Can adding a dedicated scanner to your menu of product offerings reduce MFP service calls?
When it comes to scanning, you can think inside the box, meaning the scanning function within the MFP, or you can think beyond the box, meaning adding another box—a dedicated scanner—to the mix.
That’s not so crazy an idea, particularly when you consider a customer’s scanning volumes.
If a customer is only scanning a handful of pages a month, or rarely, then there probably isn’t a need for a dedicated scanner. If that customer is scanning thousands of pages a month, or scanning more than they are printing, all that scanning could be adding to the wear and tear of the MFP’s document feeder, resulting in a higher than usual number of service calls and a loss in service revenue.
That lost revenue would be the result of hits taken on the service contract, particularly when the dealer must service the document feeder more than the printer on that multifunction device.
That’s the message that Joe Odore, product manager for Panasonic scanners, has been diligently relaying to dealers at industry events such as the regional BTA conferences. No doubt, Odore has an agenda and that agenda is to sell more scanners. No matter, he still presents a compelling case that shouldn’t be ignored, and a case that even Perry Mason would have a difficult time challenging in a court of law.
Case in point a dealer who discovered that his customer’s scan count was eight times as high as the print count.
“They were doing boxes and boxes of paper but not printing, they were just digitizing [documents],” reported Odore.
The trend towards increased scanning will only continue as more businesses digitize documents. It’s likely that some of those businesses aren’t giving a second thought to using their MFP for scanning, especially if that was one of the features touted by the dealer during the original sale. Indeed, what does an MFP do? It copies, prints, and yes, scans.
After selling the customer on the MFP concept, the dealer must then return to the scene of the original sale and explain that, yes, the MFP scans, but was never meant to scan at these volumes.
This situation can’t be blamed on the dealer. When you think about how long dealers have been selling MFPs, few can lay claim to being Nostradamus like prognosticators, predicting a world where digital documents will one day rule.
To offset instances where the MFP has become the default scanner, Odore encourages dealers to take a closer look at the service histories of their MFPs in the field to see if they can pinpoint irregularities when it comes to service calls on the document feeder. If they see a trend, that could be a signal to dig deeper and find out what’s going on with that machine.
“Once you draw attention to the problem more people will start looking at it and realize they really do have this problem,” said Odore.
The solution for making up for lost service revenues caused by excessive scanning at the MFP is a simple one, according to Odore—adding the cost of the scanner to the customer’s lease. The dealer can help the customer better understand the need by being honest and emphasizing that what the customer originally purchased was an MFP, a multifunctional printer, not a multifunctional scanner.
“When you blow that down on how many service calls they’re making, it might even be more cost effective to offer the customer a scanner before the service contract even ends,” said Odore. “The dealer may stop the bleeding without giving the customer any additional cost, or a small cost increase. If they’re in a three- or five-year lease, a thousand dollar scanner is only a few bucks more a month, which anybody can easily digest.”
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