Have you ever completely Hacked off your customers and didn’t even know it.

What is one of the worst things you can do to a customer — Cause opportunity for an RMA – Returned Material Authorization — something is wrong and the customer is not happy!

An RMA is the Black Mark of Black Marks.

I started my career of customer service in the world of RMA and Warranty.

It is quite possibly the worst and most frustrating thing you can do to a customer.

  1. The product was bought to use not send back.
  2. On-time, instant gratification, great product —Gone!
  3. There is a tremendous need for a system, procedures, and people to handle the returns.  (I wrote complete procedures with cost to handle.)
  4. Both Sides are MAD – Customer returning product and the supplier trying to handle the non-routine work.

From experience of owning my own company, I have witnessed the process of people in the organization knowingly shipping product, “under my watch”, that was bad, to make the numbers.  When I discovered this several people were immediately removed from my organization. 


As I stopped and reflected on what happened, I decided I was probably part or all of the cause.  I summoned all managers and as a group we decided this needed correction.  Most likely another moment of getting the Lean Journey started and not really being aware of it.

The underlying cause was bad operating systems.  We did not have good repeatable processes to ship flawless material.  So began the journey.

We did get better and improved.  That year we began a real “Lean Journey”.  I was amazed at the rate we lowered RMA’s at our company!

Think about the impact of RMA’s on your business. 

Have a great year!