The importance of A-grade service support

Most Indian print firms are super busy with their production. It is only during the time of breakdown they seek support. So, how does one overcome this mindset?

29 Jul 2016 | By Bhargav Mistry

For starts every print firm CEO must ask three questions:

1) What does service support mean for you?

2) How many AMCs do you have?

3) Do you have careless operators who put too much pressure on switches and screws, plus keep fiddling with knobs which lead to machine breakdown?

Every person in our industry has an important part to play in tackling this issue by answering the above questions.

The good news is quite a few industry leaders are doing it. And the persons who are doing so can see a significant and tangible impact on the bottom line. Using your machines optimally means using less energy; and this means lower utility costs. Reducing waste production means lower disposal charges. Keeping on top of maintenance and auditing means avoiding unnecessary expenditures down the line. 

All this translates into benefits that go beyond the balance sheet. Customers and suppliers are increasingly looking to align themselves with right-thinking companies – as hygiene and safety concerns dominate the headlines, green credentials are taking on a significant new importance so reducing your machine downtime puts you in an advantageous market position.


Small steps help your press
The beauty of good maintenance is to do small things on your shopfloor, regularly and daily.

For instance; cleaning of machines after you stop your production is a must. One must do oiling and greasing – and after that run the machine for two minutes. Also, proper oiling and greasing at necessary joints before starting production is to be done.

One simple tip I have: When you start production on your machine, do not run your machine at full speed for some time.

The owner of Sai Toys at Alibagh, one of Grafica’s customers has 10 screen printing machines. Sai has a very clear work ethic. There are strict instructions to the staff - from the installation of the very first machine - to clean all the machines before leaving the workplace. Even after four years, none of the machines on the Sai shopfloor have a ink stain.

This in my view epitomizes top class maintenance, Indian style.


The importance of machine service
Machine service is the backbone of your organisation.

I feel, the major consequences are loss of commitment. In today’s competitive marketplace, commitment has to be fulfilled. A weak weapon in your pressroom armoury will not permit you wage your wars – and survive.

The major issues that I see with Indian screen printers are lack of operating knowledge about machines and preventive maintenance of the machine. As I said, our engineers at Grafica make sure all our customers and their operators learn all the crucial lessons at the time of installation and training. For better life of machine, the customers should take care of safety measures of machines. The printers work on the assumption that once the new machine completes one year warranty, the machine can be used in a rough and tough manner for production. This will accrue maximum impact during the non-warranty period. This is not true.

Ignorance is not bliss
Some ignorant printers even “remove” the safety bars provided with the machine (they treat the safety bar as an unnecessary tool) causing hand injury.

The other thing is it’s not enough to simply install new technologies and hope for the best. To keep on top of your service footprint you need to monitor it over time – after all, you can’t reduce something you can’t quantify. Ensuring equipment is maintained properly and works well can have a significant impact on efficiency. 

We offer remote diagnostics to support the customer and improve reliability. One of our customers in Jaipur during warranty period had taken a minimum service support because they believed in remote support.

I feel, remote support is really effective from a customer’s point of view and most of our customers are happy with it. In our case remote diagnostics is not something like an IT industry. In our case, customers resolve their machine breakdown problem by following telephonic instructions with our service engineers. It is possible only because Grafica machines are simple to use and have fewer number of complicated parts and tools. This method not only saves service cost but also enables them to start production immediately to reduce production loss. 

Serious companies are serious about service
The impact of after-sales service is important, in all aspects, including future sales and reputation of any serious company in India.

At Grafica, we provide continuous telephonic support to customers at any moment. Our intention is to prevent customers taking support from unprofessional persons because this may result in a major breakdown. Many times we have come across this situation wherein customers have relied on spurious consultants in order to save service call money. So, they approach a local electrician or a mechanic and after the damage is irreparable, they call us.

We take feedback after every service call regarding the service of the technicians to better our approach. This is a good approach to boost the service support in the future. Because we hear both type of feedback. Positive feedback inspires us while negative feedback updates us. To stay updated, we review the customers’ feedback and implement new strategies for the benefits of our customers and service department

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