The first stop on my mini behind-the-scenes tour of Sony manufacturing, service and logistics facilities took me right next door to our VAIO PC operations here in the Rancho Bernardo section of San Diego.
This is where parts come in for customized, configure-to-order (CTO) notebook PCs purchased by consumers at our e-commerce site sonystyle.com. This is also where parts are received for PC repair and service.
Basically, we do almost everything that is VAIO related at this facility. Small teams of production employees work in “cells” as they finalize the assembly of our notebook PCs. We add colorful PC lids here like on the Graphic Splash models and the one-of-a-kind 007-inspired VAIO notebooks timed to the release of the latest “Quantum of Solace” motion picture in the James Bond series.
Plus, for sonystyle.com shoppers who request free personal engraving, we do that here as well — not only for notebooks but also for Cyber-shot cameras, Handycam camcorders and Walkman portable music players.
In addition to the CTO models that go directly to consumers’ homes and offices, some of the final VAIO production for notebook models heading to Sony Style stores and a few of our major retail partners is handled here as well.
It was interesting to see how the more advanced or challenging consumer inquiries also are addressed here by expert technicians working side-by-side with our VAIO engineers. I learned that the service team will often initiate contact with consumers when a notebook comes in for repair when the techs are aware of other new upgrades that are available.
The service team has also done a fine job of coming up with design solutions for share with product designers and developers to make future VAIO notebooks easier to repair, more efficient to operate or more environmentally friendly. They’ve even done some things to make it easy for VAIO users to fix and/or upgrade their own PCs.
Plus, the warehouse operation here is very sophisticated. It handles sub-assembled PCs and an array of parts and components coming in, as well as the final products going out. Packaging is getting more durable, more specialized for the various retail requirements, and more elegant. There are even gift boxes available.
But rather than read about it, check out the videos from inside the operation on our YouTube page and photos on our Flickr page. As you’ll see, there’s a lot going on behind-the-scenes when it comes to our VAIO operations.