Customer Satisfaction Biggest Concern During Downtime for Print/Mail Professionals, Survey Reveals
Bell and Howell released a new report, "Assessing the True Cost of Operational Downtime," which revealed the results from an operational downtime survey with 625 respondents that identified themselves as print and mail professionals. Although 80.77% of respondents identify as a "mail presort professional," 46.15% identify as part of an "in-plant or in-house partner."
According to the results, idle employees clocks in as the biggest concern for operational downtime at 66.67%, with 58.33% responding that customer satisfaction weighs as the biggest concern during times of operational downtown, followed by lost revenue and excess labor costs — although by a large margin.
A majority (54.17%) of respondents reported more than three incidents of downtime in the past 12 months, with others reporting one, two and even zero incidents in the past year (4.17%). And while the majority of the respondents reported that the incidents of downtime only lasted two to six hours, 13.04% reported that there had been more than 12 hours of downtime during any given incident.
Regardless of the amount of time that was recorded during downtimes, the majority of respondents indicated that zero to six hours is the tolerated length of downtime per incident before it affects customer satisfaction. However, 17.39% indicated that they had a zero-tolerance view.
The report asked respondents to report how many times preventative maintenance was performed and 66.67% responded that they conduct preventative maintenance more than four times per year. An interesting finding, as the report points out, is that more than 17% of respondents reported that they do not do any preventative maintenance on their systems.
When asked how often the respondents perform data protection and recovery, all of the respondents reported that they do some sort of backup throughout the year, with the majority indicating that they perform backups one to four times per year. Nearly 10% of respondents perform backups more than 10 times per year.
In the final section of the survey, respondents were asked to rate the optimal efficiency of their equipment compared to when it was first installed. The majority of the respondents indicated that they believe their equipment is operating at average efficiency, followed by "slightly above average" with respondents marking nearly 5% each of "slightly below average" or "below average."
Printing Perspective: This report highlights the concerns for many print and mail professionals, but it also reveals an interesting problem. The majority of respondents indicated that they are most concerned about the effect incidents of downtime have on a customer's experience and a sizable percentage possess a zero-tolerance view of downtime, but there is an equally sizable pool that don't do any preventative maintenance and more than half of respondents view their equipment as operating "average," "slightly below average" or "below average" levels.
There are maintenance practices and workflow management systems that can be implemented to decrease incidents of downtime, but there are also cloud-based data protection, backup and recovery systems that can be integrated and could be used to provide maintenance issue analyses and insight into operational efficiencies.
Although it seems that most respondents are being proactive in their quest to decrease downtime, it's crucial that all printing professionals adopt some form of preventative maintenance to ensure that they are taking steps to decreasing downtime and the effects that it can have on employee morale, revenue and customer satisfaction.
The full report can be downloaded on the Bell and Howell website.