Amac finds Success with Fixably's Streamlined Repair Operations Software

Amac finds Success with Fixably's Streamlined Repair Operations Software

Amac, an Apple Authorized Service Provider and leading electronics retailer in the Netherlands, was facing challenges with their in-house repair management system. The in-house solution, while initially promising, led to ongoing development costs and integration issues, holding back Amac’s ambitious growth plans. Seeking a sustainable and scalable solution, Amac turned to Fixably, a comprehensive after-sales operations platform. COO and Director of IT Operations at Amac, Bas de Vries, shares his thoughts on the journey.

Bas De Vries
Bas De Vries - COO and Director of IT-Operations at Amac

Outgrowing In-House Solutions

Amac, a leading electronics retailer and repair service provider in the Netherlands, has been serving customers for nearly 20 years. For a significant part of their journey, Amac relied on in-house solutions for their repair management system. However, as Amac grew and the industry evolved, they sought a more robust solution.

“We never had the ambition to have development capacity within Amac. We are a retail organization, and we have a huge ambition to grow on the business side of things. But we don’t want to grow the supporting organization when it comes to IT and running an application.”

The increasing costs and resources required to keep the in-house solution up-to-date, particularly with frequent OEM integration updates, began to outweigh its benefits. Amac realized they needed a sustainable solution that could adapt to their growth and evolving needs without the burden of constant development. This realization led them to explore alternative options for their repair management system.

“Even after a few years of using our new in-house solution, the software continued to cause numerous problems, leading to low team morale. Additionally, the cost of implementing the annual GSX integration updates exceeded EUR 10k per year.”

During their search, Amac considered several solutions, but ultimately, Fixably emerged as the clear frontrunner due to a compelling combination of features and advantages, combined with positive word-of-mouth from other repair companies in different countries and directly from Apple.

“We realized our existing solution was becoming highly inefficient and that we would eventually fall behind the competition. Given Amac’s high ambition to be the best, we needed software that worked for us, not against us."

Unlike their in-house solution or other generic commercial options, Fixably provided Amac with access to industry best practices and a broader perspective on repair operations, keeping them competitive and efficient. As a system specifically designed for the repair industry, Fixably offered Amac a range of advanced functionalities to enhance their business processes and increase efficiency through standardized procedures. Additionally, Fixably’s native integration with GSX proved to be a significant value driver, eliminating the costly and time-consuming updates that were necessary with their previous system.

“We made business case calculations for implementing Fixably versus further developing our in-house system. We recognized multiple business processes that we could improve using the standard Fixably workflows. By leveraging just two use cases — direct online payments for approved service orders and the visual mechanical inspection (VMI) tool for device check-ins — Amac could save EUR +50k annually. These savings stem from reduced costs associated with uncollected repaired devices and fewer goodwill discounts due to missing photos at check-in. The business case turned out so overly positive towards Fixably that we were worried how credible it would look to other people reading it!“

The decision between a commercial solution and further development of their in-house system started to look obvious. The shortlist of desired and necessary system functionalities already available in Fixably would require a budget of at least EUR 40k per year to be built in their in-house solution over the next 2 to 3 years.

“There were so many things we could already solve with Fixably. Primarily, it addressed our technical problems and reduced our development costs to zero. More importantly, it has expanded our capabilities while making us less reliant on our development speed. Although we have less direct input on system development, the advantage is that it’s guided by industry best practices. When creating in-house software, we were limited to our own perspective.”

Boosting Efficiency with Inclusive Fixably Implementation

After deciding to go with Fixably, Amac strategically involved key personnel from various departments, including retail store representatives, in the early stages of implementation. This ensured that the system met the needs of all stakeholders and facilitated buy-in across the organization. 

“We had been live for about two weeks, and I was worried because I hadn’t heard anything - no complaints. But my team reassured me that everything was running smoothly. There were some minor issues and necessary adjustments, but that was expected in a project like this. This feedback perfectly captured how well the Fixably implementation was going, especially in the stores.”

Fixably worked with Amac to develop a simplified user interface specifically for retail store employees, making the system incredibly intuitive and easy to use, even for those less familiar with technology. Amac prioritized communication throughout the onboarding process, keeping employees informed and addressing any concerns promptly. This proactive approach minimized resistance to change and ensured a seamless transition.

“Involving store personnel in designing the UI was crucial, giving them a sense of ownership and a positive mindset even before they started using the system. It took only a couple of days for the stores to get accustomed to Fixably, and they found it much better than their previous system.”

After nearly a year of partnership with Fixably, Amac has successfully met the objectives outlined in the original business case. Beyond the initial cost savings from development and process standardization, Amac estimates a 20-30% boost in operational efficiency.

“For us, it's very clear that working with Fixably and having the application running for Amac is a success already. We’ve observed significant improvements, especially in shorter turnaround times. The process, from when the engineer begins the repair to its completion, is now much more efficient than it was before.”

Amac Expands Horizons with Fixably: Scaling B2C Success into B2B Markets

Having met their improvement objectives in B2C operations, Amac is now pivoting towards future growth, actively seeking new avenues for expansion. With Fixably, Amac gains the scalability needed to accelerate its refurbished program and branch out into new markets, such as B2B repair services.

“While our focus has traditionally been on the consumer market, the B2B sector holds substantial potential. The processes in B2B differ, but we can capitalize on Fixably’s existing features, like service level agreements and invoicing, to make significant inroads,”

By transitioning to Fixably, Amac not only overcame challenges within its repair operations but also achieved significant cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and secured a scalable solution to support future growth. This positive experience has bolstered Amac’s trust in Fixably as a reliable long-term partner.

“What I really appreciate about working with Fixably is the open communication. We genuinely feel valued as a customer. It’s crucial for us to know that our ideas and questions are heard. Additionally, with Fixably’s expertise in the repair industry, we welcome their suggestions and insights. I’m confident that this collaboration will continue to benefit us in the long run.”

Amac is the largest Apple Premium Reseller and Authorized Service Provider in the Netherlands. Over time, Amac has grown into a leading omnichannel retailer with 47 branches nationwide, several successful online stores, and dedicated service departments catering to the business market.
Their offerings include in-store Apple repairs, an exchange service, and Apple training and workshops. These services are available not only to consumers but also to businesses, educational institutions, and healthcare organizations.

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