell Scientific. He stated that if you perceive one instrument to be better than another, “then one of them isn’t good enough.” This philosophy has led to a strong and continual focus on quality from the perspective of the customer. We at Campbell Scientific place ourselves in the shoes of the customer often, ensuring that customer advocacy is ever-present throughout the company.

The value of our customer-focused quality system and culture is that it continuously strengthens itself as improvements are made and expectations are increased.

Campbell Scientific dataloggers have achieved impressive mean time between failure (MTBF) statistics. Simply stated, MTBF is total available operating time of units under warranty divided by the number of warranty returns during the same period. For example, the CR1000 is running currently around 800 years MTBF. If you purchase a datalogger today, your probability of no failure during the warranty period is 99.88%. Over the lifetime of this product Campbell Scientific has shipped approximately 20,000 units and only experienced 60 warranty returns. That’s 99.7% customer satisfaction. Every month a focused team of employees reviews in detail the issues that make up the deficiency between reality and perfection. As we determine the root causes of failures, we prevent recurring failures. We may never achieve 100% satisfaction, but it is still an option!

Twenty years ago, only 80% of all production units passed final testing. Three years ago the average passing rate was up to 97.5%, and today we are better than 99.0%. Can we maintain the trend? Sure we can! Why the confidence? It is simple. Campbell Scientific is, "…committed to value oriented quality from the perspective of the customer."

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