The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


5 Service Areas Key Accounts Must Expect Full Visibility and Visual Results

“Since the burden of requesting service is mine, my vendor isn’t managing much — let alone my account.” — Jene T., IT Director

The late folk country singer Guy Clark, a Monahans, TX native, once noted: “You look out over the West Texans plains, and you can see 50 miles. Stand on a tuna can, you can see for 100.”

For organizations managing a large fleet of copiers and printers, you need 100-mile visibility of your provider's service and support methodologies. Rather than being confronted with a series of storms on the road in front of you (increased downtime, communication issues, inaccurate billing) you should expect clear visibility up front from your technology partner.

Topics: Office Equipment Document Workflow Print Management PrintView Key Acccounts

The 3 'I's of Proactive Service: Ensuring Dominion Over the Domino Effect

Before you begin asking “When can I expect a technician” and “When will my issue be resolved,” a few key questions will shine a light on just how prompt and ultimately effective your copier service might be moving forward.

There’s an old Bizarro comic strip showing an older man leaning up against the Patient Registration desk at a doctor’s office. “I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes!” he scolds the receptionist.

“Down the hall. You want ‘impatient registration’” the woman replies.

Comedy aside, customers today are tired of waiting.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Print Management Productivity Tips and Tools PrintView

Avoid Facing the Great Divide Between Service Level Expectations and Reality

As the landscape changes, so do business needs. It’s a technology partner’s obligation to maintain an open dialogue, to listen intently, and provide complete transparency on documented expectations and business-building strategies. 

In my time as a Solutions Sales Specialist, I played a lot of  “20 Questions.”

My steady stream of inquiries to clients had a strategic intent. The client's answers provided key nuggets of information for:

  • digging into client current (and future) needs 
  • discovering operational challenges 
  • planting new seeds of opportunity 
  • ensuring expectations were being met at all times

If there was a gap between my client's perception and reality, it was my job to stand in it.

Topics: Office Equipment Partnering Print Management Creating Raving Fans Productivity Tips and Tools Legal Tips and Tools PrintView

The 'Paperless Office' Prophecy: How Printing Remains far from Passè in Today's Workforce

The MFP, in many ways a centerpiece in our workflow place-setting, continues to have an evolving role in how paper and digital files co-exist in the workplace.

The “Paperless Office:” It’s been a corporate prophecy scripted upon blogs much like this for years, as offices of all sizes gather tools and solutions necessary to tackle the digital transformation. Without a doubt, workflow is increasingly digital in nature.

However, according to numbers complied in Canon’s recent “Office Insights 2018” release, paper itself isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – quite the opposite. It seems that the paperless office is a gradual, steady process of automation that enables best printing and workflow practices for the foreseeable future.

Topics: Document Management Office Equipment Document Workflow Print Management Canon PrintView

Is it Time to Revamp Your Managed Print Game Plan? 

Specific print management solutions provide various levels of control and can help business owners of all-sized organizations better track usage, from features like Secure Print available directly on your MFP, up to robust enterprise, server-based solutions. 

My brother-in-law, the sales director for a newly-opened auto dealership, strives to find any way possible to keep costs low and minimize wasteful practices as the business gains momentum. We chatted about his recent challenges at a recent Sunday gathering, the buzz of March Madness games echoing from the tv in a nearby room.

Being in the industry I’m in, I naturally asked him about the set up of copiers and printers at the dealership. He struggled to recall the make and model of the machine that sits near his office.  And then he shook his head.

“But I can tell you this for sure: There’s a ton of waste,” he said. “Every day I see copies just sitting on or around the copier all the time. You wouldn’t believe it.”

Topics: Print Management Managed Services Productivity Tips and Tools PrintView

A Real Gem: Minimize Copier Obsolescence with Canon's Unified Firmware Platform

The Unified Firmware Platform allows for version upgrades, including added functionality, to existing models in a same generation on a regular basis.

According to a recent report, the average new car loses 27 percent of its value after the first year.  It’s a course of action that commences the minute you drive it off the lot.  For decades, copiers shared in this vulnerability. As new models were introduced, previous versions were perpetually more obsolete with every new feature released by the manufacturer.

Canon's Unified Firmware Platform changed all that. 

Topics: Office Equipment Print Management Security Productivity Tips and Tools Canon PrintView

14 Questions to Get Your Print Spend Under Control

Most businesses don't know what they don't know when it comes to printing and copying.

Getting the right mix of office equipment is hard for companies. I've been writing recently about the value of assessments and how they help drive good business decisions when it comes to technology selection.

As the year winds down and another is soon to begin, now is a perfect time for thinking about your plans for next year. Do you ever sit down and think about how you could be doing things better?

Only taking the time to plan will get your office in the shape you need it to be to do the best you can for your customers.

Topics: Document Workflow Print Management PrintView

Advanced Training Certifications... Are They Relevant or Just Chatter?

The study found that seventy-four percent (74%) of employees felt they were asked to do things on the job for which they were not properly trained.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, so you say you've got advanced service training certification(s)—so what. If those certifications were worth their salt, everyone would be pursuing achievement, touting the distinction, and donning the emblems."—Naysayers International

As it stands, many service providers don’t seem interested (or perhaps capable) unless such certifications are required or mandatory by the suppliers and manufacturers they represent. Mandatory certifications may ensure compliance but not necessarily commitment to learning—which is the point. The fact is the vast majority of advanced technical training certifications in arenas like the copier industry are dealer-voluntary. So what does it say about those who don’t voluntarily participate in them? Whether cost, commitment or perceived lack of value from, oh the way, the OEM, we think that's a pretty revealing question.

Topics: Partnering Technology Support Creating Raving Fans Technology Training PrintView