USE* STRD (Service Repair Times Database) Portal

USE* SRTD Portal has helped us work with our clients to find new opportunities for warranty savings. This has been an unexpected but welcome benefit from the tool.

Dan Simonetti, Operations Manager, USE*Publications
For our team in USE* IT, a software tool adds value only when it integrates into a process and empowers the established team to maximise its performance. Consequently, developing a tool to support a project, and to support the team working on a project, demands insight into how our customers are working, and how new users of the solution currently experience their business processes. SRTD Portal represents a perfect example of this approach from USE* IT.

The Challenge

Our dedication as a service provider is to ensure we understand customer processes, to fully deploy tools that integrate well and deliver efficiencies. In other words, we develop our solutions to pay a key role in saving money.

USE* Publications’ engagement with one prestigious OEM client required a tool to compose and disseminate data for workshop manuals. The solution needed to deliver publishable workshop manual procedures, compile digital labour times and integrate labour time data information, and to include quality assurance features and export capabilities to a various formats. Because the subject matter experts were the USE* Publications team, the processes and know-how deployed at the client were all readily available and documented for USE* IT developers to work with.

The Solution

SRTD Portal, the Service Repair Time Database, is a web-based tool developed by USE* IT to support the creation of workshop procedures, built on the USE* Rich Portal Foundation.
In essence, SRTD Portal consists of the four key components:

Authoring Interface
SRTD Portal includes an Authoring Interface for procedures that allows the editing and input of service repair operation information as text, digital labour times, manual times, and graphics. As well as being viewable in the Workshop Manual Browser (see below), the contents can also be exported to a number of formats like HTML, PDF and XML.

The SRTD Portal Authoring Interface allows users to create granular workshop procedures, adding new procedures and procedural steps, and including already written procedures as sub-procedures within a service repair operation. The authors can upload images to support the steps in the procedures, can nominate vehicle variants specific to one procedure or another, and add admonitions and notes to any given procedural step.

Labour time can be attributed to each element either as ‘hard’ stopwatch times, or using synthetic coding for work actions such as MODAPTS, MTM, DBA or MEKBY. The system features an advanced calculation engine that sums up the procedure time, and also adds time for included procedures. The information can be exported in either XML or Excel format, to load into a customer warranty system or use to create reports.

Quality Assurance
Because of quality being key to any customer success, SRTD Portal has built-in tools to assist in a Quality Assurance process. A given user role can review written procedures and provide feedback to the authors. The feedback guides the author to where he or she needs to make a correction in the system, so that quickly he or she can quickly pick up any quality issue and resolve it.

The feedback features customisable issue topics, like Graphic-related issues, STE (Simplified Technical English) issues, technical issues, and so on. This makes the reporting back to the authors clear, minimises the risk of quality issues being misinterpreted, and shortens the lead-time from authored to published procedure.

Workshop Manual Browser
SRTD Portal has a browsing interface allowing any viewer anywhere to access all written procedures including images and all relevant information. This has been developed with a view towards information dissemination from the OEM to its dealer community.

The browser features includes a series of useful and informative innovations. For example, an, 'Is Used On' function clearly shows where any given service repair operation is included as a sub-procedure (for example, ‘Wheel arch liner remove and install’ as a sub-procedure in a higher level ‘Alternator remove and install’ service repair operation).

The Workshop Manual Browser is fully customisable and uses templates so that all aspects of the look-and-feel can be changed to fully comply with any customer’s Corporate Identity. The browser features also model selection and intuitive tree navigation to further enhance its facilitation of easy and straightforward access to workshop procedure information.

Export Capabilities
In order for SRTD Portal to play a full part of any customer organisation, the export function is key to ensure interoperability with other processes and systems. SRTD Portal is build to export all of its data content into native HTML that can be deployed on any web server or printed to a CD/DVD media. It can also export procedures as PDF masters for printing to paper manuals. More important is the extensible support for XML, which can be fully customised to support any given DTD or XML Schema.

Its Benefits

SRTD Portal is hosted by USE* IT using state-of-the-art SAS 70 Type II audited hosting facility, which is an internationally recognised auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Passing a SAS 70 audit demonstrates to the customer, that the hosted solution is in adequate control and safeguards confidential data.

Because SRTD Portal has been built upon the USE* Rich Portal Foundation, the tool can be deployed easily with a minimum of training required, and is a highly scalable solution to grow with. Add-ons are constantly under development, increasing the functionality and support even greater re-use of information.

Like all USE* IT solutions, SRTD Portal offers irresistible value for money because it is inexpensive and flexible. Its modular design means that USE* IT can quickly and easily develop and integrate system modifications that best suit our customers’ business needs.

In addition, the quality of output from SRTD Portal should not be overlooked. With the first user of the tool being a quality OEM brand, the aesthetic quality of data output from the system, and the ability for the customer to apply its branding and identity to it, have been paramount considerations in SRTD Portal’s development.

Our Achievements

After its deployment and integration in just two months, SRTD Portal is proven as a tool for rapid and efficient development of workshop procedures, supporting all necessary steps to published contents.

Looking forward SRTD Portal applications will extend to include strategies to save warranty costs for our customers through more effective structuring of service repair campaigns, and clearer and better access to legacy labour time information for our customers’ dealer networks.

Case Studies

SRTD Portal

SRTD Portal

Create and publish workshop procedures and lab...
Rich Portal Foundation

Rich Portal Foundation

Scaleable modular software development


What’s it all about?
Online RTS

Online RTS

Workshop-manual cued warranty times

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