Protect the Power to Protect Your Bottom Line

Many dealers still do not automatically protect the power of the devices they sell and of all the poor decisions that dealers make, this may be the worst. There seems to be a variety of excuses. The client does not want it. The sales person does not want it included in the deal. It is too expensive. You do not really need it the power is ok.

But all of those are lame excuses. Build it into the deal just as you would build in the cost of setup and delivery. And don’t show it as a separate item on the invoice: that way neither the sales person nor the customer can try to negotiate it out of the deal.

My Experiences

When I owned my dealership, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the ways that power protection saves equipment and therefore money. One of my clients had an electrical event that caused catastrophic failure to devices in one area of the building. Devices that were not even powered on were destroyed, including calculators, monitors, and PCs.

In that same area, I had a 40 CPM machine that was powered up. It was connected through a power protection device. The power protection device was destroyed, the ground prong was burned off, and there was large black hole in the side of the protection machine. But when I moved the copier to an unaffected area and plugged it in, it worked without issue. The vendor replaced the power protection device for free.

Much later, when I was a DSM working for Sharp, one of my dealers was having an issue: one machine’s PM counter was continuously counting much faster than the machine was actually making copies. The dealer had replaced most of the boards in the machine and still had not resolved the issue. He contacted me, and I reviewed the repair history. Any component in the machine that could possibly have caused the issue had already been replaced. Now, I happened to have a sample of a power protection device provided by a vendor. When I sent the sample to the dealer it immediately resolved their issue. Think about the expense that not protecting the power caused!

In another case, I was called in to address an issue with a machine that was locking up any time the network cable was plugged in. The machine had already blown 2 MFP boards prior to my arrival. I noticed that the network cable was not protected, so we routed the network connection through the power protection device. The protection device self-destructed. We put a new one in and it self-destructed as well. Investigation later revealed that lightning had struck nearby. We changed ports on the switch, installed another power protector, and then installed a new MFP board. Issue resolved, and another instance of the importance of power protection.

Empirical Data

One of the power protection companies commissioned a study by BEI Services to document the differences in performance between protected and unprotected machines. They monitored more than 125,000 machines over a period of one year. These devices were serviced by 20 different dealerships across the United States.

The results of this survey were then analyzed by a research university to validate the data and results. What they found was this: protecting devices saved an average of more than $200 per year, per machine. The machines made more copies between visits, required less labor, and fewer parts.

Conduct Your Own Test

For dealers that are still not convinced, I recommend running your own test. Find a client that has a reasonable equipment base and put half of the machines on power protection. See for yourself how much difference power protection makes.

Another option would be to acquire some samples and install them on problem machines to see if they make any difference.

At almost every trade function where vendors can exhibit, you will see the major players in power protection. If you stop and visit with them, you will have the opportunity to get information that is much more detailed on their products and the results real clients achieve using their products.

Benefit From Protecting the Power

I am confident that when you examine the evidence the decision will be easy. Letting a machine go out the door without power protection is probably going to hurt the profitability of the service department and the company as whole. Imagine having just another $100 per machine in the bank. And that is the low end of the potential profits to your company.

Ignore the lame excuses. Make power protection mandatory in every deal. Protecting the power protects your bottom line.

Ken Edmonds
About the Author
KEN EDMONDS is the owner and founder of 22nd Century Management, which helps managers in the service industries learn the skills they need to successfully lead their teams, exceed expectations and provide outstanding customer service. An Air Force veteran whose background includes owning a copier dealership and working as a service manager for other companies, Edmonds also spent 18 years working for manufacturers as a district service manager. He’s helped dozens of service managers incorporate cornerstone methods to enhance their success.