5 Signs That It’s Time for a Print Assessment

Print Assessment

Print assessment benefits

Most organizations already understand that print assessments are extremely beneficial when shopping for a new office technology vendor; print assessments provide insights into your current workflows and help optimize your print fleet. Unfortunately, many organizations only perform a print assessment when they are considering changing print vendors. This misses one of the greatest print assessment opportunities: continued optimization and cost savings. So, when should you revisit your office technology with a print assessment? Here are five signs that it’s time for a print assessment.

You haven’t been tracking device usage

If you’re in this boat, you will want to conduct a print assessment soon. If you don’t know how much you’re spending on printing, then you don’t know if you’re spending too much.

You have been with the same office technology for longer than you can remember

Even if you aren’t looking to change vendors, a fresh set of eyes can also offer additional perspectives and insights into new printing trends or cost-saving ideas. Even if you’re just revisiting strategies with your current vendor, a print assessment can help you strategize for the future.

You are outsourcing print jobs

Plenty of companies outsource large and/or color print jobs because it just isn’t cost-effective for them to invest in a high-quality color printer. We recognized this and developed our overflow copy center for companies that weren’t ready to bring that production in-house. However, what originally prevented you from investing in a high-quality color printer may not be applicable anymore. In fact, it may even be cheaper to bring some of those print jobs in-house now! Color costs have decreased dramatically and if your organization has grown in size or profitability, then an in-house device may make more sense.

Your IT Department has changed

Whether it’s a change in leadership or a department restructure, a change in your IT Department is a good indicator that is time to audit your print fleet. Doing so ensures your revised IT Department is familiar with your fleet and it allows fresh eyes to have an opportunity to examine your fleet for inefficiencies.

Your office is overflowing with paper documents

A print technology assessment isn’t all about the equipment. Our office technology experts also analyze workflows to simplify document storage. We provide solutions like OCR capabilities and document scanning technology to help your office thrive in today’s digital world.

Ready for your free print assessment? Fill out our office technology assessment form or call us at (612) 861-4000.

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

best printer repair service in MN

How to Choose the Best Printer Repair Service

You have finally had enough; the printer repair service you’ve been using is slow, gives you poor customer service and doesn’t value your business anymore. You’re ready to move on and get the service you deserve. Congratulations on taking this first step! Whether you are here in the Midwest or somewhere beyond our service area, we are committed to helping you find the best printer repair service.

Choosing a new printer repair service can be daunting, especially if you have been burned by poor service in the past. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of criteria you can use to find the best printer repair service near you.

Service Response Time Guarantee

It almost seems like a no-brainer, but we are always surprised by how many of our new customers come from a printer repair service that doesn’t offer a service response time guarantee. Ask potential vendors about their service response time and what happens if they fail to live up to any promise. If they don’t have a service guarantee or aren’t willing to back up their talk, you are better off looking elsewhere. At Metro Sales, we commit to a three-hour service response time guarantee during business hours for our Twin Cities locations. The best printer repair services will always commit to four hours or less.

Technician Experience and Training

Next, you should inquire about the printer repair service technicians on staff. Ask for statistics about technician training and experience. The more experienced the staff, the quicker they will likely be in diagnosing and fixing any problems you may have. Additionally, look at what network environments, device types or software packages they are certified for. Too often, we get customers who come from a printer repair service that did not have a technician certified in their network environment or trained on their specific device. Having an experienced technician one call away is a great way to ensure your office is always running at peak efficiency.

How will you place a service call?

Another aspect to consider is how you will be required to place your service calls. Ideally, you will want to find a vendor with some flexibility in how you can place service calls. While most companies allow you to place service calls over the phone, many still haven’t caught up to the internet era. Working with one of these companies means you won’t be able to place a service call via the internet or over email. Look for a company with a dedicated internet user portal for service calls. This simplifies the process by saving important device information and allowing you to place a service call at any time.

Locations

You should also look at where the printer repair service has its nearest branch office. While companies will often claim that they cover entire states or regions, the reality is that they usually only have one location in a major metropolitan area. If you choose a company that exaggerates its service area and you live somewhere outstate, you could end up waiting a long time for service. Try to find a vendor with a branch near your location. Or, if you have more than one location, look at where the company’s printer repair service locations are in your state. Even if they cover your current area needs, consider your long-term expansion goals and whether this printer repair service can realistically provide service to any new expansion locations.

Parts Inventory

“I’ll have to order that part since we don’t currently have it in stock.” Unfortunately, you have probably heard those dreaded words a few times already. Suddenly, how long your printer is out of service depends on the shipping time of a part sitting in a warehouse halfway across the country. We get it; nothing is more frustrating than a service call which ends with you being told that you will have to make time for another service call.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Many vendors have taken the proactive step of stocking parts in-house and constantly updating their inventory to ensure the needed parts are always in stock. For example, we carry over $4 million worth of parts in our local Minnesota warehouse. This means that the right part to fix your device is almost always on-hand. When looking for the best printer repair service, ask potential vendors about their warehouse inventory and parts on-hand.

Google Reviews

A company’s Google reviews can be a wealth of information. While service awards are always impressive, Google reviews provide unbiased insight into how current customers perceive the company. From these reviews, you will learn about how well the company lives up to their service guarantee, their level of professionalism and the expertise of their service staff. In addition, look at how the company engages with their online reviews. If you see a company that is responding to reviews and taking steps to address negative customer feedback, then treat this as a positive sign that they will take your business seriously. Here is a good example of how a printer repair service can actively engage with customer reviews.

However, if the company ignores negative reviews, or even worse, doesn’t have any, then you should be skeptical about some of their claims. While printer repair services will usually provide customer testimonials upon request, these customers are usually handpicked by the company to provide you with the most favorable impression.

Looking for the best printer repair service in the Minnesota and Wisconsin? Fill out our contact form and learn how our award-winning service staff can help you get more out of your office equipment. Alternatively, call (612) 861-4000 to talk to a local service expert right now!

Metro Sales Earns 2017 Ricoh RFG Circle of Excellence Award

2017 Ricoh RFG Circle of Excellence

Metro Sales is proud to announce that it has once again received the RFG Circle of Excellence award from Ricoh USA, a global office technology company well known for their extraordinary imaging products.

The award, which Metro Sales also won in 2016, recognizes Ricoh Family Group dealers who have demonstrated a commitment to exceptional equipment support and exceeded Ricoh’s rigorous service excellence standards. Ricoh specifically commended Metro Sales for their technician skill and commitment to measuring customer feedback.

Metro Sales has always emphasized service as demonstrated by their operating mottoes of Service. Service. Service.® and The Right Part, In the Right Place, At the Right Time, With the Properly Trained Technician®.

“Excellence in service has always been central to our business philosophy,” said Metro Sales President and CEO Jerry Mathwig. “We strive to provide our customers with the best experience imaginable and to us that meant building an outstanding service department. Ricoh’s recent recognition reflects the tremendous effort Don Wimer and our entire service staff have put forth in achieving this objective.”

RFG Circle of Excellence 2017

 

About Metro Sales

For over forty years Metro Sales has been partnering with Midwest organizations to reduce printing costs and streamline workflows through innovative office technology solutions. These custom strategies are developed using best-in-class imaging equipment, document scanning services and comprehensive managed print software solutions. To learn more about Metro Sales call 612-861-4000 or reach out via email at secretary@metrosales.com.

4 Powerful Solutions to Common Small Business Problems

common small business problems

Running a Small Business Office Isn’t Easy!

When you’re small business, there’s little room for error; every lost second has the potential to negatively impact your bottom line. It’s a lot of pressure and printing issues definitely don’t make things any easier.

As a small local business ourselves, we appreciate the unique challenges that these organizations face. In fact, we’ve used our experience to develop an approach to office technology specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations.

After forty years of selling copiers, printers and managed print services, we noticed that many of our small business customers were experiencing some common issues. It’s this realization that prompted us to compile the following list of four common small business obstacles and their innovative office technology solutions.


Problem: Overwhelmed by Paper Files

If you’re in a small office, then you know that storage space is at a premium. Thus, as your business expands, and you accumulate more files/documents, you’ll quickly realize how restrictive cabinets full of records can become.

Furthermore, what happens if you lose an important client file or record? In an instant your stress level could skyrocket through the roof. Whether it’s a lack of space for new files, the cost of filing cabinets or the difficulties of working collaboratively, we can all agree that paper filing systems are a mess.

The Solution: Document Scanning

There is, however, a solution to your filing cabinet woes. A document scanning service makes your life easier by converting your old paper files into responsive digital documents through OCR technology. By using metadata to make these newly editable electronic files easy to search, this quickly turns into a competitive advantage.

But what happens if you need to continue to create new paper documents? Won’t your files just pile up again? Well, there’s a solution to this problem as well!

Many local document scanning companies also offer day-forward scanning. Basically, this is a long-term partnership between you and your document scanning service provider. Together you’ll specify periods of time after which the scanning partner will digitize your newly created physical records. Thus, you can keep creating your physical document and just add them to your electronic archive as you go. To learn more, visit our document scanning page.


Problem: Prying Eyes

Using a networked office printer can be a real hassle if you work in an organization that requires you print confidential or sensitive information. In healthcare and government, for example, keeping information secure isn’t merely optional, it’s usually the law.

Furthermore, company HR specialists worry about printing employee information to shared network devices. So what do you do if you want to secure your sensitive print jobs?

The Solution: Secure Print Solutions

These concerns can be mitigated through a variety of secure printing options. For example, software solutions, such as Streamline, can be outfitted to include keycard or pin authorization.

Your office technology dealer can also augment your print fleet with a number of small local office printers. Strategically placing these devices near employees with secure printing needs is an easy way to keep that important information safe.


Problem: Equipment Downtime

Eliminating equipment downtime is of tremendous importance for small businesses. Often these organizations rely on one copier/printer and if it goes down, they lose all of their print capabilities.

Unfortunately, some of the larger equipment service companies don’t understand the dire consequences of this occurrence. As a result, they take their time servicing this equipment or don’t perform adequate preventative maintenance. This results in small business customers finding themselves stuck without their devices at the most inopportune moments.

The Solution: Single-line Service Provider

The good news, however, is that you can avoid this problem by carefully choosing your service company. The key is to really emphasize quality equipment service when choosing to lease a new copier or printer.

Your first point of comparison should be the guaranteed response time. The industry standard service call response time is four hours, but companies with excellent service keep that time down to three business hours.

Also take the time to research what sort of preventative service your company provides. Many companies will service your machine when it breaks, but fail to perform any preventative maintenance. While this solves the immediate problem, it does doesn’t prevent future problems from occurring.

When comparing service departments, ask about the company’s commitment to preventative maintenance. At Metro Sales, for example, our technicians clean our customer’s machines and perform a thorough device audit with every major service call. We call this our Total Call Guarantee. If the company selling you a copier maintenance contract is worth their salt, they’ll have something similar.


Problem: Printing Costs are too High

This issue is especially problematic because most companies don’t even realize that they’re spending too much on printing. Whether it’s unnecessary project outsourcing, the wrong fleet size or just wasteful practices, there’s probably something eating away at your bottom line.

The Solution: Free Cost Analysis

So how do you discover where you’re losing money? After all, you’re already strapped for time and monitoring who’s printing what takes more time away from your core business.

The solution is a free office assessment from an experienced technology expert. These comprehensive evaluations look at your entire print strategy from top to bottom. The expert will monitor your current device usage, workflows and current outsourcing costs.

With this data in hand, they’ll be able to develop a customized proposal to meet your printing needs and minimize excess expenses. Often this includes upgrading your devices, adding additional machines or reducing your need to outsource to commercial printers.

You can even install managed print software to track your long-term costs and device usage, making budgeting your future expenses even easier.


Are you a small business looking to increase your office productivity and profitability? We’d love to hear from you! Contact our team and let us know about your unique printing needs. You can reach our technology consultants at 612-861-4000 or by filling out our information form. We look forward to hearing from you!