5 Tools Every Service Center Should Utilize

Successful electronic repair centers use a multitude of tools and resources effectively and efficiently. Many nuances go into a robust business model; this post will explore the five most important tools that make up a great service center.

A repair center has a ton of moving parts, all working with one another to complete a common goal. The tools and resources we will discuss all tie in together to effectively run a service center. Standard operating procedures (SOP) lay the groundwork for employees to follow. An electronic reporting program (ERP system) allows workers to track and manage any inventory through every movement. Advanced training programs ensure all staff uses the tools correctly and efficiently. A quality control program for products follows all requirements and responsibilities outlined in the SOP. Moreover, when it is all said and done, having an efficient recycling and waste program will lead to fewer disposal expenses and better space management.

Having a comprehensive standard operating procedure index is paramount for a successful repair center. An SOP is a written instruction documenting how to perform routine activities, created by a manager. An SOP is then reviewed and revised when a revision takes place. SOP’s are important because it ensures uniformity and consistency amongst all employees. For example, if a technician has a unit returned to them for a bad repair, that employee can reference the SOP for that department to find what triggered the error. An SOP is not limited to merely the product but applied to every aspect of the business. From receiving the product into cycle counting inventory, there should be an SOP documenting every step along the way.

An electronic reporting program is a backbone for successfully managing inventory. An ERP is a program that tracks inventory coming in, any movement within the storage area, and records outbound deliveries including any tracking numbers or special instructions. An ERP can be outsourced or developed within the company. Although easily defined, an ERP varies in complexity based on a business’s needs. There can be different types of product requiring the employee to manage multiple libraries of inventory. An effective ERP can also track any particular situations; such has a unit held for ordered parts. When an ERP is implemented or developed, it is always a work in process. Repair centers are always adapting to changes that can include managing new inventory. Working with ERP provider or program designers to continually keep the system up to date is crucial for top repair centers.

A successful company is only as good as its employees, and a service center is no exception. Developing a comprehensive training program will allow a company to train competent employees. The management team is responsible for developing a training program. The program is a step by step procedure, covering all aspects of the task at hand. Regularly reviewing a training program will ensure that all employees have a clear understanding of processes and are performing day to day obligations correctly. As processes and programs change within the company, so must the training. Regularly reviewing training material and re-training employees will ensure uniformity and accuracy throughout the program.

Repair service centers are volume driven. Revenue is directly affected by the amount of units being repaired and shipped back to the customer. When a unit fails and returns to the repair center, time and money are wasted. Having a quality control process in place can minimize any loopers or returns. A quality control process is defined by an SOP and requires the employee to double check any units heading for outbound processing. There should be a Q/C checklist for the employee to follow, making sure to review all aspects of the repair. At this stage of the repair process, the employee can kick back the unit if it fails Q/C thus ensuring no returns from customers. As products change, so must the Q/C process. Always review the quality control process to revise any errors or new additions.

A company who stores any inventory deals with waste. When not managed properly it can lead to problemswith space management, and in most cases will result in unnecessary expenses. Get with a waste and recycle representative to discuss any options that may be available to you. Look into your products, find out if anything is recyclable. It is surprising to know how much value there is in bulk recycling. Any opportunity to get money back on something a company has no use for will only improve a bottom line. There are many options out there from getting a compactor to save space, to having a trailer staged that can be filled up with cardboard and other recyclable materials. Recycle everything you can, companies viewed as “eco-friendly” have a larger customer base.

A repair service center has a lot of moving parts, and improving one aspect will improve all aspects of the business. Utilizing the tools presented will drive revenue, create a professional work environment, and increase the value of the company.

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