Most of our customers use charts as part of their work. Depending on their job, they may review charts every hour, day, week, or at some other interval. Creating and reviewing these charts is almost never a primary job. Instead, the charts are used as decision support tools; they support the primary job and help a user make better decisions.
Different types of charts have different usage patterns. For example, when looking at a chart of sales, the usage pattern is something like this:
- View the chart
- Ask this question: Are we on target, above target, or below target?
- Depending on the answer, take appropriate action to move towards the desired outcome.
- At some later date, repeat.
Statistical process control (SPC) charts have a similar usage pattern with a narrower focus. For example, you might chart the wait time between a customer posting an order and receiving an order acknowledgement.
Software developers at PQ often get opportunities to talk to customers. This might happen during a gnarly tech support call or it might be part of a pre-sales question and answer session. It is not unusual that good ideas for improving our software surface during these calls.
Over the last several years we began to notice a pattern in many of these conversations. The customer would start by saying something like this:
I keep track of over 150 charts…
I have so many control charts…
It takes so long to review all my control charts…
These conversations and other market research lead PQ to last week’s release of a new product named CHARTrunner-m.
CHARTrunner-m takes a fresh look at the human workflow of using SPC control charts. We had the thought that software should allow you to deploy control charts more widely and for more quality metrics without significant increases in your costs or effort.
The thinking for CHARTrunner-m has incubated among our staff for a long time. It has been rewarding and interesting to be part of the team that brought this to market. Please take a moment to learn more about CHARTrunner-m by watching this short video. In the coming weeks we’ll point you to more information where you can learn the benefits of this innovative approach to SPC.
Over the past several months, I’ve been part of a team working on a new product that will rev up your SPC. CHARTrunner-m is a companion to CHARTrunner, our existing SPC charting software. CHARTrunner-m provides control chart monitoring and sends email and text message notifications when something out of the ordinary occurs.
I’m working with several customers who have installed a pre-release version of CHARTrunner-m. The official release is just a few weeks away. In my nearly 25 years at PQ Systems, I’ve worked on many exciting projects, but this is the most innovative project I’ve been a part of.
This technology will boost our customers’ ability to monitor control charts without significant cost increases–something I know will help our customers in these tough economic times! That’s why I wanted to spill the beans here on the blog a little early. The marketing department will put out the official release info soon, so stay tuned to this space!