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your task is to create a repair process for an Italian espresso machine manufacturer selling machines here in the US.

Put yourself in the shoes of a machine manufacturer. Your boss comes to you and says: “I want you to build a business process for how we handle repairs. It’s not really working today, so forget anything we do today and start with a blank sheet of paper. This about the best way to do this.” The model that you need to build should have at least 20 activities and probably a lot more events than that. Let’s look at a few facts to give you the background. The machines are similar to the ones you see in the picture on slide 32. They are fancy and very expensive ($1,200 to $3,500). These are machines are used in high-end restaurants and by high-end users such as very discerning espresso drinkers. So think about how you’re going to build your process for repairing the machine.

What are some of the early things you need to do? You probably start the process when a customer calls since they are the ones who experience the problem you need to fix. You may ask them for some preliminary information such as “Describe why it does not work, please?”, “Can you tell me whether the little green light is on?” or “Is it plugged in?” Then you need to determine whether as much about the breakdown as possible. Eventually, you want to find out whether the customer can repair the machine herself e.g. you send parts and instructions or whether they need to send it to you. Equally important, you need to figure out how you handle the different types of customers. A restaurant needs to be able to serve espressos to diners and they probably can’t wait for the machine to be fixed in your facility. That could take weeks or months. At the same time, if you design the process to basically overnight a replacement unit to the restaurant and they ship the broken one back to you, then how expensive is that and would you do that for private household consumers as well? Restaurants may be willing to pay $299 a year for a maintenance contract that allows you to cover the cost of sending a new machine in exchange for a broken one, but consumer may not. Essentially, your process could fork into two streams here. On one hand, you could have professional users with a paid warranty (don’t forget to check for that when you talk to them on the phone) and household users who do not. The latter may need to send their machine to you and will have to wait for the repair before they get it back.

When you build this process I honestly don’t care how you do it. There isn’t one right answer or one possible process, which makes this so interesting. Your process is right for you and that is good enough. We are sing the espresso machine repair process, because it gives you a lot of latitude.

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