Last modified: February 16, 2018
Traceability can go a long way toward determining product quality and customer satisfaction. How? Because you can’t ensure satisfaction if your promised repair time isn’t based on data. And you can’t improve product quality if don’t gather the right metrics on your process.
Repair partners who offer absolute traceability provide customers with predictability, scalability, increased value, and shorter cycle times, which leads to higher customer satisfaction.
Just as important, traceability helps manufacturers manage increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, particularly in the medical sector, as well as hazardous materials management and responsible recycling.
What are some ways repair services can benefit from better traceability?
The truth is, servicing repairs with little or no reporting history isn’t going to help much when it comes to budgeting, forecasting or growing your brand, but why put more effort into tracking service repairs?
Adding greater transparency and traceability into your product repair process benefits you and your business by:
Plus, the more units you test, screen, and repair, the more valuable traceable data becomes, but only if the repair process is properly monitored and recorded.
A certified medical device record must include information about what software was installed, if it was installed correctly, and when it happened. It must also document repairs — when a part was replaced, what serial number or identifying classification did that part have, etc.
You can probably appreciate why this so important. There’s no room for error. The repair services partner must not only reassemble or configure the final device with 100% accuracy, but also document properly to avoid internal/external investigations, fines, and possible termination of the contract.
Obviously, this is a big deal, but where do you start adding or improving traceability?
Effective traceability starts with planning and inventorying key performance, hardware, and service history.
Finding a partner who invests in robust data collection systems matters because repair estimates are only as good as the quality of the data. Here’s a short list of specific data points to collect:
Test/retest results are important to determine the quality of testing and testing processes. That saves time, money, and increases customer confidence in the product and support.
From a product development perspective, traceability provides key quality and service metrics that enable you to streamline and highlight opportunities to avoid future repairs.
Metrics used to bolster repair services performance and support business growth include:
These are just a few examples of how traceability can help improve business performance, and your success.
Once systems that collect this data are in place, you’re able to start using the results to make educated business decisions around many aspects of your business, including operating budgets, parts-bin management, product development, growth opportunities, and much more.
Product features aren’t the answer for poor product quality and repairs. A United Parcel Service (UPS) customer survey showed that customer expectations are rising across the globe.
In a 2015 survey, 86% of respondents said they expected on-site post-sales service from industrial suppliers. 76% of European companies and 99% of Chinese industrial buyers expect it.
This survey highlights that “the service offered from suppliers has become one of the most critical differentiators between competitors.”
Businesses are better off with service supply partners that bring experience in servicing hardware repairs AND traceability management to the table. That’s experience that will help
you avoid common headaches related to customer service and product development right from the start.
When you get to the point of outsourcing or switching repair services providers, think about measuring them against the following attributes:
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