Customer support is the key to longer equipment life, better productivity – and lower operating costs. Your ink logistics provider should provide a programme of remote and on-site services so you get best value out of your investment through its complete life cycle. We look at what you should expect…
Purchasing ink dispensing systems and ink-related software is a long-term investment. But even though equipment is built to last, there are times when you’ll still need your machine vendor for support.
The vendor should have a team of service engineers and IT professionals available to help you get the maximum value out of your equipment and software – over a working life that is extended through customer care.
Here, then, is a guide to the support you should expect from your service provider over the life cycle:
A smooth transition to the new ink logistics set-up depends on your staff understanding how the equipment works, and how to get full functionality out of the software packages – from Day One.
- For both hardware and software, service engineers provide an intensive day’s practical training on-site when the equipment is installed – covering functions of the system plus procedures for maintenance and cleaning. An advanced training programme can be booked a few months after installation.
- Online software training is also available. This can also be arranged before installation, so users are already familiar once it’s commissioned.
2. Operation and maintenance
It is important to keep the equipment in good working condition to ensure efficiency and productivity. During installation, the users are instructed to carry out daily cleaning routines (like changing cleaning rollers and detergent) and routine maintenance. Standard operating procedures (SOP’s) are available for reference.
Planned service visit: hardware check-up and software maintenance
A periodic site visit by the field service engineer makes sure all precision parts and software are performing properly. This includes:
Overall system check-up
- Dispense valve revision (if needed/applicable) and mechanical and automated calibration
- Software updates – ensuring ink management software and machine controls software are running on the latest version, fixing bugs and adding new functionalities
- Database backups – creating a copy of the ink management database.
The customer support centre specialists handle the user’s questions and resolve problems, using Teamviewer. The support centre has a secure communication link to every installed dispensing system which is connected to the Internet.
“As maintained” machine status
Your service provider keeps a record of your system’s configuration, plus a maintenance history, updated in real-time. This not only saves the owner administration costs – it also enables the provider to more easily diagnose a problem.
Eventually wear and tear means components have to be replaced. Expect dispatch within 24 hours of order: it’s important to have a fast supply or original spare parts that carry a full warranty.
3. Retrofitting and upgrading
It’s likely that a printer’s ink needs will change during the life of the dispenser. Switching to a new ink supplier or new ink set may require additional base components, more powerful pumps, valve changes or the addition of agitators. Modular ink dispensing systems, like GSE’s Colorsat range, can be adapted relatively easily – but it’s advisable to let your vendor’s field service engineers perform this for a smooth changeover.
After years of use, the ink management software and machine controls hardware and software can be upgraded to the very latest standard of technology, to extend the life of the dispenser even further.
As long as a dispenser is functioning correctly, it is within its useful life. But equipment that fails to meet efficiency or reliability standards may have to be replaced. Equipment vendors, like GSE, can assist with the decommissioning of the old dispenser. In many cases, a trade-in can be proposed and the old dispenser will be refurbished for reuse.
A support and service contract with your vendor is likely to give the best value. You can expect a planned visit, unlimited telephone support, free licence updates on software such as GSE Ink manager, and discounts when ordering spare parts, retrofits or services.
Professional customer support, provided remotely and on-site, makes a big impact on overall operational performance:
- Increased reliability and less risk of downtime – meaning better productivity
- Longer equipment life for the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) – for example, there are over 600 GSE ink dispensing systems that have been operating for over 20 years!
- Your staff confidently use the full functionality of the dispensing system, and use their time profitably
Ultimately, the quality of support depends on knowledgeable, responsive support professionals who are always ready to hear from you whenever you need them. Certainly, at GSE, we welcome calls from our customers, as the earlier a problem is reported, the easier it is to solve!
To learn more about how support can bring value to your operations or if you have a question in response to this blog, contact us, on email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +31 575 568 080. Sign up here to receive regular updates on this blog series.