Service & Support - So far and yet so close

Service & Support - So far and yet so close

Service & Support - So far and yet so close

Remote by default transformation

Konica Minolta’s innovations help businesses to shape the future, today, changing the way people conduct business and use technology to work smarter, faster and better. As a leading Smart Data and Digital IT Services company, the company meets the changing needs of customers with our Digital Print, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality solutions. Part of the global Konica Minolta Group, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd is headquartered in Basildon, Essex and operates out of 8 offices across the UK, employing over 600 people.
In the summer of 2020, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Konica Minolta’s priorities were the health and safety of its employees, customers and partners as well as maintaining delivery and support of customer services, despite government lockdown restrictions. It identified ‘Remote Visual Support’ as an emerging technology that would support its strategic shift to a Remote by Default approach for both solution deployment and support. AIRe Link was successfully piloted for different use cases and then adopted as one of its remote support platforms so is now used as standard.

Examples of using remote visual support in Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK Ltd.

[USE CASE] New remote resolution team: Increasing the productivity of field service engineers

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government restrictions, visiting customers on-site remains a challenge for health and safety reasons. To maintain vital customer support, the Konica Minolta team has switched to addressing faults remotely first – a remote by default approach. If issues can’t be solved using remote access platforms which connect to the customers’ device, technicians use Konica Minolta’s remote visual support tool AIRe Link which enables technicians to see what the customer sees using the camera on the customer’s smartphone.

Using AIRe link, technicians can guide the customer through a series of remedial steps which mean the issue can often be solved remotely. A key benefit of the tool is that the customer does not need to download an app or create an account – so technicians can establish a visual session with any customer, instantly. Both simple and complex issues can be solved remotely, meaning on-site visits by a field service technician aren’t necessary which is safer for all concerned, but also means the customer’s service is back online quicker.

[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] Saving of 352 km service trip by solving a jamming issue remotely

A customer some 350 km away from Konica Minolta contacted the company with a paper jamming issue, which in the past would require an on-site visit to resolve the problem. However, on this occasion, the technician asked the customer to demonstrate the issue remotely, using AIRe Link, during which, the technician spotted a paper tray setting error on the control panel. Using audio and visual guidance enabled by the AIRe Link tool, the Konica Minolta technician advised the customer how to correct the setting. The problem was solved, without an on-site visit and the 352 km of travel could be saved. The customer was happy to be “up and running” quickly without having to wait for an engineer. As an engineer wasn’t required to attend on-site, engineer resources were optimised but the added benefits of lower costs and a reduction in CO2 emissions can also be realised.
 

[USE CASE] Hybrid support – remote and on-site: Assuring first-time fix using remote investigation

A high first-time fix rate is one of the key performance indicators for every field service organisation. It is often difficult to understand a customer issue and its root cause by phone or email, so customers are asked to show the problem through an AIRe Link visual session prior to an on-site visit.

AIRe Link enables as much information as possible to be gathered before an on-site visit –this ensures the technician has the right spare parts, tools, and expertise to fix the issue during a single visit. The AIRe Link tool also allows the Konica Minolta service and support team to improve planning by having a better idea of how long it will take to fix the problem. Additionally, with biosecurity being a critical factor for Konica Minolta and its customers, the ability to fix issues in a single visit is safer for all concerned.

[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] Online evaluation of a quality issue leads to a first-time fix

Premier Labels UK Ltd, a customer of Konica Minolta, prints essential labels for the pharmaceutical industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Labels faced an image quality issue on their AccurioLabel 230 during a period of lockdown. They needed to resolve this issue quickly in order minimise disruption to customers.

The Konica Minolta remote resolution team used AIRe Link to identify remotely which machine parts needed to be replaced. As a result, the customer immediately understood the issue with the machine and the resultant image quality issue. The necessary parts were ordered that afternoon and received the following morning – the field service team who attended on site that day knew exactly what the issue was before they arrived and had the part they needed waiting for them. The customer was very pleased with the successful first-time on-site fix – and to be back up and running by mid-morning.

[USE CASE] Upskilling field engineers: Remote onsite expertise and advice, instantly

Junior field service technicians sometimes need help when they’re on-site attempting to resolve an issue. Even well-trained field service technicians can get stuck, for example if they’re investigating a problem with a complex industrial device.

In this type of scenario, remote assistance can be provided by those on-site calling a colleague by phone, but this has its limits. Sometimes the situation requires the technical support team member to travel on-site in order to help their colleague resolve the issue. With AIRe Link, the technician on-site can easily show the situation to their colleague remotely and follow their audio and visual guidance to solve the issue. This saves time and cost for the service organisation whilst also supporting knowledge transfer from the senior technician to the junior field service technician. At the same time it also results in a faster resolution time so ultimately means maximum uptime for the customer, which for an industrial print company is vital to ensuring they deliver to their customers on time.

[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] Remote resolution of a faulty MFP board

A field service technician was unsuccessfully investigating a boot-up issue with a printer. After several attempts to fix the device, the field service technician was stuck. Usually, a technical support specialist would need to travel on-site to try to fix the issue. With an AIRe Link audio-visual session, the technical support engineer could see the problem first-hand and in real-time without leaving his desk back at the office. Using his experience, he was able to deduce that the MFP board was faulty. He then advised the field service technicians onsite who were then able to resolve the issue without the need for an on-site visit by technical support. Quicker for the customer and more efficient for the Konica Minolta team.

The customer was impressed with the support from Konica Minolta using AIRe Link, claiming they had “never seen this from any other manufacturer”.

[USE CASE] Customer training team: Extending virtual training with hands-on experience

Konica Minolta offers comprehensive training using a variety of techniques to ensure its customers benefit from efficient usage, long lifetime and minimum downtime of their devices.

The Konica Minolta team delivers training to customers across the UK, from all sectors and covering solutions that incorporate a variety of devices and software. Traditionally, support and training were delivered face to face, however, the Covid-19 restrictions meant that virtual or remote training offerings had to be made available quickly. It was AIRe Link that made this happen.

[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] Training customer staff across multiple locations, remotely

A Konica Minolta customer in Lincolnshire needed several training sessions for their fleet of MFDs, a fleet spread across multiple locations in the region. With COVID-19 in mind, Konica Minolta agreed to deliver the training remotely. Using the many tools available including, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Stream, Konica Minolta Remote Support, Dokoni Sync & Share, and AIRe Link, multiple training sessions to large groups of super users across the customer organisation were successfully delivered. The training sessions were recorded so the customer could make the sessions available to other members of their team quickly and easily.

During the sessions, the Konica Minolta training team easily switched between applications using Microsoft Teams, Remote Panel interaction, and AIRe Link, which meant the training could be hands-on and interactive. The customer attendees found the sessions not only engaging, despite the fact they were remote, but also effective in terms of being able to absorb the information presented to them and provide a more practical learning experience. The Konica Minolta team saved approximately 300 miles, and 6 hours of travel time, as well as an overnight stay.
 

[USE CASE] Sales team: Pre-delivery site survey

Konica Minolta carries out site surveys to ensure that the proposed location of all equipment included in a customer’s solution is suitable – whether there is sufficient floor space as well as space around the machine, whether there is a suitable power supply and a network connection point. In addition they also need to check that the environment is suitable in terms of temperature and humidity.

During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, walkaround site surveys of customer sites, potential or existing, has been very difficult. Customer sites have been closed or only open at specific times, even to their own staff, never mind visitors. The Konica Minolta team, using AIRe Link, was able to complete pre-delivery site surveys remotely – this was not only easier and quicker to organise but also safer for all concerned.

[REAL LIFE EXAMPLE] Identifying a potential installation issue

Whilst preparing to install several new machines at a customer site, Konica Minolta conducted a remote site survey using AIRe Link and asked the customer to walk around their facilities, explaining what the team was viewing during the virtual visit. The use of AIRe Link allowed the team to better understand the site and this in turn meant they were able to confirm there was insufficient space for one of the devices. An alternative device was identified and agreed which meant the on-site deployment ran more smoothly, without any hitches.

The pre-delivery site survey using AIRe Link meant Konica Minolta were saved the potential embarrassment of delivering incorrect-sized machines to the customer site.