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Author Topic: Classic NCR Quality Assurance Story  (Read 10510 times)
Posts: 2

« on: January 03, 2017, 08:53:45 pm »

Here's a story from NCR's Wichita, Kansas plant, which was the home of 8100, 8200, 9020, and 9100 computer system manufacturing in the 70's through 90's.

Every system was shipped with a QA 'squawk card' - a postcard where the installing tech, or the customer, could note any quality problems seen in installation or early operation. On one occasion in the late 1970's, a card was returned with the complaint "Two dead rats found in power supply."

The manufacturing QA manager of the time, Walt Shively, made a copy of the card and quickly penned a reply to the customer:

"Must be shipping damage - they were alive when they left here."

Two important facts:
1. The customer had a reasonably good sense of humor.
2. Walt had lots of friends at Corporate QA.

Without both of those things, he might very well have been out the door...

The Wichita facility, through mergers, acquisitions, and such, is now a NetApp engineering facility - but the last I knew, a brass-plate copy of the QA card with Walt's reply was still in the trophy case.
Posts: 21

« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 12:25:39 pm »

I love it ... !
Posts: 37

« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 06:46:25 am »

I love stories like that.  I have one that is a bit different.  I worked with a guy in memory design (in Rancho Bernardo) who was notorious for rejecting RFC's (Request For Change) out of hand.  It was on April 1st, and I decided to make a joke RFC.  This was in the late 70's or early 80's.  At the time I was the UM for some of the processors.  In that era we used a lot of tantalum capacitors, and they were very expensive.  I posed as an IE (Industrial Engineer), and I requested the removal of MANY tantalum cap's for a huge cost savings.  The savings was both material cost and power consumption.  I wrote it very professionally, and the name I used was D. C. Power.  He wrote a lengthy rejection without ever noticing that it was a joke.  I wish I had kept the document.
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