These annoying devices can be a lifesaver when needing to get invoices and orders out, equally when they don’t work they get the brunt of a lot of abuse and sometimes a good kick-in, so why do they cause so many problems?
Well, our research has uncovered that the bulk of the issues come down not to the physical printer, but to the native Windows platform that’s being used to manage them. This is why you often hear people shouting about “my print job came out of the wrong tray.” Secondly, not enough investment is being made to ensure backup printers are available, which are ALWAYS ON and EASY to switch over to in the event of a problem.
The good news is, these two issues are easily solved and can help you from being caught short at 1am when you have delivery drivers waiting to get on the road. At Microbyte we promote a product called Printix to manage and control printers across your organisation. The way it works is by creating a transparent layer over Microsoft Windows which intelligently manages which printers you’re allowed access to and switches over accordingly. We already have several hundred users on the this platform and it’s been an absolute game changer.
#9 THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE
1) Schedule in quarterly face to face meetings with your IT support company and software provider to determine where responsibilities lie and to define common fixes for common problems. This might seem like drastic action, but you’ll be amazed at how much time you will save with structured proactive meetings which bring vendors together. You’ll want to define reasonable expectations but also encourage the vendors to share knowledge for common fixes. At Microbyte for instance, we have a variety of FAQs and quick fix Task Templates for common issues with ERP systems; it saves everyone time and phone calls.
2) Help your software/IT support company by keeping track of recurring issues YOURSELF. Don’t just rely on the vendor to keep tabs of recurring issues. Yes they have all the information and data for these problems, but a second set of eyes will never hurt, especially when you consider they might have 10s or 100s of other clients all with their own IT issues, it’s more that a two way street, it’s a partnership, and all good partnerships need communication.
3) Where possible choose an IT company that has some sort of alliance with the main software you use. This won’t always be easy, but at the very least it’s worth trying to find a company that has experience with that particular type of software. Computers are not like cars, the parts are not always interchangeable, and having a support team on-hand that understands the nuances of a package and how it works within your type of business will be a lifesaver when it comes to staff stress levels.
#8 HIGH STAFF TURNOVER
This subject might be a little sensitive, but there is no point beating around the push, certain roles in this sector lend themselves to fast moving work with fast moving people, and this doesn’t always make things easy when it comes to managing all those users and their access rights.
Most IT companies ask for a bit of notice before they get a new user request to make sure they get it right, and it usually involves a lot of back and forth with questions like:
“Do they also need access to X?”
“Which computer is the user going to be using?”
“Have you contacted the CRM company to add a new licence?”
Yes, it’s relentless, and our research shows that even now a lot of companies do not get a consistent result when having users added or removed from the IT system.
So what can we do? Well the good news is, LOTS! At Microbyte we spend dedicated time on this very subject and have rigorous ONBOARDING and OFFBOARDING processes which are specific to the company we are supporting, and are validated regularly by someone onsite who actually knows how these things play out when they’re not done properly.
As a second stage on our pursuit to consistent results and efficiency, we are constantly developing dedicated Microsoft Forms for authorised personnel onsite to complete whenever they need a personnel change, and we make sure that every single bit of information is gathered at that point. No emails back and forth, and users getting frustrated because things are missing.
So there you have it, we hope you’ll join us next time for #7 #6 and #5, when the problems and frustrations become even more common!