Audiovisual Equipment Manufacturers Using QuickBooks Integrated RMA and Repair Order Software

July 9, 2013 at 7:34 PMHeidi Bragg

The market for audiovisual equipment is highly competitive and continually expanding. According to InfoComm International, an organization that represents the commercial audiovisual industry worldwide, “The … industry currently generates $78 billion a year … and is projected to be a $115 billion global industry by 2015”  (see The Growing Audiovisual Industry). U.S-based audiovisual firms face competition not only domestically, but also from overseas firms. Given these industry projections, both large and small audiovisual manufacturers need a variety of tools to optimize their processes and increase their market share.

Quality control is an important element in gaining a competitive advantage. The ability to track problems in finished products and their component parts is a critical part of keeping expenses low and customer satisfaction high. Thankfully, computerization allows manufacturing and quality control procedures to be implemented and tracked more easily than ever before. “From purchasing all the way through to financial reporting, computerization exists to give to business owners, managers, and accountants the tools to be successful faster, easier, and more efficiently,” says Ian Benoliel, CEO of NumberCruncher. There are a variety software programs which can assist manufacturers in these tasks, but many are priced beyond the reach of small- to medium-sized businesses, or “SMBs”. However, these are often the very firms that are driving innovation in the audiovisual industry and need these tools.

One such company is Earthworks, a New Hampshire-based manufacturer of precision-engineered, high definition audio equipment. Year after year, the company’s products are nominated for technical achievement and industry excellence awards. Specialized equipment like Earthworks’ requires accurate tracking of every aspect of manufacturing in order to insure consistent, high-quality results. Because inventory control, order management, and repair/return merchandise authorization (RMA) tracking are critical to their business, Earthworks needed an affordable tool that would help them manage all these processes. The company uses QuickBooks accounting software, so the new system had to integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks financials.

Two years ago, Earthworks began using All Orders, an inventory control and order management software from NumberCruncher (a QuickBooks Gold Partner). In early 2002, NumberCruncher was the first company to offer an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution specifically designed for use with QuickBooks. Since then, over 1500 companies have used NumberCruncher’s products and services to better manage their businesses. All Orders’ latest upgrade includes both Return Material Authorization and repair tracking modules.

Earthworks, like many companies, use serial numbers to track their products. This enables them to trace an item back through the production process to the source of each component used in the finished product. When a microphone or other piece of equipment is returned, serial number tracking helps Earthworks identify where problems lie – whether there’s an issue with a particular batch of component parts or a certain supplier, if a certain tech needs additional training, etc. Three months ago, Earthworks added All Orders’ RMA/repair tracking modules to their existing software to help them streamline these processes.

Daniel Blackmer, the company’s Director of Engineering, explained how these new capabilities have helped streamline operations. "All Orders’ RMA/repair module allows us to keep track of repairs independent of returns, and the problem description and technicians’ notes sections for each serial-numbered item help us optimize our repair process,” he says. “This is critical since multiple departments may handle different aspects of a repair. Each tech can record and reference exactly what they see in front of them.”

Some SMBs also refurbish products, either their own or those from other manufacturers. By using All-Orders’ Repair Order module, Earthworks can track repairs and add costs to their company-owned products. Blackmer continues, “When an item comes in to be fixed, we can use the serial number to track who built the product, when it was built, and exactly which components were purchased from each vendor. We can also see where the product is in the warranty cycle, if it’s been returned before and why, and know which repair parts were used previously (along with where they were purchased)."

“Technology exists to ease the tracking burden,” concludes Benoliel. Through utilizing affordable tools for serial number tracking and accurate recordkeeping, even highly technical SMBs can optimize their manufacturing processes and better manage repairs of returned merchandise. The resultant gains in quality and customer satisfaction save both time and money, and help firms gain a larger share of their respective markets.

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Comments (2) -

Lorie Veliz
United States Lorie Veliz says:

Its like you are awesome


Jeanmarie Hanusey
United States Jeanmarie Hanusey says:

Nice Information


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