Companies want a printer or multifunction printer (MFP) that not only can be easily repaired in the event it breaks down, but avoids breaking down or causing user issues in the first place. A device that fits this description has a high level of “serviceability.”

This post will discuss the concept of serviceability as it pertains to office print devices, highlighting how different features contribute to their ability to be of service as well as useful.

Availability of a print device

Availability is an important aspect of serviceability, even if this printer/MFP characteristic is not always recognized (or at least recognized in all its facets). If a device is unavailable, it cannot be producing output in one’s office environment. Unavailable can mean the device is out of stock, and completely unavailable in the time frame that is required.

Or if a device has been purchased, unavailable could refer to the access users have to the device. For instance, the device could be in a location that is difficult to access, restricted to only certain users, or frequently out of operation.

As for a device that is out of operation, organizations want to be sure their provider can deliver the right service at that moment. This is reflected in Keypoint Intelligence survey results showing service and support is a top buying criterion within the United States (51%)—ahead of factors like price, software compatibility, ease of use, and security.

Reliability of a print device

The frequency of a machine being operable is called reliability. If a printer or MFP becomes inoperable, it is not only useless but taking up space where a more reliable device could be located. One of the biggest causes of reliability is a poorly designed device. The device may not have been built well enough to handle the customer’s use of the machine—even if it is within the parameters of the device’s specifications.

While it is to be expected that a mechanical or electronic device will fail at some point, organizations and/or their service providers want to ensure the incidence of these issues is kept to a minimum. It can also be helpful for them to estimate when and how frequently device failure will occur using predictive analysis and failure metrics.

In other words, they can monitor and gather information about the reliability of devices both in the test lab and in the field, use this information to establish the anticipated failure rate of different components in the device, and then act accordingly (e.g., through preventative maintenance).

Usability of a print device

Usability is yet another measure of serviceability. Plainly stated, if a device is difficult to operate it may be shunned by many users–rendering it useless and unserviceable. This may be the result of a poorly designed user interface (UI), a lack of features, or a lack of training on device operation.

In terms of features, customers are advised to ask their printer/MFP supplier about the existence and ease of use of capabilities like productivity apps, software utilities, self-maintenance, and interactive help—among other features focused on improving the user experience.

If the problem is a lack of training on device operation, organizations can ask their service provider to conduct training sessions, provide a help desk function, or even keep a simple operating card near the device.

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