Multifunctional devices are taking a leading role in information management in organizations, now serving as input, as well as output, devices for electronic content management systems. As the equipment’s role in maximizing productivity escalates, it is crucial to ensure your equipment service provider is working as a technology partner for your business, providing expertise and resources to meet your organization’s needs.

Below are five questions to ask your potential MFD providers to ensure that you are signing with a technology service partner that will seamlessly support and maximize your organization’s productivity.

1. Are the service technicians compensated based upon the increased quantity of service calls to your office or the decreased quantity of service calls to your office?

A true partner for your multi-functional devices focuses on quality and compensates service technicians to ensure they thoroughly understand and solve end-user issues. Compensating service technicians on “copiers between calls” helps ensure the customer receives maximum uptime and productivity. The alternative is compensation based upon quantity of calls, not quality of service, encouraging less than thorough fixes

2. Are key users able order supplies and place service calls easily and efficiently?

There should be options to place service calls and replenish supplies should in today’s mobile, fast-pace of business. Technology is standard in the industry today to allow placement of service calls and supply orders online, mobile device and via telephone. Advanced customer portals are available to allow management of all devices from one secure login.

Furthermore, technology is available to monitor your networked multi-functional devices and auto-ship replenishments of toner and inks. This removes the need to carry inventories and removes the burden from staff.

3. Is a help desk support available and staffed with certified technicians?

At RJ Young, we have proven that an in-house help-desk can clear approximately 15% of service calls over the telephone, eliminating the need for an on-site service call and remedying the end-users issue immediately. To adequately provide this support, a provider will need to staff the help-desk with certified and trained hardware and software technicians.

4. Does the provider have certified technicians to support specialty multifunctional device sales such as wide-format printing devices and high-volume printing devices?  

Specialty multifunctional devices are starkly different than traditional multifunctional devices—from internal workings to the input software to the output produced. This requires specialty service technicians who understand how the equipment functions as well as how the end-users integrate the devices into their workflow. When purchasing specialty equipment, ensure the partner employs specialty service technicians that maintain all current manufacturer certifications. Ideally, the partner will employ specialty service technicians that have significant experience in this area.

5.How is the dealer’s relationship with the manufacturers that they represent, including status of all manufacturer certifications?

All service technicians should carry current certifications by from the manufacturers that they represent. This is non-negotiable for a service partner. It’s simple, your multifunctional devices are key components of your information management infrastructure and it’s necessary to have experts respond on the first call.

From time-to-time, dealer service technicians need to call upon manufacturers for help with unusual technical problems. Manufacturers often give priority to dealers based upon sales volumes of their products. Understand the presence or absence of these relationships when exploring a service partner to ensure you are guaranteed top-notch support.

Today’s multifunctional devices are more than output devices. A true dealer partner will recognize this and provide top-notch support and service for end users. Ask them these five questions to ensure your productivity is helped, not hindered.


Steve Huff, VP of Service

Steve Huff is Vice President of Service for RJ Young. After joining the company in 1981 as Assistant to the President, John Crunk, Steve rose within the organization to his current position in just four years. Steve earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Lipscomb University and is an MBA graduate of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Prior to his employment at RJ Young he had business experience at Bell South and IBM. Within the industry, Steve is known nationwide for the excellent service programs he oversees. He has hosted Copier Dealers Association service management meetings and is often contacted to make presentations to industry groups. A member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club, Steve is very active in the community. He has coached numerous youth baseball, softball and basketball teams and is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic. Steve and his wife Lisa reside in Brentwood, TN and have two children.