Survey Says: We Can Do Better—and We Are
Applied Materials is a place where the voice of the customer comes through loud and clear. Each year we conduct a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey so customers can tell us how we’re doing. As we prepare for the 2013 survey, we reflect on last year’s results. Last summer we contacted more than 1,400 customers globally and got a response rate of 70 percent. Much of what we heard from respondents made us proud: across the board our customer satisfaction and loyalty ratings have gone up significantly. But there were still some pain points customers asked us to address.
In the June 2013 issue of Nanochip Fab Solutions, we highlight what Applied is doing to engineer a better customer experience. This companywide effort encompasses technology, services, training, and process improvements.
For example, our new TechEdge advanced support solutions combine sensors, software and specialized services to solve the most complex manufacturing problems. With TechEdge Prizm customers can quickly access data from all CD-SEM tools to analyze problems and performance by tool, layer, recipe, product or process. And TechEdge Excursion Control provides automated near-real-time notification of process issues and deviations to help customers avoid unscheduled downtime and scrap.
We also discuss our development efforts in arc detection in PVD chambers, using data-collection hardware and software and advanced algorithms to reliably detect arc events while minimizing false positives. The result is a double-win: increased tool uptime and reduced wafer scrap and yield loss.
New technology and advanced support services are only part of Applied’s efforts. Our customer service story describes how we are preparing Applied Customer Engineers to handle increasingly complex problems in the field quickly and accurately, boosting system uptime and reducing costs.
Availability of parts was a key issue identified in our last customer satisfaction survey, so we discuss the process and performance improvements we’ve made there. When customers need new, high-performance parts to enable improved particle or uniformity, we engage with them to engineer and validate the parts as with a very short cycle time. When customers need parts not currently stocked in inventory, Applied’s new “idle parts program” gauges availability before orders are placed, providing an accurate timeframe for delivery and enabling customers to better plan their operations.
Rounding out the issue are two articles from well-known industry leaders. The first is a conversation with Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Corporate Executive VP, President and CEO of Toshiba’s Semiconductor and Storage Products Company, discussing that firm’s future as a 3D NAND leader, and the future of Japan as a leading semiconductor provider. The second article is an interview with Gary Dickerson, who took over as Applied’s president last year. Gary touches on the role of mobility in reshaping the semiconductor industry and on the challenges facing the display and solar segments. He also offers this insight into how he does business: “My philosophy is that to win, you must understand what customers need and then be there first with solutions that have valuable, sustainable differentiation.”
These Nanochip stories demonstrate how we live this philosophy every day as we work with customers to earn their trust and continuously improve their experience with Applied Materials.
Download a copy of Nanochip Fab Solutions today.