Calculating the costs of testing errors

Sept. 30, 2013
Online tool available from Fluke Networks lets technicians add up how much money it costs when they make mistakes or battle common inefficiencies during the testing process.

As part of the research that went into the development and launch of the Versiv cabling-test platform, Fluke Networks gathered a significant amount of information from cabling contractors and test technicians related to, among other things, the efficiency with which the testing process is carried out. Fluke Networks put that information to use when developing Versiv, which includes numerous project-management capabilities—aimed at making the testing process as efficient as possible—in addition to offering a cadre of electronic- and optical-test capabilities.

Now Fluke Networks is also putting some of that information to use in other ways. For example, the company recently made available on its website a calculator that enables cabling installers/test technicians to calculate the number of hours lost in a month to inefficiencies in the testing process.

The page boldly states, “Cable installers report losing over $30,000 (USD) per year on certification issues.” It then asks, “How much do these issues cost you?” before enabling users to calculate for themselves. Based on its study of 1,110 cable installers worldwide, Fluke Networks makes the additional statement: “Installers waste, on average, over 56 hours a month dealing with [common testing problems]. That can turn profitable jobs into unprofitable ones. How many hours did your team waste in the last month on each of these issues?” The page then lists the 18 most-common or most-time-consuming problems that turned up in the survey. Among them are the following.

  • Copper cables are tested with the wrong limits and have to be retested.
  • Test results are stored in multiple testers which have to be hunted down and the results consolidated.
  • Troubleshooting one or more negative loss results.
  • Misunderstandings with customers about results that are actually OK but have to be explained to them.
  • Problems setting the fiber reference.
  • Teams have to consult with technical support from a cable or connector manufacturer.

The calculator shows the average number of hours, based on Fluke Networks’ research, spent per contractor per month on each of the listedproblems. It also allows the calculator user to input their own number next to each problem. The calculator totals the number of hours, and the user can apply its own hourly rate to come up with the per-month dollar amount lost to these testing problems.

The web page containing the calculator also allows users to learn more about Fluke Networks’ Versiv product set, and to request a demo of Versiv.

You can visit the calculator page here.

About the Author

Patrick McLaughlin | Chief Editor

Patrick McLaughlin, chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance, has covered the cabling industry for more than 20 years. He has authored hundreds of articles on technical and business topics related to the specification, design, installation, and management of information communications technology systems. McLaughlin has presented at live in-person and online events, and he has spearheaded's webcast seminar programs for 15 years.

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