Originally Posted by Ix
Jason wasn't wrong in this case though, which should be no surprise given that his company actually does test units and knows what is involved.
I'm not saying it's "right" or "wrong", but there are a million supply-chain variables that giant companies like Epson take in to account that you aren't. Hiring people, even low wage temps, to do the kind of QC you are talking about is obviously far more expensive than dealing with the occasional return.
I'm not saying he is wrong, I'm just saying being in the technology business and having seen large companies test things, actually it's so much cheaper at larger companies to do such testing than it is at smaller companies, you have it backwards, its an economies-of-scale issue.
If the net cost of an employee to do such testing was $30 per hour per unit which should be more than enough even factoring all variables, you could test 2 units per hour easily with zero automation at $15 additional per unit. You don't have to pay someone $30 hour for such a menial task, so the $30 hour actually includes other expenses as a given. Guarantee you automation can be added simply reducing it to an even smaller cost.
Don't assume because things are being done a certain way in business that it is the right way. For years and years companies make mistakes and don't learn. Take software companies, I can name hundreds of examples of procedural mistakes made in the 90's that a software company would not dream of making today. It's more that large companies are often inflexible (Apple as an example is the opposite, very flexible).
It's usually a matter of people not taking initiative to change a process, the red-tape in changing the process is usually the most expensive part in this case, not the actual process.
If all businesses were doing things the right way, the more profit-friendly way, then we wouldn't see so many businesses exceed other businesses in cost with no debt, whereas a competitor in the same industry may have 10x the debt and operational costs of another company with the same sales. Projector sales is such a tiny part of revenue for most of these companies, that they just don't have a lot of experts involved in the optimization processes and procedures like they do in their core businesses.