Automated Service Impacts Profitability26 Nov, 2007 By: Michael T. Stramaglio imageSource
Automated Service Impacts Profitability
Office equipment dealers can take steps to lockout the competition and fight
back against commoditization and deteriorating margins by embracing the M2M
(machine-to-machine) revolution. M2M is a rapidly growing industry and provides
companies the ability to manage, automate, integrate, control and exchange
information across the enterprise, including systems, people and physical
One of the most well-known M2M technology groups is remote asset management
solutions and related services that enable office equipment dealers to enjoy
more effective fleet management, develop proactive service strategies and even
create more streamlined sales processes. By utilizing such leading-edge
solutions, dealers can seamlessly integrate their home office and field
employees with the devices they must sell, monitor and support — putting
critical information into the hands of decision-makers when and where they need
it to deliver the best possible outcome.
Remote asset management solutions can drive profitability. Here are a few
examples that may make a difference in your bottom line.
Eliminate Manual Processes with Automated Meter Reading
Whether it’s a handful of devices in a small shop across town or an
enterprise-wide fleet of the latest and greatest copier/printers at a Fortune
500 powerhouse, automated meter reading can save time and money, as well as
improve your customers’ satisfaction. An automated meter read solution removes
the human touch from the equation, and in doing so, removes errors and delays.
The result is an accurate invoice which makes clients happy. What’s more, a
timely invoice (and hopefully a timely payment) should make your accounts
receivable department happy with decreased days’ sales outstanding. And,
finally, an automated process will allow your technicians to focus on more
profitable or revenue-generating activities, while your back-office staff
devotes their time to more pressing matters.
There are plenty of solutions to choose from in this category, but the wisest
office equipment dealers will choose an automated meter reading solution that
can span the spectrum of makes, models, connected/unconnected devices, back-end
systems and communication technologies.
Utilize Remote Diagnostics to Know Before You Go
Along with all of the powerful capabilities that copier/printer
manufacturers and software developers have brought to market for the end user,
they’ve also put in some bells and whistles for office equipment dealers and
their service departments. Technicians and service managers can leverage
advanced feature sets to increase the effectiveness of their visits and
first-call fix ratios. When available, troubleshooting through the web or phone
can even eliminate a notable percentage of on-site service calls. And, if you
add in automated service call creation, office equipment dealers can really turn
the tables on costly call centers that are eating away at their bottom line.
After all, world-class service is about correcting problems as quickly as
possible with little or no customer involvement. Supported by the appropriate
remote diagnostics system, device failure notices can be immediately received by
the service department, expediting the opening of a service ticket and its quick
resolution. This type of high-level asset management can not only eliminate
unnecessary visits and their associated costs, but can also reduce
copier/printer downtime — perhaps even allowing you to resolve problems before
your customers are even aware they exist!
A higher level of service should help increase the overall profitability of
your service organization, making it a must-have in today’s competitive
Secure Aftermarket Revenue with Remote Consumables Management
When the mission-critical report is due and the ink has run dry, your
dealership is ultimately what suffers. Sure, the client should be blaming the
administrative assistant, but in the back of their mind they are wondering why
they didn’t have what they needed to get the document done…and your name will
come to mind. If not at that precise moment, it will pop into their head when a
competitor comes calling with a better, automated solution.
What can you do? Implement a system that remotely tracks device consumables
usage and real-time levels, and then delivers this information directly into
your back-office system. In doing so, your service organization can quickly and
effectively respond to customer needs — without any effort from them. At the
same time, you will be able to eliminate overstocking of consumables at customer
sites and improve gross margins, all while streamlining their inventory
management. Taking things a step further, you can even allow your sales team to
review customer consumable replacement patterns, to more proactively address
their needs with bigger and better devices.
An M2M enterprise system that drives heightened customer service and
aftermarket revenue. Sounds like something you should be in the market for.
The Impact of M2M on Your Bottom Line
There is no doubt that M2M enterprise technologies such as remote asset
management systems and services can have a significant influence on the
day-to-day business of every office equipment dealer in the industry. The
question is, when will you join the automation revolution…before or after the
dealer next door?
Explore the opportunities around you to continue to improve the way you sell,
service and support the copiers and printers at your customer locations. A
remote asset management solution can speed response time, eliminate downtime and
create satisfied clients for a lifetime.
Michael Stramaglio is CEO and President of MWA Intelligence, Inc.,
headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. MWAi, is a leader in M2M (machine to machine)
automation/solutions & tools that support the exchange of real-time information
between hardware assets, mobile workers, mission-critical office departments,
and more. Visit www.mwaintel.com or