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How to Build a Successful Laser Printer Service Department

Building a successful printer service platform starts with some basic steps.

Today, printer service organizations have a real opportunity to cut costs by implementing the right service program that can achieve reduced costs and improved service. Analysts at Gartner Inc., for example, explain that organizations that manage office printing and copying costs effectively can save 10% to 30% on a recurrent basis.

The key to success is constructing a service platform. To build it, get to know these five essential elements and prepare to ask the right questions.

To effectively manage a successful print services platform, an organization needs:

1. The right printer technical training

2. Strong printer technical support

3. Quality maximizing toner

4. Remote monitoring software

5. A strategic parts plan

1. The Right Service Technician Training

Moving from a cost-per-page model to a managed print solutions program requires training.

The right training must equip techs to handle problems in the field. And expensive training doesn’t mean that it’s good it must be delivered at the right level or your techs won’t understand it. Service technician training can run anywhere between $350 per class to $600 per class.

Before choosing a provider, get answers to these tough questions:

• What are the printer technicians’ qualifications?

• How many techs have received repair training?

• What is their printer training philosophy: quick fixes or a true understanding of how the printer works?

• What format does printer technical training take? In your offices? Online? At their training center?

• Can they “train the trainer” so you can bring the program in house to help your bottom line?

We would rank tech training as the #1 priority. Printer Repair Training is your number one priority in setting up the element of your service program. Having the proper printer repair training ensures that your service organization has the expertise to handle the transition from break fix work toward this more cost efficient model.

2. Strong Printer Technical Support

But even the best trained technicians will run into challenging repairs. Where will your team turn for help? You need good Printer Tech Support to fully handle every situation. In building your support system find out:

• What kind of Printer Technical Support exists and how is it structured? How is the team evaluated?

• How many technical support calls does the team handle in a day? What about in a month?

• How responsive is the printer support team? What is the team’s call waiting time? Which hours do they operate?

• How do they keep their skills current?

• What is the cost of using the Printer Tech Support resources? Some do not charge at all and include the support as part of the over all package. Others might charge by the hour which could impact your profitability.

3. The Right Printer Toner

The right service implementation also requires the right toner to maximize profit and printer uptime. In a monochrome printer, use a compatible OEM toner. For color, use OEM toner. High yield cartridges with up to twice the yield of a standard cartridge can dramatically cut your cost per page and improving margins. Costs can drop dramatically.

As you choose your laser printer toner provider, ask these questions:

• Can you obtain high yield, OEM compatible toner? How about a full line of standard and extended and jumbo cartridges?

• Is it American-made with absolutely no imported cartridges?

• Is the toner made with virgin cores?

• Is it made according to ISO-certified processes?

• Does it come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee? Is the warranty at least two years?

• Does it offer excellent print performance – crisp text, sharp graphics and accurate color? Once you’ve determined that the quality is excellent, the pricing should still be 15% to 40% less than OEM toner.

4. Remote Monitoring Software

Choosing the right software will maximize the efficiency of your tech team. Using the right remote monitoring software will improve tech performance, and the bottom line.

Here are some questions to consider:

• What tools come with the software? Does it have a mapping function?

• Which models does it pick up?

• How does it handle local devices?

• Does it calculate toner coverage?

• Does it capture energy consumption?

• What's the R&D team look like?

• How stable is the software manufacturer?