RE: Lists of Shipped Components

Subject: RE: Lists of Shipped Components
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 17:13:58 -0400

Nancy Allison asked:
> 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?

Our Quick Start Guide for each product of this division
is a booklet that fits inside the front of the DVD case
that carries our software and docs CDs (or DVDs).

It's largely pictorial, starts with a list (pics and a
brief description and a quantity) of what you should
have received.

Next is a list of other items you need (you either ordered
them separately or already had on-hand). Again, pics
and a few words to describe each.

Last is a picture-and-text procedure to mount the
device (in a rack, on a table...), connect the
cables and any peripheral devices, and go find the
software and docs CDs so you can really get started.

Common Criteria evaluated products also have a one-page
procedural checklist to ensure that you ordered what
you got, got what you ordered, etc., to establish a
legitimate paper trail for our cryptographic appliances.
That's also in the Quick Start.

- Kevin

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Lists of Shipped Components: From: Nancy Allison

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