Lists of Shipped Components

Subject: Lists of Shipped Components
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 15:02:06 -0500 (CDT)

If your company ships physical products, where do you put the checklist of items they should receive?

I've inherited a project that puts the list in a user manual. On page 10 of a 40-page manual it tells the reader to inspect each item and check it against a list of standard items (which is printed right there on page 10).

In the old days of physically bound manuals, that always seemed especially awkward because the only way you could be reading the manual was to have opened the box and taken everything out. It seemed unlikely that the very first thing anyone would do was dive for the manual and scan it for a list of shipped components . . . people were much more likely to look at the packing slip and no more.

Nowadays, with manuals shipped as a PDF on a CD, or downloaded from a web page, I find it even less likely that anyone will have printed and skimmed the PDF in anticipation of opening the box and checking off its contents against a list in the User Guide. I still think they'll look at the packing slip and no more.

My questions are these:

1. Do you include any section in your user guides discussing what to look for when the customer opens the shipping container?

2. If not, how do you handle the issue of clients checking that they've received the correct items and that everything looks like it's in good shape?



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