With so much focus on choosing the right device, it can be easy for customers to overlook an equally important part of the conversation: device monitoring. Continuous device monitoring should be a part of every customer’s workflow strategy, and as such, provides an opportunity for you as a managed print services (MPS) provider.
Assets that are down or missing aren’t providing value as they should. Especially in the case of Xerox customers, today’s devices are used for more than just printing. Workflow automation relies on an asset being up and running. If an employee can’t scan a form or application into the digital workflow, that business process – and maybe even a customer relationship – stalls, and productivity comes to a grinding halt.
Channel partners provide the valuable service of helping customers boost – and maintain – productivity, lower costs, and even create new digital workflows, all of which require them to maintain continuous connectivity on all of their devices. That means it is also up to you to start the conversation about device monitoring and educate your customers on why it is so critical to an efficient, productive office.
Why a Loss of Connectivity Means a Loss of Productivity
Losing network connectivity can be a disaster for your customers, resulting in, among other challenges:
- A device running out of a consumable, since it can’t be proactively managed
- Inaccurate or missing billing for a device, due to lack of meter volume
The lack of the specific device location can result in:
- Technicians dispatched to the wrong site.
- Billing issues based on tax implications of a given state, country or province.
- Consumables delivered to the wrong location, eventually leading to a device running out of supplies and downtime.
Starting the Conversation
What happens when an output device moves to a new floor? What happens when it gets turned off? These are questions most customers won’t consider – until a problem arises. By instituting processes to account for the many scenarios that could cause a device to be unexpectedly missing or unmanaged, you position yourself as a trusted and knowledgeable resource to your customers.
Start the conversation by asking your clients whether they have even a simple “move, add, change” process to mitigate these challenges. The next question is, what would happen should they find themselves facing a loss of connectivity, especially with no plan in place to overcome it. What processes would stop? How would productivity be impacted?
It is critical that your customers understand that not every MPS service provider is created equal, and that a knowledgeable MPS advisor should know the location and status of a customer’s assets and how their office relies on them.
Getting Devices Back on Track
Understanding why a device went offline is half the battle. Someone also has to fix the problem. Knowledgeable MPS providers should have a documented process to alleviate the situation. Here are some examples:
- The device has been turned off.
- Contact someone onsite at the customer account to ask if the device is powered off.
- This could be an onsite associate or a key customer contact assigned to the device.
- The device has been moved to another floor or building.
- A robust Move/Add/Change/Dispose (MACD) process maintains the integrity of the fleet.
- Both the customer and service provider must adhere to this process and understand the impact of not following it.
- The network configuration on the device has changed.
- As part of any change management process, the resulting “change” must be reviewed to account for any impact to device monitoring.
- There is a problem on the network impacting connectivity.
- Your provider should have a relationship with the IT group to escalate issues involving infrastructure.
By placing a spotlight on the importance of device monitoring, and supplying strategies for keeping your customer’s devices continuously connected, you cement yourself as an MPS expert customers can trust to keep their businesses – and their productivity – running smoothly.
The next time you have a conversation with your customers, use the practices and policies described here to start a dialogue about continuous device monitoring so you can seize the opportunity to become their MPS provider.
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