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  1. #1
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
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    Feb 2008
    Mechanicsburg, PA
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    Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    So I was wondering how many of you service machines in an environment where the shop is setup to allow walk-in customers to do their own copying.

    Kind of like how Staples is set up. There's the person behind the counter with the larger equipment and then several self serve units.

    Do you like that idea? What machines are best suited for that work? Does it make sense to offer it? Thoughts?

    In that manner how many of you as a dealer also offer copying services? I know of some that do that but it's pretty rare around here.

  2. #2
    Master Of The Obvious 10,000+ Posts
    Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    blackcat4866's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Lapeer, Michigan
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    Re: Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    Years back my employer had placed Canon NP-6221 copiers in a grocery store chain. I would say that it was a fiasco, but that would be an understatement.

    Many of these locations thought it would be a good idea to place the machines in the middle lobby with the shopping carts, so they could be slammed with carts, and experience temperature changes varying from 30F to 70F several times each minute. On several occasions I worked on the machine whilest standing in (3) inches of snow.

    The Canon NP-6221 had a soft control panel, with a sticker over the buttons. Endusers would use ball point pens to poke through the op panels sticker and pound the panel into submission. That sticker was not available separately, so many of these machines got a new operation panel assembly every visit. When they weren't pounding the panel they would pry off the cosmetic cover where the optional card reader would fit, and jammed coins into the panel until it shorted it out. Part of the panel installation became epoxying all the cosmetic covers on permanently.

    Speaking of coins, I fished coins out of the bypass tray, op panel, inner front cover, and any place there was a gap wide enough to shove a coin. Those coins never came even close to covering the cost of the damage.

    These machines were jammomatics like all of that series, so if you got 100 copies between visits you were lucky. When our company attempted to raise the click charge, the customer threatened to choose a different vendor. The first stage was to stop covering the control panels on the contract, so the machines began to look like war casualties, with only a few remaining buttons actually working.

    It was a great day when they took their business elsewhere. I cried tears of joy. =^..^=
    If you'd like a serious answer to your request:
    1) demonstrate that you've read the manual
    2) demonstrate that you made some attempt to fix it.
    3) if you're going to ask about jams include the jam code.
    4) if you're going to ask about an error code include the error code.
    5) You are the person onsite. Only you can make observations.

    blackcat: Master Of The Obvious =^..^=

  3. #3
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Sunshine State QLD.
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    Re: Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat4866 View Post

    It was a great day when they took their business elsewhere. I cried tears of joy. =^..^=

    Ah yes the Coin-operated Supermarket machines.
    Back in that era, it was my job to build the coin-op circuit boards for these POS.
    I end up modifying the original schematic design which improved some of the
    problems of customers bypassing the coin box for a free copy.

    The supermarket machines are gone thank god for that.....
    What if we could count the stars... , what number would you stop at...?"
    [Exchange manual acquisitions, PM's CTN members only. ]
    [] |N | | o | M | Δ | t | π | | x | []

  4. #4
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts
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    Dec 2007
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    Re: Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    Had the same issues with a large grocery chain also poor location and abuse. One Monday morning had 6 of them call in with coin-op problems. When I got to the first one coin changer was wet and had shorted board. When I got to second one same issue they were also working on the soda machine coin changer talked to them and they had also been having issue for about a week on coin changers. Seems as if someone was taking a syringe with water and squirting into the coin area apparently some vending machine would empty the change into the coin return. None of the copiers had emptied the change but all 6 had to have the board replaced.

    The copiers had a counter for the vend and also counter for copies made with bypass key the vend copies were 10 cents cant remember the exact amount but think we got 6 cents and customer got 4 cents for vend copies bypass was about 3 cents charge to store. Ideal was store would use bypass for their copies and make enough money from vend to pay for bypass copies. One store didn't understand this process and had huge monthly bill they had made over 4 times the copies on bypass as vend. After some research and a confession by store employee they had been using bypass to make copies for friends and also for a local business.

  5. #5
    Not a service manager 2,500+ Posts Iowatech's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Re: Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    Libraries in small towns aren't that bad (if they take some ownership of the machine at least), but like everyone so far said, grocery stores are troublesome even out here on the periphery (coin box jams, overflows and disconnections, anyone?). I suppose that's why most of the time I see copiers there any more they are small and disposable.
    I could see perhaps running your own specialty shop, although you'd need someone there to supervise the people who have no business running such a machine. I'd think you'd want small and disposable machines in the public area at first, until you get a handle on who your customers were mostly going to be at least.

  6. #6
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Self serve customer walk up environments for copying/printing

    I get your idea. You're in the document business why not open your doors as a full service copy center.

    Maybe find a local Kinkos manager and buy him a beer, get a general idea of what kind of numbers you're talking about.

    But remember Kinkos also runs FedEx and they sell a ton of office crap as well not sure how much actual copying business they still do.

    You might also be seen as a true print center. Wedding invites, business cards, full color flyers, posters. Some of that equipment is a way beyond your basic copier.


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