Posted on 11/09/2017 via BSH Home Appliances Group

Repaired on the First Visit: Automatic Pre-prepping of Technicians’ Cars

With the right spare parts on board, our service technicians can successfully complete more repairs on their first visit. Automatic pre-prepping makes it possible.

The dishwasher stops working, the refrigerator makes strange noises, the washing machine won’t pump any more – a broken home appliance costs time, nerves and money. In cases like these, consumer satisfaction has top priority for factory customer service at BSH. Speed is vital here: “Consumers not only expect technicians to get there quickly and take care of the problem, but also want them to complete the repair on their first visit,” states Antonia Förnges, who is responsible for automatic pre-prepping at BSH. “The auto pre-prepping software is already being used in a number of European countries such as Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands. We’re now rolling it out in the UK, Portugal and Poland.”

The right spare parts mean problems can be resolved on the first visit
That only works if technicians have the right spare parts with them. Another employer, the pre-prepper, used to decide what they packed for the individual repairs. But as Antonia Förnges notes: “The conventional manual system is error-prone. And it sometimes results in high logistics costs since technicians take more spare parts with them just to be on the safe side and than have to return them to the warehouse.”

The solution: automatic pre-prepping
That’s why technicians’ cars are now automatically loaded with spare parts in many countries. An employee is still responsible for manually loading the service vehicle, but a system determines which parts to take. A so-called data mining solution has been developed for this purpose, which enables automatic pre-prepping of the needed spare parts. Data mining is nothing more than an analysis of old customer repair receipts that includes all relevant findings and interrelations of past incidents or repairs. The system uses this data to determine which spare parts the technician might need for the repair and should take to the consumer. And the great thing is that the process is fully automated, smart and self-learning. It is used during order acceptance without consumers or call center agents noticing a thing. Apart from the problem in question, the system also takes into account the appliance’s precise data. It also compares the data with other orders as the basis for determining the required spare parts.

Benefits for all involved
“The new automatic system reduces the error rate and saves valuable time. Technicians also obtain data from past orders and hence know how which problem was previously resolved. This so-called quality data provides important assistance for tackling current repairs. Another key benefit is that repairs that don’t require a spare part can be carried out on the same day,” explains Project Manager Antonia Förnges.

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