Step Away From the Printer and Copier – The Value of a Maintenance Contract for Help Desks
Mon Nov 21, 2016 | Lasers Resource
As the help desk guy in your company, your job is to fix whatever problems your users have when it comes to IT. If it plugs into a wall and breaks (or just doesn't work as it should) then it's your problem.
We talk to IT folks and help desk directors all the time who barely have the time and staff to focus on fixing the IT issues that they're good at – network security, laptop and PC repair, backing up date, etc.. When they also have to spend time troubleshooting copier and printers, that just adds another layer of stress that they don't need.
There are four big reasons why a maintenance contract is better than a DIY approach:
1. These machines are complicated.
2. You don't have the expertise to fix them. Service technicians receive training specific to the equipment they maintain; often each year.
3. Tending office equipment wastes your time from taking you away from what you're good at – information technology support.
4. It costs less over time.
Something's Wrong With the Printer
I'm sure you cringe a little when you hear this.
I've seen research that says about a quarter of all help desk calls involve printers or copiers. If you get 100 calls a day; that's 20 to 30 focused on just those devices. Let's say each call takes 20 minutes to resolve – that's up to 5 hours of help desk time EACH DAY trying to figure out if the printer or copier is jammed, out of paper or toner, has a connectivity issue, a firmware update that has broken various network connections, or something else entirely.
A mid-sized copier is a complex beast that includes two of Murphy's (of Murphy's Law fame) favorite playgrounds – software and complex machinery.
Once you get beyond some of the more obvious fixes (is there paper in the machine, is it plugged in, did the user remember their password correctly, is the toner in correctly, etc.); looking inside of a copier is like a non-mechanic looking inside of a car's engine – you might be able to point out some of the parts, but you've got no idea how to fix it.
Now imagine you have someone else to take care of your copier and printer woes. What additional planning or more proactive support could you provide if you had those 25 hours a week back?
Is There a Downside?
If you are a small office, only have one or two devices, and/or don't heavily rely on your copiers and printers; then a break/fix model might be a better approach for you. If you have more equipment, a maintenance agreement – with regular monthly fees that you can budget for – will usually be more cost-effective in the long run.
So the next time you hear “something's wrong with the printer,” take a quick look to make sure it's not a simple fix. If it's not, pick up the phone and call your service partner and then get back to doing what you're good at – they'll take care of your printer and copier repair.
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