Does it drive you crazy when a repair station makes excuses about your repair order?
You’ve sent your aircraft part/s in for repair, yet you spend more time than you’d like trying to get a valid update.
You have to call, email, and follow-up to get status on your repair work order. Once you get a hold of someone, the reply sounds like…
“We have so much in line right now that we can't give an accurate TAT.”
What does this mean? Does it take 5 days to repair one part? How many parts are ahead of mine? 5? 10? 15?
If it takes 5 days and there are 5 repairs ahead of mine, that means it’s 25 days away from the repair being done.
You need more specifics from your repair station.
Ask them, “Since there are more units ahead of mine, what’s the exact day I can expect a work order quote from you?”
You trusted them with your business, so they need to be more clear on what to expect.
When you ask if they charge an evaluation fee if your unit goes BER or Return As Is, they say “well it really just depends on how much time we put into the unit...”
This drives our Repair Manager, Madison Rodrigues, crazy because in her words…
“I think it should be a simple yes or no answer. This response from the shop leaves the amount up in the air, meaning it could really be anything.”
She also gives a great tip on what to look out for when working with a quality repair partner..
“If a unit is BER, and we’re sending a replacement unit....friendly repair partners will waive the eval fee on the first unit since they know a replacement (more work) is coming. Not-so-friendly shops will charge the evaluation fee no matter what and say they have no wiggle room on waiving those fees.”
“Let me get with our technicians..”
While sometimes this is an accurate, honest, and valid answer (we all aren't mechanics, I get it)…
Other times people use this as an excuse to take 2-3 more days to give you an answer.
Your reply should be, “I understand. Can I have an update from you by the end of today?”
How they respond to that will be a clear indicator of their intentions.
“Evaluation has been done, it's just in pricing now.”
This is another response that drives Madison nuts because, if something was sent out for a functional test, the repair station can tell you right away if it passed test or not.
She thinks similarly about when a unit is sent in for repair or overhaul and understands the need to source piece parts and put a quote together.
But the repair station needs to update you on how the unit looked in evaluation. Was it in really bad shape? Does it need a few parts? Or a lot of parts?
She says, “Give me something!”
Receiving a physical copy of a quote shouldn't take 2-3 more days after evaluation is completed.
“Our test bench is down”
I’ve heard this more times that I’d like. Things break. Test stands go down.
I get it.
It’s not that the test stand broke, it’s the vague reply you get.
There’s usually no date of when the test stand will be fixed. There are no insights on how--or when-- they’ll resolve the problem.
That’s why, when they say their test stand broke, it’s frustrating.
Ask them, “I understand that test stands break, so how will you be handling this and ensure my repair is done on time?”
One option, even though most repair stations don’t want to do it, is outsource the repair to another MRO so you can get your repair completed.
“Oh we had to re-order some more pieces last minute , it's going to be a few extra days...”
This drives anyone dealing with repairs CRAZY because it happens so often.
After a while, you catch on to which repair stations use this to buy more time.
When you start asking exactly which pieces are still needed/waiting on/had to be re-ordered, there's hesitation. If they can’t answer these simple questions, something’s wrong.
“There was a delay in getting the piece parts to repair your unit.”
This is a similar excuse, but the difference is that, these are the piece parts the repair station knew they needed in the work order quote.
We work in a field that has a complicated supply chain. Long OEM lead times, obsolete parts, and the list goes on and on.
Delays happen. There’s no escaping them.
But what they should do is update you before you have to ask. If they’re really good, they’ll explain everything they’re doing to minimize the delay.
“Hi (your name), there’s been a delay in getting the piece part for your RO #. We’ve updated the shipping method to Priority Overnight to get this piece part sooner but we’re looking at another 3 - 4 days before we get it. I know this doesn’t help resolve the delay but I’ll do everything I can to get it done as soon as possible.”
You getting this type of reply makes you feel better about who you’re working with, and it gives you a specific number of days for the delay.
If you don’t get updates like this, ask them, “Since there was a delay in you getting the piece part, what’s the exact day we can expect this repair to be completed?”
“We no longer have capabilities on this unit”
This one is a direct failure of the repair station.
They should have an updated capabilities list and/or have options to resolve the problem.
How they help you resolve this problem will show you what they value most.
This one is the worst. Unfortunately, it’s also super common.
You’ll often find that repair stations ignore you rather than just communicating bad news.
Of course, no one likes giving or receiving bad news, but it’s necessary to resolve the problem.
If all you get is silence, there are no additional questions you can ask to get a clearer picture of the status of your repair .
You need to consider working with another MRO.