Expert's Panel

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    Explain Beta Site preparation and management.

  1. Beta site is a dangerous game because you are saying I don't think it will work but I want to try it at the customer site and see. If that's your plan, forget it-those days are gone! If you are sure it will work and you're going to do a joint development program with a somewhat favored customer, and you want to explore the range that it will do, then that is okay. Keep in mind when the customer hears Beta site he thinks a little bit of space and labor; I can keep it forever; and I don't ever have to pay for it because I can get rid of the Beta and get a new one. The worse part is he thinks it will work like serial number 110. Don't call it a Beta Site. Call it a joint development program and don't let it go out of your plant unless you are pretty darn sure it is going to do the job.
  2. Make sure there is a process specification that is being signed off between your joint development customer and your factory and don't let the equipment go out unless it qualifies. Otherwise you can permanently destroy the credibility of that product and sometimes your company.