Name change clarifies organization’s purpose

Jeff Erdmann

For the last 15 years, the engineering services department of the Office of Information Technology hasn’t lived up to its name.
Because they haven’t actually done any engineering in the last decade and a half, officials decided it was time to change the name to Computer Repair Services. In the past year, they’ve also implemented a World Wide Web site to help people repair their computers, provide new marketing initiatives geared toward students and offer an emergency repair service.
“I wanted to come up with a catchy name,” said CRS executive assistant Mark Zierdt, who spearheaded the name change. “Something so people could find us and know we fix computers.”
However, despite the name change, fewer University departments use the service because there are more people who know how to fix computers in each department, Zierdt said.
But Zierdt said more students have been using the service because of new marketing initiatives that use University logos.
For example, the service worked with the men’s athletics department to collaborate on a logo to print on fliers that advertises a repair service called GopherCare.
GopherCare is a three-year extended warranty on Apple, Windows and personal computers. For example, a warranty on Windows or a PC costs $99. Because Apple has hundreds of potential problems, prices vary.
With these new marketing initiatives, the repair service has also added an expedite service, which is used for emergency reasons. For $75, the service will have a technician at one’s residence within four hours after a call. The service has no special deals for students, but is more affordable than privately owned companies, which usually charge at least $100 for an emergency call.
The service has recently created a Web site at www.umn.edu/crs to help people with small repairs and provide an outlet to e-mail questions to computer technicians.
“Having a Web site that is interactive creates a lot of awareness within the University community,” said CRS executive assistant Renee Wright.
With these new marketing moves, repair service officials hope to reach out and extend their services to more of the community.
“I think they’re (CRS) very reliable,” said Harriet Martin, senior office supervisor in the Institute of Human Genetics, which uses the service. “They know their stuff.”