There’s a scene in Office Space—a 1999 film satirizing life at a typical mid-to-late ‘90s software company—that has contributed to the movie’s cult classic status. It stars a printer prone to paper jams. As four lowly IT workers suffer under the thumb of a smarmy, callous vice president, the men turn their frustrations into schemes to do in the boss, the company, and, yes, the printer. With no highly skilled, on-the-ball technician to save it, the printer meets its doom in a nearby field, smashed to pieces by a handy baseball bat.
It didn’t have to be that way. Ask Tony Hoffman, who knows a lot about printers, as well as scanners and projectors. As PC Magazine’s analyst and managing editor for these business-critical machines, he knows what makes them work, or not.
“Printers can present a maddening range of problems to consumers,” he wrote in a recent piece for PC on the 10 Most Common Printer Problems. “They run through ink too fast, their output quality may be flawed, they may print at a snail’s pace, paper may regularly jam. Sometimes, they’ll just refuse to print at all, and just sit there while you fume.”
You’re nodding your head. Then he adds, “Fortunately, many of these situations are resolvable.”
Hoffman goes on to point out a number of ways you can resolve typical technical and maintenance issues:
- You can keep a large supply of toner cartridges in the storeroom to ensure you’re never caught short.
- You can learn to check and fix the print settings, shake toner cartridges to get more mileage out of them, and clean inkjet nozzles to improve the look of your printed documents.
- You can master the art of reinstalling a printer’s software as a way to fix the scanner.
- You can learn how to adapt your old printer or non-Wi-Fi model to print from a mobile device. There are new apps from major printer manufacturers as well as third-party apps that can start up scans.
- You can speedup your Wi-Fi printing by putting your printer very close to your router. Alternatively, Hoffman explains, “You could add a wireless extender or a repeater to increase performance if need be.” But, he adds, “Be sure your router is adequate—it should support 802.11n and offer the 5GHz band as well as 2.4 GHz—and that its firmware is up to date.”
- And you can learn to fix the most stubborn of paper jams.
These are all helpful tips. But who is “you”? The receptionist? The part-time computer guy? The manufacturer’s tech support? You?
Maybe you are the person who is dropping everything to fix the digital printer. But all the while you know that your time would be put to much better use minding the store and focusing on your customers, not on the printer you need to complete their project. And customers notice: How well you manage every aspect of your business, including your day-to-day printing operations, says a lot to them and to the general public about the quality of your company and your work.
Now imagine a world where, if your printer is running out of toner, replacement cartridges arrive without your even making a call. What if your machines took care of themselves and afterward a report appeared in your inbox letting you know what had been done to eliminate their problems?
You’ve just imagined Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions’ fully automatic “We Care Program.” Your machines talk to us. They tell us when they’re low on supplies so we can automatically ship refills to you before you run out. We can take care of an issue and follow up with you to let you know what we’ve already done.
It’s not magic. It’s remote accessibility that allows us to manage a customer’s entire fleet of print devices regardless of the manufacturer or who sold it to you. All of your day-to-day printing operations are automated. If your machine goes down at 3 o’clock in the morning, we know about it when we open at 8 and act on it immediately.
Commonwealth provides customers with a 12-month, money-back guarantee along with guarantees of 98 percent up time, four-hour response time, and a two-year new machine replacement guarantee. There’s 24/7 monitoring on all network-connected devices so you’ll never make a service call, call for supplies or take a meter reading.
But a program like We Care is built on more than guarantees. It’s built on trust, especially on the part of the customer. After all, the customer is entrusting us with the management and maintenance of essential machines. It’s our job to deliver on that trust, ensuring you will never again have to lift a finger or a phone to keep your business in perfect working order.
Founded in 1977, Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions is recognized throughout the Washington-Baltimore metro area as an innovator and leader in helping businesses grow through document management systems, managed network services, managed print services, systems integration, hardware and software solutions.