Universal Robots‘ goal is to increase access to industrial robot technology for small and medium-sized enterprises. As of 2020, Universal Robots will have more than 700 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of more than $200 million, making it the market leader in the production of flexible collaborative robot equipment. Three Danish engineers started it in 2005.
Universal Robots sought a partner to help it transform its traditional, ad hoc, user verification testing programme into an efficient source of actionable product feedback. To maintain its dominance, UR‘s leadership encouraged the organisation to incorporate the voice of the customer more frequently during the development process.
The Universal Robots team was mandated to involve real end users in the early stages of development. Overcoming several hurdles.
Several software releases were delayed or withdrawn due to unexpected problems with the software. New products and R&D drove user testing priorities, while waterfall development processes left little opportunity for user testing.
UR‘s QA team spent nearly 100 hours a month working with partner testers on new software releases. Product teams had limited bandwidth to focus on user testing, resulting in a reduced ability to improve efficiency. When testing with its customers, UR spent an hour with each customer individually to incorporate them into a test.
Due to the lack of formal feedback, developers missed important insights and opportunities to fully satisfy customers and partners. For the UR team, maintaining good customer contacts was the surest sign of a successful test. Development teams were making assumptions about their alignment with partner and customer objectives because formal feedback was not collected.
The Universal Robots team was developing corporate objectives associated with the voice of the customer. They were not sure how to verify the goals. According to Ed Chan, we didn’t know what metrics to track, what tactics to use, or how best to quantify and demonstrate change.
As part of their partnership, Universal Robots spent three days with the Centercode team. They discussed current UR workflows, best practices and ideal meeting procedures for successful user testing. According to Israel Nunez-Santiago, Beta Program Manager at UR, “[Our Functional Solutions Consultant] had excellent response times and we never felt slighted for asking a question we thought was obvious.”
In order to develop a world-class user testing programme for its customers, Universal Robots (UR) has partnered with Centercode, the customer testing company. In a previous venture, Universal Robots’ senior global director of product management used CentercoDE for customer testing. The vice president of Universal Robots’ R&D division had previously used the company’s technology and praised its competence in customer testing.

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