One of the biggest challenges that service managers face is that of territory management. This task is challenging because there is no standard pattern that will fit every dealer. The service manager has to balance a variety of factors to achieve optimum results.
Territory Management is a Necessity
In discussing this concept with dealers, most find that while they have territories, they need to improve their results. For the dealers thinking they don’t need to develop territories, I would recommend reconsidering that position. If you don’t, you will never achieve the optimum results you could with properly designed territories.
I have heard service managers express concern with technicians developing a strong relationship with a customer and the potential risk that a technician will take customers with them when they leave. I will counter that a good technician-client relationship helps cement the client to the dealership. If properly nourished, the technician-client...
The one critical factor that is often overlooked is training for future needs. Most dealers train for their immediate needs and don’t worry about future needs. This is a very short-sighted perspective.
The one critical factor that is often overlooked is training for future needs. Most dealers train for their immediate needs and don’t worry about future needs. This is a very short-sighted perspective. Training for future needs positions an organization to make better business decisions and scale for growth. With consistently evolving industry parameters, new digital technologies and a push for advanced business intelligence, training to meet today’s requirements is only part of the train game – future training is the goal.
Here are 5 reasons to start future training – today.
Our Industry is Changing
One reason to train for the future is the constant change in our industry. Think back 20 years, and we were all selling analog copiers, stand-alone fax...
I remember talking to a dealer principal several years back and asked him for his e-mail address. He responded that he didn’t like computers, and told me to just send it to one of his admins.
I knew his business was in serious jeopardy, and in fact, it failed a few years later.
The point of that story is to emphasize that we are in an ever-changing business environment. And in many cases today, dealers and service departments are reluctant to get into the solutions business. Some have tried dipping their toes in and gotten burned; others just want to be old-school dealerships. But we must remember that we can’t afford to get trapped in the current way we do business, or we will soon be out of business.
Office equipment today is designed to be part of a network’s infrastructure. Devices are no longer output-only or scan/fax/print devices, but now can—and often do—serve as portals for access to applications. If your company is not currently...
At some point in almost every service manager’s career, the need to promote someone to the position of service supervisor arises. By the time we need to promote someone, we are normally so busy that we don’t have much time to invest in the process.
What happens many times is we find our best technician, and we tell them that they are going to be the supervisor. We then wish them the best as we walk away. Too many times, that is where the process ends. This often results in an unqualified supervisor who has been set up to fail, and we may have ruined—or lost—our best technician.
There are a number of reasons this is not an optimal approach. First, just because someone is the best technician, it doesn’t mean he or she has the needed qualifications to succeed as a supervisor. The individual may not even desire to be a supervisor but may take the position expecting the training and support that will lead to success. Without that training, the tech is now in...
Imagine you are traveling and decide to stop for lunch in a town you have never visited before. You are hungry for a burger and you have two choices: a local place and McDonald's. Which do you choose? Most people choose McDonald's. Why? Because they know what to expect, and they always get what they’re expecting.
How does McDonald's achieve this level of consistency? By having a well-documented process to produce any menu item. Each team member is trained to make everything the exact same way every other team member makes it.
What Is a Uniform Process?
A uniform process is a series of steps or actions taken to achieve a specific goal or result. For our discussion, we will talk about the series of steps taken to accomplish a specific task in your company. When technicians follow the process closely, you can expect a consistent result.
A process is like a recipe. You need to follow the recipe if you want to achieve uniform results.
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This article originally appeared in ENX Magazine
An old curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” The idea being that boring times were times of security and peace and interesting times more associated with trouble and danger. In our industry, I am concerned that interesting times lie in our near future.
Portents of the Coming Change
I have had the opportunity to visit both GraphExpo and the BTA meeting in Asheville recently, and I walked away amazed at the things I saw and heard. At GraphExpo, it seemed that several of the manufacturers devoted more booth space to devices outside of the traditional production print environment. There was also a significant shift toward inkjet devices both in the high-end industrial printing environment as well as toward specialty devices like wide format.
At the BTA meeting, one recurrent topic was Managed Network Services (MNS). Both during the dealer roundtable discussion and during presentations this subject was addressed as...