We’re all trying to save money where we can these days, but it’s not easy. Gas prices are skyrocketing, grocery bills seem to get higher every time you go to the store, and forget trying to buy — or even rent — a car. The microchip shortage has driven up costs on electronics, and if you’re thinking ahead to putting a video game console under the Christmas tree this year, start saving: not only is the cost of game consoles going to be higher, so are the trees themselves.
With so many costs out of control these days, offering a path to cost savings is a surefire way to make customers happy. As workers continue to return to the office and workgroup copiers, printers and MFPs are getting used again, many office technology customers need to tap into savings wherever they can. For end users that means repairing rather than replacing, and for dealers, that means efficient, profitable service departments that drive savings. Like computers, today’s digital print and copy devices use circuit boards, which can be the costliest parts in the equipment. Repairing those boards or replacing them with authorized replacements can save up to 75% over OEM replacement costs, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind, and to work with the right partner to ensure the repairs go right and customers remain satisfied.
Get a usage report
For dealers, running customer usage reports can help determine what percentage of their equipment is presently in operation. It can also help you figure out which types of equipment are most heavily used, which can be useful when planning repairs. A usage report can be a great tool for helping to identify opportunities to reduce costs, such as by scheduling preventative maintenance checkups when equipment is most heavily used to mitigate future repair costs. A usage report can also help identify repair opportunities. For example, if a copier is experiencing a higher-than-normal failure rate, the usage report can help determine if the equipment is being used disproportionately. This can be a helpful data point when determining whether to repair or replace the device.
Know your parts
Part identification is important, both to ensure the correct repair is made and to help stay within budget. Unfortunately, it’s often easier said than done. Working with a partner that can offer assistance can streamline this process. While dealer service departments usually have experience with specific lines, a repair partner has likely seen thousands of different models of equipment over their lifespan and has broader capabilities when it comes to part identification. Quickly and efficiently identifying repairable parts and ensuring the right part is used makes a huge difference in repair time and costs.
Identification goes beyond the ability to recognize a particular part, of course. On a service call, determining the defective part can take time if the technician isn’t familiar with the hardware – or even if they are. A service and repair partner with extensive experience in multiple types and brands can help your field engineers quickly identify which board is defective — or whether any boards are defective. The more complex devices get, the harder it may be to determine where the defect is, and sometimes what is diagnosed as a defective board may actually be a loose connector or corrupt firmware. Getting it right on the first try saves both time and money.
Make the most of reverse logistics
An important part of cost-efficient repair means having a stock of parts on hand, and reverse logistics can play a big role in this. A repair partner makes it easy to identify repairable parts, collect failed cores in the field and return them to be put into inventory or into a repair. Collecting and returning cores rather than putting them into the waste stream is good for the environment and gives you longer support for the life of the product. Having a closed-loop system is critical when you need to do a repair, as it ensures you have the needed parts.
In tight economic times, every little bit helps. For office equipment customers, the ability to continue to use existing hardware efficiently goes a long way. For dealers, having service departments that can quickly and correctly identify problems, offer fast repair or replacement service, and provide authorized or approved repair for all major vendors can be a profit driver, and create a win-win scenario for dealer and end user.
Emily Rodriguez, Hytec
Emily Rodriguez has been with Hytec since 2007, and is currently Sales Manager, Dealer Division for all the dealers in the U.S. She enjoys being a part of this industry and is passionate about creating strong partnerships and helping dealers thrive in these competitive times.