Optimizing Territory Management - One of the Keys to Efficient Service

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...

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Developing the Plan to Improve the Mean Copies Between Calls

In our previous articles, we discussed the reasons why Mean Copies between Calls (MCBC) is the most important metric, and we looked at some of the issues that impact that value. In this article, we want to start trying to find ways to address the issues in the service department.

Start at the Top

The commitment to address the issue and change your philosophy has to start at the most senior levels in the company. In most cases, the goals, metrics, and practices will be significantly different than your current ones. If the owner/president is not behind these changes, it may be impossible to get the changes made.

The senior management team needs to understand that there may be bumps in the road as you move forward, but if you stay the course, the end result will be more profit, happier customers, and easier sales.

Articulate the New Philosophy to the Team

Once this decision is made, it is important that everyone involved understands the plan and why it will help them. You must...

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Toner Control and Service Profitability

When a copier dealer replaces a competitor’s machine they usually also pick up a supply of surplus toner that is stored at the customer’s site. These supplies in many cases get discarded or sold wholesale. While this is good for the dealer installing the new equipment, it is an unnecessary expense for the previous vendor.

When examining why service profitability is suffering, problems with supply expenses may not surface. This can result in pressure on technicians for more productivity and to reduce parts costs.

Why it Matters

Toner control affects two issues. One is the need for capital, and the other is dealer profitability. From the capital perspective, if the average toner costs the dealer $30, and they have 10,000 units in the field, and the average unit has two extra cartridges, that is tying up $600,000 of capital.

From a profitability standpoint, that same $600,000 has been written off and would show up as an unneeded expense. This could have an impact on a...

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Creating a Uniform Process for Your Business: How to Do It and Why

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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Training is the Key to Service Success

One of the most important factors in the success of a copier dealership is the commitment to training. In my time working with dealers, one common factor in each of the most successful dealers is their investment in training. The successful dealers make sure that each technician is trained on the products they service.

Benefits of Training

Training will benefit both the employee and the employer. In many cases, a dealer will say that it costs too much to send all the technicians to training. Dealers may decide to only send one technician to the factory school and hope he can train the other technicians.

This ignores the fact that an individual may only retain 30% of what they learned in class. If the technician comes back and remembers even 50% of what he learned, the technicians that he teaches will be down to 25% of what they need.

Training benefits both the employer and the employee and we will discuss these benefits.

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