Unipart and Sky – Improving The Repair Process

Aspiring to be much more than a basic repair supplier

Sky has built a strong position in the UK as a satellite television provider but as with so many markets it is being challenged by changes in technology and new entrants. Retaining customers in such a highly competitive and fast changing market is never easy and a key component of customer satisfaction is the reliability of the equipment provided by their broadcast provider. So when Sky asked us to take on the additional responsibility for repairs, we saw an opportunity that would go far beyond simply repairing their Sky Boxes more swiftly and efficiently.

That opportunity was to find out why their boxes were sometimes letting their customers down in the first place.  We aspired to be much more than a basic repair supplier and saw an opportunity that was bigger than simply improving the quality and cost of the repairs process. That opportunity was about reducing the long term need for this process, by capturing the root causes of failure and relaying them back to the manufacturers.

As a world-first for set top box repair, we introduced an automated test programme with over 140 points being checked in a thirty minute period, complemented by Flying Probe technology to further diagnose faulty components on PCB Boards at high-speed. The use of this cutting edge technology provided not only accurate and objective testing to ensure correct diagnosis and repair but, importantly, also generated extensive data for further analysis.

This test data was utilised alongside closed-loop feedback processes to link our repair teams directly with field engineers and Sky Manufacturing, so that they could learn from each other and create continuous, joint improvement. The insights and knowledge thus gained provided important input into the future product development and manufacture of the Sky Box, resulting in significantly improved reliability for Sky’s eleven million customers – and a lot less repair work for us!