View Poll Results: Average number of devices per a service engineer?

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  • 100 devices per a engineer.

    4 9.52%
  • 150 devices per a engineer.

    6 14.29%
  • 200 devices per a engineer.

    8 19.05%
  • 250 devices per a engineer.

    7 16.67%
  • 300 devices per a engineer.

    4 9.52%
  • 350 devices per a engineer.

    5 11.90%
  • 400 devices per a engineer.

    2 4.76%
  • 450 devices per a engineer.

    0 0%
  • 500 devices per a engineer.

    3 7.14%
  • More

    3 7.14%
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  1. #1
    Engineer to machine ratio's

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    Mar 2012
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    Question Engineer to machine ratio's

    Had this question bugging me for some time so thought it would be interesting to conduct a straw pole on the subject. I seem to remember that back in the day of analogue Photocopiers I seem to remember the ration of about 150 machines per an engineer but we have moved on dramatically since then. Machines have got more reliable with longer times between service intervals and higher parts yields, however on the flip side of this machines are now doing higher print volumes and perform more tasks then just copying putting more wear on the machines and opportunity for breakdown.

    So over to you guy's what are your thoughts on machine to engineer ratios in todays markets?

  2. #2
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Sunshine State QLD.
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    What is an acceptable machine-per-technician ratio ?
    Realistically I've been wanting to know what other people
    think about this for a long time.

    Using the current Australian year 2014 as a bench mark.
    o There is 365 days in the year.
    o There are 104 weekend days.
    o There are 13 public holidays (2 fall on weekend) = 11 public holidays 2014
    o This leaves 250 real working days per year.
    o 250 days x 7.6 hours per day gives 1900 work hours per year.
    (The above does not account for 6 day working week.)

    Using a 5 day working week.
    Assuming an experienced technician can travel to and from and an is able to service/repair 4 machines per day.
    This would give a working ratio of 250 days x 4 machines per day = 1000 machines per year for each Techician.
    This does not account for recalls/call backs, return for parts/toner or courtesy calls etc...

    Okay let's use some real numbers.
    Using an average per week, I can service/repair 6 machines per day.
    My average day is 9 hours long. I only get get paid for 7.6 hours no b/s this is fact!.
    This would give a ratio of 250 days x 6 mach/day = 1500 machines per year.
    Given my day is 8.6 hr ( 7.6 work hours) x 250 days = 1900 work hours per year.
    1900 hr/year divided by 1500 mach/year = 1.26hrs (1'15") work hours per machine.

    1 hour 15 min per machine minus 15 mins travel time would give an hour per machine on site per single visit.

    The boss believes I can fix/service every machine in one hour, not accounting for recalls/parts.
    I told him he can stick that idea where it fits.
    The reality speaks for itself. --The facts are I'm doing an hour of unpaid over time per day to fit the bosses 1hr per machine policy.
    I told him straight up; "pay me my proper wage or I walk!..... "no b/s, fact...!

    Concluding :
    Is a Technician ratio of six machines per day a working reality long term year in year out ?
    No it's not, if you wish for your Technicians to still be working for your business.
    Realistically(due to large area) I'm able to maintain a travel-time / machine-base area of 600 machines which accounts for recalls/parts etc...
    In reality this equates from 1500 machine per year to 600 machines per year and still have a some form of a life.

    What if we could count the stars... , what number would you stop at...?"
    [Exchange manual acquisitions, PM's CTN members only. ]
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  3. #3
    Step aside, noob 1,000+ Posts EarthKmTech's Avatar
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    I don't know what it's like in your part of Australia, but if your being asked to work an hour extra per day unpaid I suggest you find another employer.

    Techs are valuable, and good ones are VERY hard to come by in Australia.

    If you cant get what you want in your own state / territory, don't be afraid to move - people like you are in short supply and this boss needs a reality check - good luck finding a replacement I say.

    If at first you don't succeed, try the way I told you how to do it in the first place.

  4. #4
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts rthonpm's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    In my mind, there's no hard and fast ratio really since there are so many variables, such as how territories are split up, types of machines, specialists on the team, customer related issues like security requirements, connectivity needs, customer environment, and so on. The key is to have reliable metrics to be able to tell when your techs get stretched too thin, as well as listening to them. You'll hear a lot of complaining, but if you work to make the little things better that trust will help in the long run as they'll be partners in fixing the bigger issues.

  5. #5
    Technician 500+ Posts
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    Sep 2011
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    rthonpm is right. There is no across the board number. You would have to factor in a ton of variables. Like segment of machine, are they in a metro or rural area, does the tech carry a car stock that would prevent multiple trips, total volume of all copiers, color versus B/W, are the machines placed properly (volume range), age of equipment, the list goes on. I have a friend that goes to one building every day and services that company every day. That is all he does. Right now its all new equipment. As time goes on he will be spending more time servicing equipment.

    The key, in my opinion, is to get in the field with the techs (ride along). That is where you will see what needs to be done in each techs territory. You might just find out what they like and dislike about their job.

  6. #6
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Engineer to machine ratio's

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    Dec 2010
    Albany, NY
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    I just counted, currently 224. a year ago it was 278, it keeps fluctuating. I'm fortunate that my machines are close together in a city, average drive distance is 10 miles or less, although with traffic, it is usually like 20 minutes...

  7. #7
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Engineer to machine ratio's

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    Jul 2008
    Northville, MI
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    The problem I see is all the extra b.s. the want us to fit in - watch corporate videos at RWorld, more non-technical courses (to cover their asses legally), more documentation of work done, do sales work and drum up more business, etc. It's what we called in the military "mission creep".

  8. #8
    Master Of The Obvious 10,000+ Posts
    Engineer to machine ratio's

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    Jul 2007
    Lapeer, Michigan
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    Unless you break it down by segment or by clicks, I see no way to make any sense of it. I have two machines now running a total of 1M clicks per month. How do you figure that in?

    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.

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

  9. #9
    ALIEN OVERLORD 2,500+ Posts fixthecopier's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    The Republic of Pineland
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    At my best, my territory was 350 contract machines and all the paid calls in that same area. That was maybe another 150 to 200 printers, plottrers and shredders. There was another 650 machines on another part of base that we had a "parts changer" looking after. One week a month he was supposed to do meters and I had all of them. Both contracts are gone, I still have loyal paying customers but sometimes struggle to stay busy.

    What BC said about clicks is most relevant. I had a few low meter machines that may have had 1 or 2 work orders in 5 years. The ones in the millions got a lot of personal time as they got age on them.

    The greatest enemy of knowledge isn't ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. Stephen Hawking

  10. #10
    RTFM!! 2,500+ Posts allan's Avatar
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    Re: Engineer to machine ratio's

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcat4866 View Post
    Unless you break it down by segment or by clicks, I see no way to make any sense of it. I have two machines now running a total of 1M clicks per month. How do you figure that in?

    I have 2 running 400K each like clockwork, gotta love those B1250's. Not long ago i consistently got 650K on 4 B601 machines they need attention every 75K.That customer got a Hiedelberg 5 roller litho press. @#$%!

    We know focus on volumes. Places like schools and training or education, the elusive CRD's.


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