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Customer Support

With a new general manager appointed in 09/10 and new developments in our company vision and mission, it is appropriate that our customer support organisation has recently developed a new long-term objective and will work on new supporting strategies and measures in 10/11.

Our goal is to achieve operational excellence in service solutions and to build a flexible, knowledgeable and adaptable organisation. This is particularly important as our office business shifts towards providing integrated solutions combining services, software and hardware. This shift requires the development of new support skills. The desired outcomes are to deliver a streamlined experience for our customers and be an innovative partner of choice for support across the Fuji Xerox group.

In 09/10 we continued in our commitment to provide a consistently excellent and efficient customer support experience. The percentage of calls resolved remotely is still an appropriate high-level measure of support effectiveness and efficiency.

However, the increasing proportion of remote support effort means that onsite maintenance hours per million prints is becoming less useful as a generic measure of support performance than in the past. We will review and develop other more appropriate measures in 10/11.

Measuring support effectiveness

We are proud that Fuji Xerox leads our industry in customer support, and Fuji Xerox Australia leads all operating companies in the innovative field of eSupport.[1]

The adoption of approaches developed in Australia by the recently established Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific support operation has brought significant improvements to the region as a whole. In fact regional support targets have been exceeded. However, at the local level this change has led to much of our expertise being focused on regional improvements. This may have contributed to the decline we have experienced in our support effectiveness.

In 09/10 the percentage of issues resolved without visiting customers' sites dropped from 52.7 percent to 52 percent in 09/10, falling short of our 54.7 percent target. With the regional support centre now well established in Sydney, this trend should be reversed, which is reflected in our 53 percent target for 10/11.

It is also possible that 54.7 percent was an overly ambitious target and that we are reaching a point of diminishing returns with the current level of resourcing, tools and technology available.

We feel confident that we can continue to make incremental improvements through further training and closed-loop learning on call handling gaps, which is provided through feedback from our field engineers. However, in some ways our customer support organisation is testing the limits of what is possible to achieve through eSupport, given the baseline reliability of our solutions.

Measuring equipment reliability

Customer feedback

'I've found that when I've called your support team with problems, they have always ensured they have followed up on the issues, plus returned my calls, which I'm very happy with.'

'A suggestion I would make would be to have a person come out a few months after installation and do a follow up training session which goes into lots of detail about machine features, as there are still a lot of things I don't know how to use on the machine.'

We currently measure equipment reliability by calculating total hours of a support engineer's onsite time for every million prints on a device.

For production products, maintenance hours per million prints have increased from 16.2 to 18.3 and consequently fell well short of our 15.7 target. The growing demand of customers for shorter response times, higher quality prints and a greater percentage of colour prints continues to place an increasing demand on our customer support resources.

In addition, the continued shift from larger more robust devices, built for long production runs, to more flexible and lighter production devices also increases the demand for support resources. It appears that these trends will continue at least into the next year. For that reason it will be a good result if we can achieve the 09/10 target of 18.3 hours per million prints in 10/11.

For office products, the 21.9 hours per million prints target was easily bettered, with a reduction from 23 hours to 20.5. The continuing improved reliability of our office products is an important factor. The introduction of a more reliable and flexible mobile call management application for our engineers was also a significant operational improvement in 09/10.

To address the challenges with production equipment and to ensure continuing improvement with office equipment the support organisation has set itself a number of improvement initiatives in 10/11. These include:

  • streamlining the delivery of training to engineers and customers
  • developing the flexibility of the onsite engineers
  • increasing resources to support locally developed solutions
  • expanding the capability to continuously monitor device status remotely
  • streamlining the consumable delivery process
  • developing our reporting systems to better analyse service performance.

[1] Regional competitive benchmarking study.

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