Case study: Rocketship Schools

In the middle of 2019 we started talking with Rocketship Schools (they run 19 charter schools in Washington, DC, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and California). The decided to do a small test run by having us work with one of their schools in San Jose, CA. Their first order was to have us fix 10 broken Lenovo Chromebooks (N21 & N22 series). Having successfully completed that first set of repairs, they added a couple more schools to increase the work load. By the spring of 2020 (just 9 months after their first order), we were working with all 19 of their schools.

At the time of this writing (February 3, 2021), TechUnwreck has fixed 3,519 devices for Rocketship Schools. However, it hasn't all been smooth sailing, and we think that makes a great example of how we do business.
The Challenge
1000's of Broken Chromebooks
In the first year, things were steady but not crazy. We fixed just over 1,000 Chromebooks for them. Then the Coronavirus pandemic hit and they faced two big problems:
  • They couldn't easily collect student devices from March - July. They sent some devices to be fixed, but not nearly the total number being broken.
  • They had ordered a large number of Lenovo Chromebooks for the start of the 2020 school year. Unfortunately, these were significantly delayed and were not going to land in time for the start of school.
In early August we got an urgent call from their Directory of Technology saying they needed to send us about 1500 devices to fix and they needed them ASAP.
Rising to the ChallengeThere was no way we were going to be able to fix 1500 devices as fast as they needed them - which was basically within a few days. So what did we do?
  1. We were honest. The repair capacity we had at the time combined with the number of other schools ramping up repairs due to the pandemic made it impossible to fix 1500 Chromebooks as quickly as they wanted.
  2. We developed a plan. We worked with their technology director and Chief Operating Officer (Carolyn Davies Lynch) to create a spreadsheet of all the schools they had, prioritized them, and started sending boxes immediately so they could mail us their broken devices.
  3. We were flexible. Ground shipping with FedEx is our normal shipping method, but their need was so urgent that we agreed to do overnight shipping to and from their schools to get the process started.
  4. We communicated. During the entire process we setup and shared a custom spreadsheet with their top staff. This included: number of boxes we'd received but hadn't processed yet, a complete list of all the devices that had been checked in (and what was wrong with them), how many devices we had fixed, and the overnight tracking number of all boxes as they were shipped out. This spreadsheet was updated almost daily.
  5. We took action. Beyond what's discussed above, we also brought on board several new repair technicians, a new shipping & receiving specialist, and even brought some staff in from our retail division to help with other school repairs. This was especially difficult because it had to be done during a pandemic and in a COVID safe way.
The ResultsFrom August 1, 2020 (when we first learned of their massive & urgent repair needs) to September 30, 2020 we were able to fix 1,456 Chromebooks for the Rocketship schools (plus a large number of devices from other school districts as well). They were very happy with the results:
"TechUnreck has been an invaluable partner for Rocketship Public Schools. Our schools around the country are able to ship Chromebooks to Jet City and get all sorts of repairs made quickly and affordably. Thank you!" - Carolyn Davies Lynch, COO of Rocketship Schools
And they've continued to work with us to get their devices fixed. From July 1, 2019 to the time of this writing (February 3, 2021), TechUnwreck has fixed 3,519 devices for Rocketship Schools.