Various Approaches to Improve Returns and Service Management for Manufacturers

When you are looking to improve your Returns and Service Management (RSM) processes, there may be several approaches you may be considering. This short document lists the thinking behind each approach, and the perceived Pros and Cons of each. This has been compiled by experiences that many of our client have gone through, and their feedback to us, in their journey that ended up with Renewity.

Status Quo – do nothing, continue to use Excels and Email

Thinking…This is not a big priority just now. The current approach is OK. The customer is OK. So, let’s just defer for now, maybe later.

Pros:

  1. Easy to get C-Suite consensus on this decision
  2. No work needs to be done by any of the decision makers
  3. No new costs incurred

Cons:

  1. All the problems and pains identified by the customer and service team will continue, nothing is resolved or improved
  2. The customer is not happy or impressed
  3. The company is seen as a “laggard” by customers and staff

Update the ERP RMA Module

Thinking….The ERP system has an RMA module and it is configurable. Just enhance that to do what we need for Returns and Service Management (RSM).

Pros: 

Note some of these are perceived Pros and not really realized *

  1. The enhanced ERP RMA module will be integrated with the ERP system
  2. The ERP system is easily extended to meet our specific RSM needs *
  3. The development cost to enhance the ERP RMA module will be cheaper than buying a new solution for RSM *

Cons:

  1. The project to will take months to years to complete, and the problems and pains identified by the customer and service team will continue during that time
  2. The ERP programmers know little about RSM and will need to be told exactly what to code (screens, custom fields, states, workflows, reports), the service manager will need to lead the project (this is a significant effort)
  3. The enhancements and customizations to the ERP RMA module will be hard-coded and not configurable, so any future changes will need to be done by the programming staff again and again. The service manager will not have the flexibility to change the processes.
  4. The ERP RMA module is for accounting purposes and not intended for RSM or the day-to-day work of the service team
  5. The ERP system and RMA module are naturally internal facing, there will be no web portal or visibility to the customer

Update the CRM System

Thinking….The CRM system is configurable and we can add a module and data objects for handling RSM. The CRM system is also where all the customer data resides so just develop a module that can do everything we need for Returns and Service Management (RSM).

Pros:

Note some of these are perceived Pros and not really realized. *

  1. The RSM solution will be integrated with the CRM system
  2. The CRM system is easily extended to meet RSM needs *
  3. The new CRM RMA module will be cheaper than buying a new solution for RSM *

Cons:

  1. The project to will take months to years to complete, and the problems and pains identified by the customer and service team will continue during that time
  2. The CRM programmers know little about RSM and will need to be told exactly what to code (screens, custom fields, states, workflows, reports), the service manager will need to lead the project (this is a significant effort)
  3. The enhancements and customizations to the CRM system will be hard-coded and not configurable, so any future changes will need to be done by the programming staff again and again. The service manager will not have the flexibility to change the processes.
  4. The CRM system is really designed for the sales and customer service teams, not the product service team or the quality team

Build our own Solution

Thinking… Our process and data for RSM is unique to our product lines and our customer relations. We need to build a completely custom solution. Once built it will be cheaper because we don’t need to pay recurring subscription fees. It will be easy to change also because we have the source code.

Pros:

Note some of these are perceived Pros and not really realized. *

  1. We have inhouse IT programmers that can build this
  2. We can customize it completely (with hard-coding)
  3. The cost to do changes will be less because we own the source code *

Cons:

  1. It may never actually get built
  2. The IT programming team will need to be instructed completely as to what to build by the service team – screens, features, workflows, reports, etc. This project will need substantial effort and leadership from the service manager.
  3. The delivered solution (if delivered) will be hard-coded and not configurable, so any changes or enhancements will need to be done by the programming staff again. They may not be available and minor changes will take weeks and months to deliver. Often the author of the code will have moved on and changes are risky and very time consuming by others unfamiliar with the code.

Setup RenewityRMA

Thinking… let’s get on with it and just setup RenewityRMA now.

Pros:

  1. Already built and feature-rich for RSM
  2. Totally configurable for any number of processes and custom data. Can be changed by the service manager anytime without coding
  3. Process can be defined and setup in Renewity by service manager quickly. No need to explain the specification to a programming team or educate them in RSM
  4. Can be up and running in a matter of weeks, not months or years
  5. Known cost – no unpredictable cost for development of a custom build
  6. Industry-proven for RSM for manufacturers
  7. No need for programming or IT resources

Cons:

  1. Does take some effort to setup your process. But that needs to be done for you to realize your dream process.
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Over RMAs Processed to Date
0%
Increase in Turn Around Time
0%
Increase in Service Revenue
0%
Customer Portal Satisfaction