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The Service Department: How You Can Prepare for the Future

Last month, we discussed the current environment of our industry and the challenges facing it. In this issue, our next step is to examine the opportunities that exist within the service department and how you can leverage them to remain relevant going forward.

Learn From Those Leading the Way

When we look at the leading players in the acquisition market, what do we see in common? They get deep and wide with the customer. Marco is a very good example of that process—if it touches a Cat 5 cable, it sells, supports and services the products. Recently, it became the IT department for a hospital. Who is going to sell the hospital anything, other than Marco?

The more you can provide clients with all the devices and services they need or want, the more secure your relationship with that client becomes. Anyone who wants to take the client away from you will need to service and support all the equipment you provide.


One of the presentations at the BTA national meeting in Orlando focused on a new acronym: managed technology services (MTS). The presenter discussed why this is the direction everyone should move in. Small- and mid-sized business clients need technology, but they do not want to have to deal with, or worry about, their technology.

To implement MTS successfully, your company will have to sell, support and service a wide variety of devices and environments. In most cases, the exact range of devices will change with the dealer. The key is to get so embedded  into the client that the pain of replacing you is more than the client wants to deal with.

What will it mean for our industry? In many cases, this evolution will reduce the number of surviving companies. Dealers that want to stick solely with copiers will most likely go the way of typewriter dealers that did not want to adapt.

Get Involved in the Decision Process

It is vital that service department members contribute to the development of plans. All the things we’ve discussed so far will involve them, while also requiring the service team to develop new skills.

Work with owners and senior managers to help them see opportunities and challenges. One way to facilitate this involvement is to educate yourself on what’s happening in the industry. When you identify trends and possible opportunities you can benefit from, you gain respect and credibility.
Reading trade journals, participating in professional forums and attending trade events are some of the things you can do to acquire the necessary education. If you fail in this, managers who don’t understand the impact may make decisions you have to live with.

You can continue reading in the free Members area or in ENX Magazine

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