The future of service was on full display in the first of Canon’s five summits.
(Pictured above: Jimmy Martial, product engineer, Canon U.S.A., educates dealers about Canon’s Smart Service Systems.)
Customer satisfaction in the independent dealer community is predicated on providing a high level of service. That’s why a conference such as Canon’s Engineering and Solutions Summit in Atlantic City June 5-6 are important. This event was the first of five summits held throughout the country in June. Subsequent summits have either already taken place or will take place in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Irvine, CA. Over the course of the five summits, 325-350 service leaders were expected to attend, representing 150 independent dealerships.
The two-day summits, which Canon has been offering for the past 12 years, allow independent dealer service leaders to meet, discuss, and share information with the Canon service organization. Each event features two General Sessions and several breakout sessions.
More than 70 service leaders attended the Atlantic City summit to receive a 10,000-foot overview of Canon’s service enhancements and initiatives. The agenda was centered around four key areas—product quality and performance, the Canon SMART Service System, the new Canon Customer Solutions Center, and how Canon will work with service leaders and their service organizations to support Canon solutions going forward. The goal is to lower overall costs in a dealer’s service operations, maximize profitability, and enhance the end-to-end customer experience.
“This meeting is all about you and how we support you to enhance your service operation with Canon solutions,” emphasized Lee Farrell, vice president and general manager, BISG Engineering Services & Solutions, Canon U.S.A., Inc., during the General Session.
“This is the perfect audience for us,” Dave Rice, senior manager, technical marketing analysts, Large Format Solutions Product Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group, told me over lunch prior to the start of the General Session.
During the first General Session, service leaders heard how Canon is using artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive maintenance to enhance their service offerings and received detailed information about Canon’s new service and training programs. This was also the first summit that addressed wide format, specifically the imageProGRAF wide-format system.
The breakout sessions took an even deeper dive into Canon SMART Service Systems, dealer and Canon service automation integration, wide format and production, how to become a production dealer, print volume trends and opportunities, data security and device management, and supporting software solutions environments.
Attendees also learned about the Canon service difference, which Farrell explained is a combination of quality and performance, the Canon SMART Service System, Canon’s Customer Solutions Center in Melville, NY, and its partnership and communication with its dealer channel.
Canon Customer Solutions Center
Canon’s Customer Solutions Center, located in Melville, NY, established in 2017, provides a complete end-to-end service solution for Canon dealer’s service organizations, technicians, and engineers. As attendees learned at the summit, support is not just about the device anymore, it’s cross platform, encompassing the device, software, the network, workflow, and security.
The Customer Solutions Center offers a platform environment that brings together all the expertise and experience of Canon’s technical support center, its engineering team, its field team, and its third-party solutions providers such as NTware and Nuance to resolve issues and more quickly and efficiently support Canon dealers. The Center has more than 200 devices integrated into its lab to emulate customer environments. It receives more than 12,000 calls per month and provides a 94% first call fix rate.
Canon SMART Service System
The Canon SMART Service System represents the future of service, leveraging AI, predictive logic algorithms, Big Data, and IoT (Internet of Things) to analyze data and address issues, in many instances, before they happen. This information is derived from the devices in the field, the service histories of the service technicians at those dealerships as well as from the problem resolution data accumulated by either the dealer’s call centers or Canon’s call center.
Canon is currently working on the next phase of this system, which is integrating predictive logic into a dealer’s backend system where devices are being monitored by Canon’s predictive engine and logic. Based on the data received from the device, service organizations can respond to issues before they happen. This is indicative of how service is evolving from reactive, to proactive, to predictive. The intent is to lower the cost of service and make the dealership more profitable.
A key tool for accomplishing this is Snapshot, an app Farrell told service leaders everyone in their organizations should be using. It links the device and takes information and determines what preventive maintenance can be done with that product prior to a tech going out on a call. It links the tech to the SMART Call Center as well as a knowledge base with data about the device and how it’s being used as well as technical publications related to that device. Last year, techs conducted more than 240,000 searches using Snapshot while as of June of 2018, there’s been more than 112,000 searches.
Security and cloud-based service tools are also part of the future of Canon’s current and future service initiatives. These, for example, will enable faster fleet installation and easier migration between devices.
The production print portion of the program focused on how production is a growth opportunity and what service organizations need to do to support production products in production environments. These devices have different requirements than traditional office MFPs and service is a key differentiator in a production print environment. Canon executives hammered home the point that production print is transforming the business and offers a tremendous opportunity for everyone at the summit.
In addition to addressing the imagePROGRAF wide format printer, Rice spoke about the market opportunity for the imagePRESS C650 light production printer. With Xerox and Ricoh leading in the light production space with an 80% combined market share, Rice noted that this presents an opportunity for Canon to attack those two competitors and capture market share.
Events such the 2018 Canon Engineering and Solutions Summit are essential for understanding what is happening within an area of a dealership that’s key to customer satisfaction and retention. It was fascinating to see first-hand how Canon is educating its service leaders and preparing them and their service teams to provide an enhanced level of service using all the tools and resources available from the company.
Service leaders attending the summit tell Farrell that no other manufacturer offers anything like this.
“The service and support we provide makes Canon standout and is the Canon difference,” he told me, adding, “the most impactful part of this type of summit is listening and learning and taking that information and transforming it into actionable items to improve [service leader’s] service organizations.”
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