Reduce Printer & Copier Costs with App for Print Management, Part 5: Resources

Get simple print management softwareI hate it when I download an app to my smartphone, and it drains my battery life, needs updates every other day and causes operating system problems. It’s the same thing when it comes to good printer management software for your office.

As I finish up this five part series on the topic of how to track printer and copier use, my final word is that you want an app that’s not resource intensive.

Of course, the first thing you probably think of when I mention resources is cost. A couple months ago, when I blogged about the benefits of a print manager app, my first suggestion was find one that’s free. No monetary resources needed! Again, many printer and copier dealers will offer an app at no cost to you, so why pay for it?

But, beyond money, you should also be looking for print tracking software that:

  • Runs as a Windows service on a Windows-based machine or network. In other words, it should run silently in the background, taking up virtually no system resources.
  • Scans only once per hour. This is a feature you should be able to set per your preferences.
  • Scans a Class C network in 15 seconds and then goes back to sleep. Again, it runs quickly, efficiently and doesn’t bog down your network or PC.
  • Sends data automatically via encryption over the Internet. That way you don’t need to use up any of your time checking or reviewing data. Your copier or printer dealer should send you a simple report as often as you want it.

The advantage of a print management app is its simplicity. For no cost and virtually no system resources, it will give you an accurate snapshot of how much your printer fleet is costing you based on print volume. The data can be viewed at the corporate level or broken down by department or even individual printer or copier.

If you’re a “bean counter” or IT manager, this is beautiful! If you’re not currently using this type of app, what are you waiting for?

If your business is located in Canton, North Canton, Akron, Toledo or beyond, contact us for more information about printer manager software and other managed print services.

 

Communication Is Key to Good Copier and Printer Service

Once you purchase or lease electronic office equipment, you have to live with your dealer’s service department for at least three to five years. That can be a long time if you’re not satisfied with the way the technicians do their job.

I first started providing maintenance and repair for copiers and printers in 1992. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what makes the relationship between a customer and a service technician run smoothly. On my list, communication is #1. From scheduling on-site appointments to working through a major repair, a good technician will keep you updated at all times throughout the process.

Communication is key with service on copiers and printers

However, assessing communication skills up front – before you purchase a copier or printer – may be challenging. That is why I recommend asking these seven service-related questions before you enter into a sales agreement. You’re certain to learn more about the company’s communication practices in the process.

  1. What level of skills and training do your service technicians have? Many dealers will send one or two technicians away for classes from time to time. But if you can find a dealer with an on-site trainer, you can be assured of an even higher level of competency among technicians. That’s because an on-site trainer makes sure technicians consistently receive the latest technical information available, right from the manufacturer.
  2. Are your technicians certified to maintain and repair the equipment you sell? Yes, on-the-job learning is valuable, but every machine is different. Each one requires a certain level of specialized knowledge that’s best gained directly from the manufacturer or a dedicated trainer.
  3. What is your technicians’ average length of service? Everyone is new to his or her job at some point, of course. However, if most of a dealer’s technicians haven’t been with the company long, that may be a red flag.
  4. How long has your company dealt with a particular copier and printer manufacturer? You can learn a lot about machines based on experience and training with previous models. It’s a good idea to contract with a dealer that’s been selling a particular brand for substantial period of time. Your service will most likely be better as a result.
  5. What is your average service response time? Find out what the dealer’s standards are for the time between the phone call and the technician arrival time. It should be one business day or less. If it is not, you may want to rethink things.
  6. How do you handle copier and printer parts? Ask if technicians generally carry common parts with them. If parts must be ordered, get an understanding of the dealer’s process, including requirements for a loaner machine. Think about what lengthy equipment downtime might mean to your business.
  7. What is your average recall ratio? In other words, do your technicians usually fix the problem properly the first time? Find out how many times a technician must be recalled for the same problem per 100 service calls. A dealer should keep a record of this and be able to pull it up on request.

With our service team at Copeco, we emphasize good communication and fast, accurate service with all our technicians. Most have been with us for 12 years or longer, and they know many of our customers on a first-name basis.

I believe a copier and printer service technician has an obligation to clearly explain the problem and let the customer know how and when the problem will be solved. Then, the technician must follow through. When that happens, a happy customer is virtually guaranteed.

If you’re in the process of buying or leasing a copier or printer, make sure you ask your dealer about service before finalizing any contract. If the answers are right, that happy customer will be you.

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