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  1. #1
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    Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Hello All,

    I have questions regarding how everyone is managing toner stock for on contract customers in the field.

    We are a Canon dealership trying to manage customer toner in the field using ERDS but it is becoming a nightmare.

    - Gen3 machines ver 1/2 report via percentage left
    - Gen3 machines ver 3/x700 series machines report via number of days remaining (ver 1/2 Gen3 machines can't do this)

    We are trying to move forward to a model where we DO NOT leave extra toner in the field and only drop ship toner as required when machine reports to ERDS that it is needed.

    This has become quite challenging lately and we are wondering how everyone is managing this. We are hesitant to leave toner at customer locations (for toner "in" contracts) because it gets lost and we all know how much more expensive toner has become on these new machines.

    Looking for ANY comments on how other dealers are managing this dilemma.

    Thanks for your input in advance.

  2. #2
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Managing Toners Stock in the Field

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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Only leave the customer with an extra black toner and waste toner container if you think they need it.

    Do not leave an extra full set of CMYK just because the customer asked for it. This quickly snowballs into $1,000s of your money in the field.

  3. #3
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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    That's exactly the problem we are having. Wasn't so bad when the toner was cheaper.

    Currently our manager wants to leave NO toner in the field and rely upon ERDS to notify when customers need it.

  4. #4
    Service Manager 5,000+ Posts
    Managing Toners Stock in the Field

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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Quote Originally Posted by freebyrd116 View Post
    That's exactly the problem we are having. Wasn't so bad when the toner was cheaper.

    Currently our manager wants to leave NO toner in the field and rely upon ERDS to notify when customers need it.
    I always leave one full set of toner at their place. if you don't, you're gonna be making a lot of emergency toner deliveries. Mark my words.

  5. #5
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Managing Toners Stock in the Field

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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Quote Originally Posted by freebyrd116 View Post
    That's exactly the problem we are having. Wasn't so bad when the toner was cheaper.

    Currently our manager wants to leave NO toner in the field and rely upon ERDS to notify when customers need it.
    I know nothing about ERDS. On Toshiba A3 copiers, we can set an automatic email toner alert when the copier senses 20% low leaving about 6k pages of toner remaining.

    We direct ship to the customer from the OEM, never handling the toner.

    For high volume customers this may not work but for the average SMB customer it works just fine.

    A4 copiers have much smaller onboard toner capacities, so maybe set at 30% if possible.

    You always need to have some toner inventory in the office because nothing ever goes according to plan all of the time.

  6. #6
    The Wolf 1,000+ Posts mojorolla's Avatar
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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Its been a few years since touching a Canon but you should be able to set when the machine reports, if messages display or not, toner low messages,etc. I do this on all KM and Toshiba machines.
    Email reporting has a high fail rate, especially using gmail or some other free service for SMTP.


    Have you considered a monitoring software like FM Audit ? It works great, cost is not outrageous and it integrates nicely with other, existing systems.


    Failing to plan is planning to fail!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    I worked for a large company that paid commission to their Technicians to bring overstock back that the customers were hoarding. Like five bucks a box or so brought back to restock.

    Eventually they all are seen for service. You can mail me my commission for sharing the idea with you!

    It helps to confirm with a phone call they don't have any on the shelf also when you see the unit asking for some, and they actually need some.

  8. #8
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts tsbservice's Avatar
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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    We use PrintFleet whenever is possible on contract customers. It works well for us but we're small company I could imagine it's tedious or full day job to monitor and deliver. On few big accounts we keep them same model family as much as possible so if they have let's say 20 machines same model we will give them to stock 6-7 black toners and maybe 2-3 complects CMY toners.
    A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost, he who sows courtesy, reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

    Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.

  9. #9
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Managing Toners Stock in the Field

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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    One of the risks of overstocking toner at customer locations is that if you lose the account to a competitor and do not get there quick enough, the competitor will toss your toner. A set of A3 CMYK toner could be worth $400.00+ .

    Many customers do not understand that the toner that is on their property does not belong to them.

    Xerox charges the customer full MSRP+ for any toner that is not returned to them. It is written in the fine print of their service contracts ... which is fair.

  10. #10
    The Wolf 1,000+ Posts mojorolla's Avatar
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    Re: Managing Toners Stock in the Field

    Quote Originally Posted by tsbservice View Post
    We use PrintFleet whenever is possible on contract customers. It works well for us but we're small company I could imagine it's tedious or full day job to monitor and deliver. On few big accounts we keep them same model family as much as possible so if they have let's say 20 machines same model we will give them to stock 6-7 black toners and maybe 2-3 complects CMY toners.
    You would think so but, not really.
    I have hundreds of machines and spend no more than 30 minutes per day on supply fulfillment. Hell, I can even do it from my phone in a pinch.
    I can also forecast months ahead of time based on historical usage. I know how much toner, and PM items I need in the coming months.

    In my experience, getting the machine settings right from various makes, models, series and generations, firmware levels, etc... is the hard part.


    Failing to plan is planning to fail!!!

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