Appliance Pick Pack System Overview
Asurion is a global technology solutions company known for their technology insurance and support. Asurion started to offer in-home appliance repairs as part of their services. In order to complete the repairs, Asurion Experts (technicians) need to pick up parts to bring to the customers’ homes. Experts go to their nearest Forward Stocking Locations (FSL’s) to pick up ordered parts and then drive to their different homes. FSL operators receive the shipments of parts, scan them in, organize them into boxes so that when the Expert arrives at the FSL, it is a quick and smooth transition for the FSL operators to hand over the boxes to the Expert.
My challenge was to design a more efficient and organized pick pack system for appliance parts to be used in FSL’s. Two important considerations were to keep it similar to the current cell phone packing system and to update the UI to Asurion’s newer design patterns. The current system can sometimes get confusing with tracking and packing parts for the Experts, and there are many opportunities to improve the user experience.
After numerous meetings and iterations, we designed a simple and intuitive system for FSL operators to easily locate, scan, pack, and organize appliance parts. With the new system, the FSL’s can accept part returns and pack them again for future service jobs.
Figma, Notion, Zoom, Teams
Aug 2021 – Dec 2021
- understand the problem
- ask questions
- meet with stakeholders
- define the strategy
- gather more information
- talk to users
- task flows
- user flows
- information architecture
- present ideas and concepts
- gather feedback and iterate
- user testing
- use cases & error messages
What is the problem we are solving?
We started out with meeting with stakeholders, asking questions, understanding the goals of this project. As a new designer on the team, I had to learn all the acronyms and verbiage so naturally I had a lot of questions about what everything meant. We spent numerous meetings defining what the process would be for this new pick pack system because there were many issues with the current system.
Currently, the FSL operators have a system where they are using excel sheets and physically writing the last 4 digits of the tracking number on the boxes. Then, they are organizing the boxes on shelves with the last digit. So it’s not the most organized system. Appliances have so many different types of parts with different sizes as well. Sometimes parts and shipments were getting lost, and it was hard to keep track of everything.
The challenge for me was to utilize an existing older system created for cell phone packing (a different service that Asurion offers) and create a pick pack system for appliances. I also needed to update the UI to the current AsurionUI design patterns. However, one of the asks was to keep it similar to the old system and to keep in mind the FSL operators are looking at this in a sometimes dark warehouse environment. The reason for keeping it similar to the old system was that FSL operators in different cities could be handling cell phone shipments and appliance shipments so switching back and forth with the systems can be an easy transition throughout the day.
How might we improve the FSL pick pack process in the physical and digital space?
As I was understanding the process of how the shipments come into the FSL, what the FSL operators are doing, what would be the ideal process, I wanted to understand how the users were currently using the old pick pack system.
I set up time to talk to the FSL senior manager who was in charge of all the FSL’s across the country so he could demo how the manager view of the cell phone system works. I was also able to ask him what his wants and needs were as well. He gave me specifics of the information that needed to be displayed on the screen.
I also was able to meet with an FSL operator where he demoed how he scans each item and utilizes the system. I was able to ask him questions of what he liked and didn’t like about the process.
Overall, he liked how simple the process was, and also how it tells him everything he needs to know so there’s very little room for error.
Since this is for the cell phone packing process, the appliance process was actually quite different so we still had a lot to discuss and many decisions needed to be made.
What is the best way to display simple instructions for the users to complete each task?
I wanted to gather my notes, and put together different flows to share with the team so that we could talk about exactly how the process would work.
I presented my ideas through task flows and user flows.
Through displaying the flows, we were able to come up with how each task would be completed and how the user will be able to get there.
We worked on many iterations of how the barcode scanning process would work.
We continuously met to discuss the designs. I came into each meeting with more to share and questions to ask. Through our meetings and discussions we finally designed a process that now needed to be tested with FSL operators.
Testing our prototype and iterations
I created a complete high-fidelity prototype, shared with stakeholders, and set up user testing.
- We were able to test with 2 users, one FSL operator, and one FSL manager
- This process was completely new to them, as they were still doing the tracking number system. I created a research plan and shared it with the UX research team for feedback.
- We asked them to complete 4 tasks
- Start a job and scan 5 shipments
- Scan 2 parts that were returned by the experts
- Restage 2 shipments – one without a WSN and one with an existing WSN
- Restage 1 shipment that has a missing part
Overall the feedback was very positive – both users were very excited about this new process.
Some things they said:
“It’s really straightforward and I don’t think I’m going to have any type of difficulty, you know following this or anyone else would.”
“This would definitely improve [quality of life]. This would allow me to have more control of the inventory and make sure that everything is processed…the way it should be”
“This is going to be nice.”
“This is just amazing. That’s all I have to say. This is something that we really, really need.”
- Terminology and the new process will need to be trained on since they aren’t used to this system.
- They were able to complete every task successfully.
- We observed if they noticed some small differences with instructions, and asked them if they saw the change, which one of them didn’t. After this observation, and after speaking with the UX content team, I decided to change this screen so that it’s more of a clear sentence of what they need to do.
Overall the feedback was very positive as this system helps the FSL operators organize and track their parts & shipments better, so there is less time used to locate things and a much less likely chance of losing parts. I am planning to go to the Los Angeles FSL as soon as they are using it to see how it’s going and gather feedback!