This article is about your supply chain, how their products can really let you down and what you can do about it.

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Stress Testing

I was recently delivering a workshop at a venue I had hired specially for the event. We were in full flow when there was a bang and a puff of smoke. It was either a laptop or a projector and a couple of button pushes determined it was the latter.

When we let the venue know a real look of disappointment crept across their assistants face. It wasn’t the only projector they had problems with yet it was the only one they had left, which meant we were bereft for the rest of the day.

Where did you get it?

I enquired about the supplier because I wanted to be sure I didn’t suffer the same fate. Our assistant was terribly apologetic yet I understood that technology can let you down especially when it is being used to its full capabilities. I hadn’t realised projectors got so hot that the bulbs would explode spontaneously.

I was more concerned that it was part of a bigger problem. The other projectors came from the same place had had similar problems. I’m just glad that the problems were with the bulbs and didn’t affect the laptop. That would’ve been a real pain and highly embarrassing.

What can be done?

Those companies that rely on equipment to produce things run them at full pelt for a while before they bring them into use. It’s often called stress testing. You might not be reliant on equipment to produce a product, yet might rely on equipment when providing a service, so it makes sense to test it to distraction. In this case it would mean leaving a projector running for eight hours (if that’s how long your venue hire can be) before someone else does.

This would save the embarrassment of having to find an emergency replacement or even worse having to replace equipment nearby that was damaged when yours explodes. Luckily the projector manufacturers have fitted covers over the lens area. These covers worked well and prevented tiny fragments of glass getting anywhere. Do all your equipment have such covers?

Wrap up: We all are using some form of equipment, usually IT and it’s often technical. I don’t understand how my IT works yet I know how I can get an immediate replacement that sings and dances exactly the way my current equipment does. This means we’re productive at all times.

Top Tip

We all rely on someone to do business, no business is an island. Have you stress tested your supply chain recently?