Go Back   Technibble Forums > The Computer Repair Business > Business and Legal Issues

  Technibble Sponsor

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:21 PM
NETWizz NETWizz is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,397
NETWizz has a spectacular aura aboutNETWizz has a spectacular aura about
Default Tracking Tag for Customers Computers

Here is what I am thinking...

Pretty much after a short while all computers start looking alike and it becomes somewhat difficult to track the work-orders & parts history for various comptuers as well as managing users' expectations. Pretty much most techs just reach into a filing cabinate and pull out past work orders then go to the work-site and make sense of it all when they get there. The problem is that Jon Doe's worksite may have 10 ore more computers and 6 months later you won't know what was done to which comptuer or why unless you read ALL of your paperwork and compare serial numbers... too much work!


It would also not be good to have 10 in your shop and not cleary have them marked which computer belongs to whom and what they want done or the "chief complaint." Obviously, you would have to sort this all out and never tell the customer. Provided you fix their problem and return the right computer, they are not going to be upset, but they will NOT understand how you can't remember which computer is theirs or how it is possible to forget, but they do not see 10+ computers per day over 200 a month, either.

**********

I do not do work for people directly, but I have a lot of experience and work for a company. Essentially, I do mostly server & network related tasks and occasionally pull-off a favor for a co-worker just to be nice.


Here is the point... Several years ago, I wrote some corporate inventory software for fixed-asset tracking to use our Asset tags at work. Then it occured to me. Instead of a tag that reads:

Property of
XYZ Corporation
[barcode]
[human-readable number]

Why not:

This Computer Was Serviced By
ABC Company (800)-555-5555
[barcode]
[human-readable number]



As long as the tag is small, does not claim ownership, is professionally printed including a barcode & by the same suppliers that create Corporate Asset Tags, and is removable (i.e. don't buy the security ones that say void or tear into pieces), and they are placed in a non-objectionable area (like right next to the Service Tag), I think most people will be perfectly fine with it.


It was VERY easy to code my software to use a barcode scanner because it is just a USB keybaord as far as the comptuer is concerned... Essentially, it just types the barcode numbers/letters and carriage-return/line-break after the scan. Hence, a little JavaScript to jump to the next field (or submit the HTML form) was all I needed.


The reason I bring this up is that I think many of you coudl carry a roll of 1,000 of these with you and run some software on a laptop or tablet. Then, you scan your tag, scan their service tag (serial if HP or other), scan the model number barcode if present... point is every single computer I have seen has a barcode for everything & I designed my software to store all that in an SQL database.


After this you can search by site (for you customer), computer, serial number... whatever and update the history each time a particular computer is seen. On a repeat visit, you just scan the computer you are going to work on! Likewise the tag you provide can be on all the paperwork, which you can print with a battery powered printer you keep in your car for use with yoru laptop/tablet.


Oh, and quality laser barcode scanners are only about $112 delivered to your door. They can easily read the barcode in any oriantation including diagonally or upside-down and from up to about 18" away. The process is as quick as the grocery store scanning your UPC codes when you buy food and other products.

Here is what I think a tag should look like only it needs to be reasonably small:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg test.jpg (19.0 KB, 220 views)

Last edited by NETWizz; 02-24-2011 at 07:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:28 PM
14049752 14049752 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 3,302
14049752 has a spectacular aura about14049752 has a spectacular aura about
Default

Personally, I don't like the idea of leaving anything on a customer's computer. That part of it is partly preference.

Otherwise, the part about reading all of your paperwork, etc seems like the problem you're overcoming. I honestly don't know how anyone could operate without electronic records. Everything we do gets recorded into our custom database. I'm able to search past history based on customer, pc serial number, date, or even by text in a workorder notes. Using your own serial number would make that easier, as it'd be all standardized, but otherwise I don't think you're suggesting anything new.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:44 PM
dk99 dk99 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Youngstown Ohio
Posts: 160
dk99 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14049752 View Post
Personally, I don't like the idea of leaving anything on a customer's computer. That part of it is partly preference.

Otherwise, the part about reading all of your paperwork, etc seems like the problem you're overcoming. I honestly don't know how anyone could operate without electronic records. Everything we do gets recorded into our custom database. I'm able to search past history based on customer, pc serial number, date, or even by text in a workorder notes. Using your own serial number would make that easier, as it'd be all standardized, but otherwise I don't think you're suggesting anything new.
+1
yeah we have a database for all info including customers info/serial number/model#/ so we can access anytime efficiently. I did a poll a few years back asking customers If they would care if I had a sticker on their pc I think it was something like 75% said no they don't want any stickers. I had one lady tell me that she hated going to G.S. not only because of price and wait time but they kept sticking those little stickers on her pc..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-24-2011, 07:59 PM
mraikes's Avatar
mraikes mraikes is online now
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,784
mraikes is a jewel in the roughmraikes is a jewel in the roughmraikes is a jewel in the roughmraikes is a jewel in the rough
Default

Here's what I use:



I write the RO number and customer's last name, or business name. For example: 6511-Jones

A sticker is applied to every machine and anything else that might get mixed up (laptop power supplies, bags, peripherals, etc).

The customer name makes it easy to keep track of stuff, and I can always lookup the RO number in my database if I need to reference details in the future. And of course, it gives the user a way to quickly access my contact info.

It's just a customized return address label from Vistaprint. Since my artwork is saved there, I reorder them for "free" whenever they have a promo - which is about every 10 minutes.
__________________
----------------------------
Darn-Computer! Computer & Laptop Repair

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a ukulele. And that's pretty close." Thomas Jefferson
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:55 PM
DanF DanF is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Malta (EU)
Posts: 818
DanF is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

You can always stick the mentioned barcode sticker inside the case. It's strange how nobody thought about this.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:56 PM
Darren55D Darren55D is offline
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 31
Darren55D is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

I use tamper evident warranty void stickers for this purpose, although admittedly these are only put on after working on the computer, I allocate each system the number from the next label when I get it and just use a post it note with the number on for workshop tracking until I'm finished. They are small, individually numbered and have a bar-code, and serve the dual purpose of protecting the warranty on any hardware work carried out on the computer, and allowing me to quickly identify the system if/when it is brought back to me.
They are $9.99/6.15 including free international delivery from labelogixusa on ebay for 100 stickers.

Darren
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:14 AM
NETWizz NETWizz is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,397
NETWizz has a spectacular aura aboutNETWizz has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanF View Post
You can always stick the mentioned barcode sticker inside the case. It's strange how nobody thought about this.
Nobody wants to open the case of every computer i.e. If it is virus removal, opening the case would be silly. In contrast, a small enough sticker in an inconspicuous but easily accessible place would probably not anger too many people.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:20 AM
Knightsman's Avatar
Knightsman Knightsman is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,356
Knightsman is on a distinguished road
Default

I use a magnet on the steel cases. That way its not permanent but does its job. Now business customers, this is a good idea!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-25-2011, 01:32 AM
NETWizz NETWizz is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,397
NETWizz has a spectacular aura aboutNETWizz has a spectacular aura about
Default

I would personally buy removable adhesive stickers; since, many cases are plastic. Besides the idea is to keep the tag as small as possible and unobtrusive. Put it next to all the regulatory stuff & manufacturer's codes. Maybe make the tag black instead of a vibrant color, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-25-2011, 02:38 AM
Xander's Avatar
Xander Xander is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Posts: 6,678
Xander is a jewel in the roughXander is a jewel in the roughXander is a jewel in the roughXander is a jewel in the rough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanF View Post
You can always stick the mentioned barcode sticker inside the case. It's strange how nobody thought about this.
Not to hijack but, back when drivers were a lot harder to find, I used to tape the drivers disc I would make inside the side panel.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Technibble.com is based out of MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.