There’s something that Roger points out about the engineering/manufacturing feedback loop that’s worth a little attention. What follows is my take on it, not necessarily Roger’s.
During pilot runs, engineering gets feedback from the line and from alpha, testing beta testing, and teardowns. After release to manufacturing, in the absence of spot checks, which can only test what they’re looking for, feedback to engineering has to come from the people servicing the lenses.
The closer the service organization is to the engineering department, both in physical space and in spirit, the tighter this feedback loop will be and the more likely that design decisions that cause field problems will be changed and those problems will be fixed. This means that, in the absence of a sophisticated program to gather field data, outsourcing repair of cameras and lenses will create a situation in which design (and manufacturing, although I haven’t addressed that specifically) problems are not fixed.
Are you listening, Sony?