All Copiers- AND Copier Manufacturers are the Same at this Point……….. Right??
Having been in this Copier/Printer/Scanner/Fax Industry for over 30 Years now, this is something I’ve heard from several Customers. I remember in the ‘90’s, when we at CBM (Commercial Business Machines) represented another Copier Manufacturer OTHER than Kyocera- They were a very well-known Copier Brand and the Copiers they made were quite good for their day. That’s why we here at CBM were an authorized Dealer for them at the time.
When speaking of Copier Companies- Whether referring to the Local Dealer that is responsible for the end-user experience like the Team here at CBM is, OR whether we’re talking about a Copier Manufacturer like Kyocera- The difference between them is NOT found when all is going well……. When everything is working like it’s SUPPOSED to. The distinction is found- when things are NOT going as planned. That’s what happened then, in the late ‘90’s………. and then again last week. This most recent Story is truly AMAZING and demonstrates why Kyocera is indeed different…… And it is NOT about the Features- The “Bells & Whistles” that most of us really do not care very much about. It IS, rather, in how we at CBM, with Kyocera’s support, handled a problem……. Especially, when it IS REEALLY difficult. But first, allow me so share a brief story as to WHY we moved from the other Copier Company to Kyocera in the first place. This happened about 20 years ago now.
In the ‘90’s, we were doing just fine selling Copiers from the other Manufacturer. Obviously there must have been a problem and- Here it is ~ With ANY Product made these days- From a Car, to a Copier, to a TV to a Mobile Phone- At this point- Most Manufacturers of anything involving Technology have achieved a truly amazing level of reliability. Think of where we were just back in the mid-‘80’s when I began- THOSE were the Dark Ages for Copier Technology……… (And I seem to remember more than a few Cars from Detroit that left QUITE a bit to be desired! In those days, I used call the Copiers sold by Commercial Business SUPPLY (the predecessor to Commercial Business MACHINES) – “JAM-O-MATICS”. They were truly horrible!! It wasn’t a “Brand” issue- Rather, it was simply where the Technology was at that time. By the late ‘90’s, however, they’d ALL come a LONG ways. BUT, what about the rare occasion – Even if it’s only once a year- When a Copier DID do something goofy? When it broke an obscure Part, or was proving nearly IMPOSSIBLE to simply diagnose? This is what we dealt with, where, in spite of all of the herculean efforts of our Technical Staff at the time, we felt completely abandoned by the Copier Manufacturer that we represented then. We were absolutely on our own. And, since we didn’t MAKE the darn things- This put us in a VERY tough spot. It was at this time that I pursued and then made the moves to become an Authorized Kyocera Dealer- A decision I’ve never regretted. Our story continues with one of those CRAZY – “Ya’ had to be there” – Examples as to why.
Fast Forward from the ‘90’s to a week ago and- It happened to us again!! UGGHH!! A BRAND New, otherwise SUPER reliable Kyocera Color Copier/Printer/Scanner/Fax, that had been working fantastic- All of a sudden….. It had a problem…… In FACT, it was a BIG problem…… With a VERY obscure Part. But NOW, times are different, because we are NOT working with a Copier Manufacturer that had become “Too Big For Their Britches” – A saying my dear Mother used on me once in a while if she felt I was acting arrogantly. I may have just greatly dated myself here, as I’m betting many of you, those the most likely to read this Blog, won’t have EVER heard that expression of arrogance and indifference- BUT, this is absolutely what we had from the other guys. But NOT now. With Kyocera’s awesome Technical Support, the problem was diagnosed and Robbie ordered the Part through our normal Parts Ordering System, to be shipped Overnight……… ONLY TO FIND that this really WAS an obscure Part, as there were exactly ZERO of them in Kyocera’s NATION WIDE Inventory. The Part was on Indefinite and Nation Wide Back Order. Our Customer was totally DOWN- AND, we had absolutely NO WAY to tell them when we could get them going again. ARRGGHH!!
We Delivered a Loaner to our Customer right away, of course, which got them going with the same functionality. The Customer was then taken care of….. And Happy….. By FAR the most important part. WHEEW! But- Now What?!! We STILL need the darn Part and we can’t exactly weave it out of Straw! Just to add insult to injury, the Part was specific to this one, high-end Model, a Model that we didn’t have in stock at the time. THIS is the part of the Story that separates KYOCERA from the rest and is a PERFECT example of why they have received the following Industry awards~
Back to our Story- We have a Brand New, High-Speed Kyocera Color Copier/Printer/Scanner/Fax recently purchased by an awesome Customer that’s completely down, as in- The Machine is totally inoperable. Robbie has ordered the Part for special overnight delivery……. So, in 24 hours- We should receive the Part so that we can install it and fix their Machine, thereby allowing us to get our Customer back to normal operations, EVEN from an obscure Part failure! All relatively quickly……. Right?! I mean- That’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to work! AHHHH, if only it were that easy!
• When the needed Part, a very specific Circuit Board, was identified through our normal ordering process as being on Indefinite Nation Wide Back Order, we knew THEN that we were in trouble. Robbie immediately contacted JANET in the Kyocera Regional Office in Irvine, Ca., bypassing the Automated Ordering System. Kyocera has a Showroom there, with most all of their current Products on the floor. Once Janet discovered the problem with the Back Order, she got creative to find a solution. She went to the Kyocera Management, gained authorization to pull a working Machine from their own Demo Floor and had the needed Part pulled from that Machine. But- That Part wasn’t in Kyocera’s Inventory- So, they couldn’t even Ship it to us until they found yet another creative solution to bring the Part into their Inventory. Janet found just such a solution- And the Part Shipped to us- Overnight!
Okay, NOW the Problem is Solved!!………. We’ll have our Customer up and running again in a day! Perfect! Wait……. UHHHMMM………. TIME OUT!! As the Famous saying goes- “Houston- We Have a Problem!” Actually, the Problems, (as in more than one!), continued:
• We received a notice from the Freight Company, (I won’t use their name, but their dark brown Trucks are everywhere! :-), saying that they- “Had a Mechanical issue”, so overnight delivery would not happen, but they were shuffling Freight around and would get it here ASAP. ARRGGHH- BUT, the Customer still has our Loaner and remains Happy (We have AMAZING Customers!) So, we waited yet another day.
• The next day, the Board arrived!!! YEAH!! Problem Solved!!………. UHHHMMM………. TIME OUT!! Once AGAIN- “Houston- We (STILL) HAVE a Problem!” Here’s a Picture of the Circuit Board that came out of the Overnight Shipping Box from the dark brown Truck Freight Company.
Have you ever felt as though – You Just Can’t Win?!! That’s the way WE felt!! Even after such HURCULEAN, Record Breaking Efforts, especially on Kyocera’s part- The Darn Board WAS BROKEN in transit and couldn’t be used!! OMFREAKINGGOODNESS!!!
• Back to Janet at Kyocera, to break the bad news. After a brief grieving period by all involved, Janet was back on the task, saying she’d be back with us, yet again. She did call back very quickly to say they’d pulled another Machine from Inventory and had pulled yet another of the correct Circuit Boards for us. They had already entered it into Inventory- AND- Were Shipping it Overnight to us for NO CHARGE – Either for the Freight, OR for the Part!! UNBELIEVABLE!! YEAH –
• The next day, thankfully with no more Mechanical Issues from the dark brown Truck Company, the 2nd new Circuit Board arrived. This is kinda’ funny……. Check out the Packaging-
The 1st Board we received, the broken one, is on the Counter on the far left- The Box from the broken board (with its damage clearly visible) is on the right – AND then the 2nd Board, APPARENTLY packaged by Kyocera THIS time to be dropped directly from the Jet delivering it overnight- Is in the middle. It made us laugh! ESPECIALLY once we opened it and realized we had a perfect, working Board.
It was installed shortly thereafter and we were back in business with a PERFECT Working Machine once again!!
• I contacted the customer to let them know what all was happening and made arrangements to return their Machine to them. They have their Machine back – And, well……. All is right with the World once again. AHHHHHH!!! SOOOO NICE!!
So- All Copiers are the same at this point, right? Well…… Experts can argue about Features and Functions for days, weeks and months, but we have found over the last 30 + years of Serving the awesome Customers in the greater Salem area that most folks are WAY more interested in the Service they receive than in Who’s Machine has the most “Zoom Modes” – Most folks care (passionately) that we can keep them going- Even when it’s difficult- Or, perhaps especially when it’s difficult. Many can do so when it’s easy. Few can do so when it’s tough- Especially THIS tough. It takes an especially Passionate Team.
So, while there are good Copiers out there, to be sure- Here’s a VERY real world example of why WE are with Kyocera- And why we believe them to be ABSOLUTELY the best! We KNOW how they respond when there’s a challenge- Even a significant one. We’ve already discovered this to NOT be the case with another major Manufacturer and- We Are Simply NOT Willing To Take The Risk For Our Customers With Promises From Any One Else! We don’t have promises from Kyocera- We have walked with them through very difficult challenges and have found them to share our passion for the Bottom Line- That “Bottom Line” of Keeping our Customer Happy- THAT Bottom Line. This is how we have the Google Reviews that we do- Each of them hard earned, but all definitely earned nonetheless.
Are all Copiers the same at this point? Not on a Bet! It STILL comes down to the People who serve You by way of them. They either Care, and will do whatever it takes to keep YOU going- Even when it’s very difficult- Or, for some- Only when it’s easy. Who would you rather Partner with?
Kyocera & Commercial Business Machines- YOUR Passionate Professionals- One Heckuva’ Team~
Gregg & Robbie Lawrence