Five organisational benefits of RMA software.
On paper, Return Materials Authorisation (RMA) is just one of the many tasks an organisation has. Still, one should not underestimate just how important RMA & RMA Software is in the process of returning goods. Companies stand to gain a lot by effectively organising their RMA process. Here are five ways in which RMA software benefits an organisation.
Better customer service
One of the key aspects on which a company is rated is the way it treats its customers. You should therefore offer them a way to request an RMA immediately, instead of simply listing a general phone number and an email address at the bottom of a webpage. That does nothing to reassure your customer, who at that point will not (yet) trust in the fact that their request will end up being correctly dealt with. This is added on top of the fact that their opinion of the company has already deteriorated because they were not satisfied with the product they received. RMA software not only simplifies the RMA request process, it also offers insight into the status of the process at all times. This level of transparency is essential for good customer service.
Standardised defect evaluation
A good RMA process requires clear criteria that can be used to evaluate defects. If a product cannot be returned and a field engineer has to be sent out to evaluate the problem in person, they must be able to follow a series of predefined steps. This helps avoid the (usually costly) mistake of sending a product that could have been repaired on site back to the factory instead, even though there was no need to do so. With RMA software that can be accessed from anywhere, those steps can be recorded quickly and easily. When all parties involved, (field engineers, the customer service department and the service centre) follow the same criteria, no time is wasted and everyone will reap the benefits of a smoother process.
Clearer end-of-life planning
Another advantage is that the data recorded in the RMA software makes it easier to announce a product’s “end of life” phase. Predictive Maintenance / Swap Outs before end of life (the moment at which a company ceases to support a specific product) can direct companies policies. Manufacturers are sometimes accused of trying to sell new versions of products while the old ones still perform just fine. However, if there are any questions from customers, this data makes it easy to explain why a certain product or product line will no longer be supported. Furthermore, it keeps the maintenance department from ordering too many spare parts that are then left to gather dust in a warehouse.
Improving various processes
As more and more RMA processes are initiated, trends will start to become clear. However, this is only true provided that the relevant data is properly recorded and made insightful. This is where the RMA software comes in. If a certain kind of malfunction occurs often enough, the production department can look for a way to resolve the problem. If a defect occurs after production yet before the product arrives at its final destination, you should take a good look at the transport process. No process is exempt, data is the only proof.
Measure the performance of your RMA partners
You should also critically evaluate the performance of your partner organisations. By recording the lead time of the entire RMA process, you can determine the productivity of your partners. Furthermore, you can also look at your partners’ activities from a quality standpoint. If a certain component is returned to a partner and they test it. You then send it back to the customer, who then informs you that the part is still broken, you may begin to question your partner’s processes.