What do you actually like most about our software? In this edition of the “My Favorite Feature” article series, we asked our product manager Felix Krause which feature in the BabtecQ or BabtecQube software is his personal favorite. In response, he gives us a detailed insight into a very special optimization of the complaints management module, the guided 8D report.
I think the guided 8D report in the module “Complaints Management” is really great – it’s currently my favorite function. I created it last year together with my colleague Thorsten from the software development department.
The “Complaints Management” was one of the first modules in our BabtecQ software and has become an evergreen over time. Because, naturally, complaints and, above all, how to reduce them, are an important topic in all areas of the manufacturing industry.
Our module “Complaints Management” has grown strongly over the years. As with all modules, we regularly respond to change requests from our users and have continued to develop the software accordingly. Over time, there have been a variety of ways to handle complaints; however, the focus on the common methodology, the 8D report, has been a bit lost. I myself honestly always needed a cheat sheet to execute an 8D report without error. I suspect many customers felt the same way. Visually, you couldn’t identify the 8D steps in the software, which made it less intuitive.
With the structure of the 8D report that is clearly specified by the VDA, an intuitive user interface can now be found in the BabtecQ software. In BabtecQube, by the way, we designed the “Complaints” service directly on the basis of the 8D methodology, including a progress bar, which makes it very easy and intuitive to use. Implementing this simple operation in BabtecQ was only logical and a real desire of ours.
Now we have a tidy structure in an dockable 8D window, where users get a very clear guidance through the module. We have thus mapped the flow of the 8D report as navigation in the BabtecQ module “Complaints Management”.
I think it is particularly worth mentioning in this development that we have created an enormous benefit in a relatively short time. This is because we did not interfere with the module’s functionality for the guided 8D report in BabtecQ. Instead of rebuilding the entire module, we created a clearly structured navigation based on the 8D methodology. In fact, however, you work in the same places in the same software as before, only the way to get there is now much simpler and guided.
The continued existence of the previous module is very important, especially for long-time BabtecQ users, as they can simply continue to use the module “Complaints Management” in the same way as they are used to. Also, many of our customers have functions in this module that have been tailored exactly to the processes of the respective company by our customizing team. That’s why it’s crucial not to change the basic functionality of a module during further development. After all, we want our users to be able to continue using their customized solutions unchanged. With our solution, we have bundled the functions available in the module into an 8D view that I can blindly rely on.
An example: if I click on the “Here” at “Reason” under the second step of the 8D report, which is D2 – Problem Description, the software automatically navigates me to the article level of the complaint in the “Reason” tab. Previously, I would have had to memorize that I have to enter a reason for the 8D step D2 and where to find the correct field for it. Now it works in a process structured according to the 8D methodology.
I heard the other day that the presales team is using this new 8D navigation extensively in their presentations. And that was another reason for me why the guided 8D report is currently my favorite feature: because I think it’s cool that with a good idea and the appropriate resources, you can provide something in a relatively short development time that offers real added value and breathes fresh air into one of our most important modules once again.
I am convinced that this feature is a great additional value for our users. Especially if I am a BabtecQ newbie, this guided 8D report enables me to move confidently through the entire module. The important thing is that all users can use the function, but no one has to. It is an additional offering for more structure and overview, but if customers are already used to working with the fields outside of the guided 8D report, they can continue to work exactly as before.
I consider one small but nice option in our 8D navigation particularly useful for internal collaboration: it is now also possible to check off completed process steps. In this way, all other BabtecQ users within my company can track the status of the processing steps.
I hope, and have already received some positive feedback, that our users will benefit from this step towards a guided 8D report – and perhaps this will even make the sometimes rather unloved complaints management fun for one or the other!
Name: Felix Krause
Job: Product Manager
At Babtec since: 2017
Education / Studies: Bachelor of Science (Economics)
Motto: Teamwork makes the dream work.