We understand that there are a lot of choices when selecting a vendor to support your office imaging requirements. Certainly, you will find a wide array of offerings and pricing schedules. In the search, typically buyers will have a list of capabilities and applications that must be fulfilled in order to know if the device is the right fit. Checking off the boxes on a "needs" list is the easy part. But, don't forget that service support will need to have boxes on that list as well.
Just as any car will get you from point A to point B, it will only perform that task for so long before it requires technical intervention. Printing equipment is very similar. It is important to understand the service and support methodology of the servicing vendor. It will extend the life of your investment. What questions can you ask to ensure you maximize reliability and uptime? Below, are just a few.
How does the support team manage response times, first call fix rates and overall uptime percentages? This is where we have seen clients make critical errors in their acquisition plan. Low cost providers offer a screaming deal on the equipment and service plan cost. But, once the unit is installed and your team puts a load on the system, it will need support. Think of it this way: you buy the unit once and then need service many times over the years. Service is the key to ensuring that your internal operations stay up and running. Don't be fooled by cheap service plans.
Why pay more for service? You want an organization that has a solid infrastructure and a tenured factory trained technical staff that uses only OEM parts. You will benefit from their investment. When evaluating a vendor, ask about their dispatch system and triage methodology. You will need to know where you will land in their queue based on the issue you have. Once on site, what is their first call fix rate? One of the most important metrics. A service team that can hit in the 90%+ will have a sophisticated parts replenishment methodology. Moreover, it's important to work with a vendor that does not track the success of their technicians by the number of service calls the completed each daily. Remember, it's not quantity, it's quality. Look for a vendor that evaluates technicians by the productivity of the device between service calls. For example, if the call is for a feeder jam, once fixed, the technician should evaluate the rest of the system and replace any parts getting close to max capacity. This "total-call" approach will enable more prints between service calls and a higher uptime percentage. There is also a benefit to using OEM parts. Yes, they cost more. But, they're designed by the factory and offer full manufacture escalation support if the unit has repeated issues.
The next time you are looking to upgrade your imaging device, don't look for cheap solutions. Vet your vendor. Ask about their service infrastructure, what their service call approach is and how they measure the success of their staff. We look forward to you asking us. We are proud of our team. We invest in their success and put value in the clients we support.