The following is the description of the support process, Critical Manufacturing applies for customers with active maintenance contracts
Definitions and roles
The following are the defect categories that can occur:
- Major defect - direct impact on production in terms of volume output, cycle-time or quality
- Minor defect - marginal impact on production
- Cosmetic - no impact on production
Severity in this context means the seriousness of the defect, and can be also classified as follows:
- High severity - major defect without workaround in place
- Medium severity - major defect, but with workaround in place or minor defect without workaround
- Low severity - cosmetic defect or minor defect with workaround in place
Urgency in the actual context stands for the importance of the defect to the customer, and is classified as:
- High urgency – Issue is of extreme importance to the customer
- Medium urgency – Issue is of importance to the customer
- Low urgency – Issue has low importance to the customer
As such, the Severity and Urgency, define the Incident priority levels, as per the matrix shown.
- P1 is therefore the highest priority call and has a specific procedure described here later.
- P2 is a second priority call. Requires an assessment within 1 working day, and fix/containment within 1 week.
- P3 requires an assessment within a 1 week, and fix/containment within 1 month.
- P4 requires an assessment within 1 month and fix within the next planned major release
- The combinations of high severity / low urgency and high urgency / low severity are considered not to occur.
For the P1 and P2-P4 procedures, the following roles are necessary:
- Issue logger - person from the customer side, who is defined as someone who can log issues in the system, for P2, P3 and P4 calls. This person can only create the issue, respond with the necessary data upon the state "waiting" for info, and has read access to all remaining information. This person cannot issue P1 calls.
- Issue account manager - person(s) from the customer side, who besides superseding all issue logger roles, can issue P1 calls, according to the procedure described next. He approves as well (or not) a change in priority proposed by Critical Manufacturing, validates the final resolution by closing the issue, or rolls the state back to Created (if he does not agree with assessment done), to Assessed (if he does not agree with the containment or resolution done), or to Contained (if he agrees with the containment, but not with the resolution). The issue account manager participates as well in weekly issue follow-up calls.
The full life-cycle of the P2-P4 is managed over a web interface from Critical Manufacturing’s web site customer area. Each individual user has a user, password and defined role, validated by the issue account manager.
The state model associated with the procedure is shown next.
- Issue gets to this state when input is done by the issue logger. He will have to fill a mandatory set of information and classifications, such as:
- Issue frequency
- Module affected
- Error message
- Log information
- Operation being performed
- Proposed priority
- New priority proposed
- Issue gets to this phase if Critical Manufacturing believes the issue should be classified differently than the classification proposed by the issue logger. The account manager will have to validate or reject such change, and the issue gets back to its previous state (the time for containment or resolution will still count from the issue logged time-stamped).
- Waiting for info
- If Critical Manufacturing believes more info is required and can be collected from the system, Critical Manufacturing will request so, by putting the state to "Waiting for info". Upon the response from the issue logger or account manager, the model gets back to its previous state.
Given the nature of a P1 call, it must follow a very different procedure than the one used for the other call levels. A P1 can only be initiated via telephone to Critical Manufacturing’s hotline. This line is available on a 24x7 basis, and can only be triggered by the customer’s Issue Account Manager. The response time over telephone is usually immediate, and always done in less than 10 minutes.
Critical Manufacturing will allocate to the log call resolution all necessary resources, and will initiate hourly calls till the issue is resolved, contained, or passes to a lower priority level as agreed with the issue account manager. The issue account manager must be present at this hourly calls. If he is not present, the call will be automatically transferred to P2 level.
It is imperative that the support personnel get remote access to the production environment, via VPN. This VPN connection must be pre-established, although allowing the customer to grant the necessary system permissions to the involved support persons upon the incident. The on-call support engineer will remotely connect to the incident environment in less than an hour.
Upon prolongation of the resolution / containment time, Critical Manufacturing will execute an escalation procedure, which will result in the participation on the hourly calls of each time higher ranking personnel from CMF, according to the following time and levels:
- From call time onwards – on-call support engineer
- First hourly call, more than 3 hours after the incident – product technical manager
- First hourly call, more than 6 hours after the incident – product engineering manager
- First hourly call, more than 24 hours after the incident – product business unit manager / board member