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  1. #1
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    The Zen of Copiers!

    It is not easy being in the copier industry!

    There are a lot of players, there are a lot changes, there is a lot of technology, there is a lot of constant learning curves, there are a lot of difficulties, there are a lot of customers who do not not understand the complexities of the product we are expected to install like it is a bread toaster (1980s), there is bad customer behaviour, there are a lot of profitability issues, there is mobile printing, there is cloud services, there are dishonest salespeople. There are honest salespeople who did not ask all of the right questions. There is a shrinking market for print volumes. There is a race to the bottom with A4 product and gross profit margins.

    The more complicated the mouse trap that we sell, the more time it takes to install. It takes more time to try and understand what a customer issue is because the solution often does not involve turning a screwdriver anymore, there are corporate re-organizations, there are new policies, there is stuff that makes our brain explode everyday because corporate (mostly old white guys who have not sold a copier in decades) do not understand how complex the box is we sell and install. They think with rose coloured glasses that because we have a better box we can expect higher sales and more revenue from the Service Dept.

    To be in this industry, you need a lot of skill. Yes, Buddha san, a Zen like skill! A Jedi warrior skill! A workaholic dedication to your employer or business.

    There is burn-out. There is only so much you can do in a day. There is only some much technology you can keep in your brain.

    Let us kick off this discussion with your description of how your copier business captures click revenue from scans. I have read in 2018, 58% of the time the most common copier task is not copy ... is not print ... is not fax... but scans, of course. Email, scan to a network location, Office 365, to the cloud!

    My bet is $0.00 revenue from scans dominates the industry. Sure, you might burn up a few $ in rubber feed tires but it is much more about the cost of understanding the customer's IT environment and how to resolve issues.

    Post your thoughts!

    What is your hourly charge for Professional services that are not strictly break/ fix and when do they kick in?

    I am currently in favour of three strikes and you are out, meaning three free IT related service calls over a 60 month lease and then it becomes billable.

    ... and do not forget, have fun out there because for most of us, we cannot retire anytime soon.
    Last edited by SalesServiceGuy; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    you nailed this one what have said, it is so true but the tech still gets paid the same dollar to do 100 times more

  3. #3
    Indentured Servant 500+ Posts D_L_P's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    Good point about some out of touch ol' white guy dictating to everyone how to make money or sales. I also agree we all need to know a lot more to do our jobs and yet keep an even keel financially.

    I remember for a while contracts that included charging for scan click overages but due to push back it was dropped. I think something like managed print might work. Make labor free but ADF parts not included in the contract. As far as I know scan revenue is 0.00.

    We give the 1st 15 minutes of phone/remote service free then $95/hr after that. We have the ability to modify the times/billing code and wind up giving away a lot of free time. Its hard to tell the difference between the customers that will raise hell over a legit extra $50 charge or the ones that don't bat an eye at a $600 install charge.

  4. #4
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    In the fine print of my National employer's service contract, it says, "All scans are to be charged to the customer at the rate of one click for every 10 printed pages".

    Before you get excited about that, if the customer makes 5,000 prints in a month and you charge $0.010 per page, that means $5.00 per month. Not much money really when a customer is using the scanner 58% of the time while standing in front of the copier.

  5. #5
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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    Not so much scan related , but.......have been asked to install two new Lexmark printers (color somethings) with the finisher, HDD, WiFi, IPDS, side tray, keyboard and 3000-sheet tray. EVERYONE (sales included) thinks this thing can just be put together and rolled wherever they feel like putting it.......like a piece of furniture!!!

  6. #6
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance15 View Post
    Not so much scan related , but.......have been asked to install two new Lexmark printers (color somethings) with the finisher, HDD, WiFi, IPDS, side tray, keyboard and 3000-sheet tray. EVERYONE (sales included) thinks this thing can just be put together and rolled wherever they feel like putting it.......like a piece of furniture!!!
    Well!

    1. That is likely a massive install task from start to completion.
    2. We have not sold toasters (analog copiers) in a long time. So no, to complete a pro install, you do not just snap your fingers and it all goes smooth. At many times you might have to combo use your skill and Google it.
    3. Your task Buddha San is to complete this install to the best of your abilities, to carefully report to your service manager the skills you performed and look forward to the next challenge.

  7. #7
    IT Manager 1,000+ Posts bsm2's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    Here in Florida Scans are NO Cost, However IT services are BILLABLE. IE print drivers, New PC, Setup scanning to File or Email. Change of Internet providers. Install correct print drivers etc...... Also charge for remote service at a reduced cost vs onsite. No charge if remote does not fix issue or requires an onsite visit.

  8. #8
    RTFM!! 2,500+ Posts allan's Avatar
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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    here they just "order a toner" and try their luck when you drop it. Please do this and that..
    Can't stop and help even if its billable.
    Whatever

  9. #9
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsm2 View Post
    Here in Florida Scans are NO Cost, However IT services are BILLABLE. IE print drivers, New PC, Setup scanning to File or Email. Change of Internet providers. Install correct print drivers etc...... Also charge for remote service at a reduced cost vs onsite. No charge if remote does not fix issue or requires an onsite visit.
    So what is your specific $ charge if your preferred, large, financially very stable, 3rd party ISP changes something without notice and your copiers do not scan to email any more and you have dozens of customers that are down.

    1). TeamViewer to the rescue. You do not have to drive. Actually, every install that I do, I make sure one computer has Teamviewer installed. I pay approx $450.00 per year for one business license for the service. Free TeamViewer times out at about 800 minutes. Then you gotta pay! It has saved me $1,000.00s in travel costs plus convenience and happy customers.
    2). Your customers do not all call at the same time ... a Xmas holiday surprise (no thanks) and lower scan to email volumes (people are on vacation) due to the Xmas holidays.

    They are all on cpc hardware contracts. It is not the copier's fault... of course, it works 100% A-OK.

    What would you bill per hour$

    BSM2, what % of your customers are using Office 365 right now?

    I am into installing TeamViewer on at least one computer everywhere that I go.
    Last edited by SalesServiceGuy; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:11 AM.

  10. #10
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    The Zen of Copiers!

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    Re: The Zen of Copiers!

    I think the Zen of copiers in 2019 will be .... apps, Office 365 (the Cloud) and Remote Service!

    Copiers are turning into cell phones to match users most common experience.

    Office 365 is killing the SMB marketplace with a fast growing market share.

    People touch their cell phones way more than their copiers.

    Copiers LCD panels should reflect the customization of a cell phone's LCD display. (Yeah, Toshiba eBN2 just released product, we are rocking that space, way way ahead of everyone else!)

    Apps require a new skill set (you gotta learn this stuff, maybe for free, in your spare time), hopefully you can invoice it, get paid for it.

    Many customers want the lowest price but they do not know what they are not getting for $10.00 to $20.00 more per month!

    This is the Sales Guy talking, not the Service Guy!

    Some customers want a 2019 fully cloud connected experience, 60 month lease and do not want to be caught with obsolete equipment because what really is $50.00 to $100.00 bucks a month more to your company! A 2019 copier is a robust, secure business tool that when properly configured and maintained will help the productivity of your company grow in ways more than money. Customer want a service provider that can handle the future!

    However, many customers want value price, reliable 4 hour onsite service for a new, not used A3/A4, PCL6 print, scan to email, copy, fax, mobile. They do not want the moon they just want to know that their service provider is reliable and well funded.

    I am beginning to find even 3 year old equipment is starting to fade away in appeal as it just cannot do .... apps and O365!

    in 2018/2019 approx 20% of your customers are now subscribing to Office 365 and growing fast.

    I use TeamViewer a lot. Saves me a ton of money and time and makes customers happy. Pay for a business subscription and get you money back in the first month because you did not have to drive.
    Last edited by SalesServiceGuy; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:14 AM.

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