In recent years, many high-tech businesses have experienced major restructuring, moving to a virtual model. Most manufacturing is nowdone offshore. Many components manufacturers have now achieved a brand status of their own. And perhaps most important, many of the products used in both consumer and business markets are sold through channels.
High-tech firms brand their direct models, boasting about their customer focus through their websites and advertising. But the reality is that with extensive outsourcing and channel partners, product genesis and manufacturing can end up at a huge distance from the customer. Think Shenzhen!
At the same time, customers are more demanding, requiring customization and special services. And customers have gone mobile. They won’t be sitting in the office park edifice waiting for the repair person.
To solve this problem, many of the OEMs have also been outsourcing their service and repair business to a whole host of players; from the largest transportation players to small regional service and repairs firms who can address SoHo (small office/home office) and local markets. For years, retailers have provided warranty and service contracts. Some actually do this service and repair themselves but most also outsource much of this work.