Fujifilm Creates New Group to Strengthen Its Field Services Technical Support
Making a sale is one thing. But how a hardware and/or software supplier provides the initial onboarding training, and ongoing help desk and field service support, is what truly separates one industry vendor from another to emerge as a premier industry service provider — and what ultimately helps determine long-term customer satisfaction.
FUJIFILM North America Corporation believes it has found a better, more streamlined way to provide after-sale customer support services for its diverse customer bases. Effective April 1st, it is combining the North America field service teams of its Imaging Division and Graphic Systems Division to create the Fujifilm Technical Services group.
With more than 500 technicians located throughout North America, Neil Johnson, newly named vice president and general manager of Fujifilm Technical Services, will lead the combined organizational structure leveraging the expertise and knowledge that had formerly existed between two different businesses. Approximately 400 field service technicians are servicing the Imaging Division, which includes the retail space, large photo labs and film processors that provide archival services; the Graphic Systems Division has approximately 100 technical field service and application specialists.
Whereas, the Graphic Systems Division had traditionally entailed field service and technical support for devices like filmsetters, platesetters and plate processors, the growing industry adoption of high-speed production inkjet presses such as the second-generation J Press 720S, Acuity Series of wide-format inkjet printers and digital packaging equipment requires new customer service support models and the need for field technicians with new skill sets, according to Johnson.
“A common problem with service that is faced by all industry vendors, especially in the graphics business, is developing the right skill set among current experienced production and technical workers in a rapidly changing industry, which is also challenged by technological advancement,” he points out. This challenge is exacerbated by the shortage, and sometimes loss of experienced workers due to retirement and the ability to recruit highly skilled workers, who are themselves faced with the ever-changing technological environment.
The creation of the Fujifilm Technical Services group will help alleviate this problem by leveraging a more diverse and larger group of technicians —with skill sets that better align with today’s emerging technologies — to provide more expedited customer response and corrective actions. It is expected that the restructuring will be seamless to existing Fujifilm customers. Customers will continue to call the same 800 number and receive service from the same personnel, making this change uneventful from their standpoint, he says.
“It becomes even more important as we get more heavily into production inkjet,” says Johnson. “In the past, customers typically operated multiple CTP devices. But with production inkjet, the press is the output device.” As a result, customers require rapid responses when they encounter a problem causing press downtime, so Johnson is aligning the group’s service team members to be located in as close proximity as possible to Fujifilm’s installed equipment customer base.
Newer technologies are also being leveraged — such as what Johnson refers to as "Facetime on steroids" or what is commonly referred to as augmented reality, as well as document and video sharing that will enable more remote problem solving and enhanced interaction between on- and off-site field service technicians.
The new Fujifilm Technical Services group will service Fujifilm’s graphic arts industry customers, as well as provide services for outside industry suppliers, typically off-shore vendors seeking nationwide field service and/or call center support for their U.S. distributors. The Fujifilm Technical Services network is also being supported by Customer Engineering Services (CES), which is a Fujifilm authorized third-party service provider.
“Fujifilm is very serious about service, and this latest move will help position us as the premier industry field services provider,” concludes Johnson. “We’re pooling our resources together to surpass what the competition is providing with an eye on delivering quality service now, and in the future.”