CPR Cell Phone Repair is one of the leading electronics repair companies with over 200 franchise locations across the country – one which is located just down the road from eTech Parts. Recently I was lucky enough to sit down and speak with Jenifer Schultz, owner of the CPR located in Overland Park, KS. She shared with me a little about her life, the work involved in owning a CPR franchise location, and how she feels about being a woman in the technology industry.
Q: How long have you been in the technology industry?
I’ve been in the business world for almost 25 years and with that I’ve always been involved in technology in some capacity. I think in every position I’ve had, technology has been a key part of what we’ve done. Before CPR, I worked for a franchisor selling their business model to entrepreneurs who were looking to go into business for themselves.
Q: You’re a busy woman, and surely it’s ever changing, but can you describe a typical day in the life of Jenifer Schultz?
I am extremely fortunate because I have an amazing team of people. The technicians that we have here are exceptional with proven success repairing cell phones, tablets, gaming systems and laptops. And while they are responsible for repairing devices they also come up with some of our sharpest marketing concepts. We work together to come up with growth strategies for our business while also taking care of each customer that walks through the door. I think anyone who’s been involved in a startup knows you pretty much wear every hat, and I have a very generous group of people who are willing to do the same thing. Whether it’s opening up in the morning, bringing in customer devices, performing repairs or calling customers when the devices are ready, that describes the job of every person here.
Q: Shannon, your Operations Manager, has taken over the day-to-day operations at CPR. How long did it take for you to allow someone else to run that part of the business?
Not very long! I think everyone has something in which they’re exceptionally good. With the group of folks we have in this store, each has a really unique expertise. While we all have the ability to know our strengths, we are also able to recognize each other’s talents. Shannon is the Operations Manager here and her ultimate responsibility is managing parts. That includes everything from knowing our current parts inventory, what parts we need to order, and what’s defective or has been broken and needs to be replaced. Shannon is on her game 100% as she realizes the critical role parts play in our business. She is in constant contact with everyone from the technicians to eTech to the FedEx driver. My confidence in her ability to do this based on her previous work history has been high since the get-go. Our entire team works together so that no one is left to flounder, including myself.
Q: What do you think about women’s role in technology?
Half the population consists of women, but less than 25% of the technology workforce is made up of women. I’ve pondered why that is, because we know without a doubt a diverse group of people working towards creating something is going to give us more innovation and creativity, which is what we need to stay competitive in the world. I think there are a lot of people, especially women, who victimize themselves by saying a lack of childcare or the glass ceiling is the reason for so few women in the technology field. Ultimately, we as women must have confidence in ourselves and we have to believe in ourselves. I have a choice, as do you, that with every obstacle I face I can either use as a way to victimize myself, or use it as a way to get stronger and prove myself. The only barriers in life are the barriers that you set for yourself.
Q: How has eTech Parts helped your business grow?
CPR is extremely dependent on providing repairs with quality parts. We have a six month warranty on any repair we do, so if I don’t trust and know that the company providing those parts to me is willing to stand behind their product 100%, I will not succeed. I have 100% confidence – not by blind faith but by proof – that eTech Parts stands behind every part I purchase from them. The eTech Parts defect rate is lower than any other vendor in the business, but no one is perfect; you’re going to have parts on occasion that are defective, but when you do, eTech Parts is there to offer options for replacement parts or full refunds. eTech Parts does this with a sense of urgency that mirrors my sense of urgency to keep my customer happy.
Q: Tell me the importance you place on running your business with integrity.
While you can say we’re just working on devices, and a cellphone is a cellphone, ultimately 80% of business people run their business off their smartphone. Their phone is how they check their email, talk to their clients, keep track of meetings, and stay on top of business. For other people a cellphone is the only way to stay in contact with family and friends. Recognizing this helps create a sense of urgency to offer the highest quality repair to customers in the least amount of time possible.