A new year is always a great time to review your business plans, but no matter what time of year it is, having a comprehensive and effective preventative maintenance schedule for your mission-critical equipment is vital to ensure you are always operating to your optimum.
With technology evolving rapidly, and diversification the key for today’s savvy print service provider, it’s perhaps no wonder that new investments are often the focus of forward planning. Looking after the systems and equipment you already have in your business, however, is equally – if not more – important to your productivity, efficiency and profitability.
Marcus Robinson, Director – Operations for Currie Group, oversees what is arguably the most extensive service and technical support operation in the industry, looking after an extensive portfolio of products that cover almost every application from general commercial print, to labels and packaging, sign & display, print finishing, 3D printing and more.
A veteran of the industry, he has seen firsthand just how important preventative maintenance can be in an industry where productivity means profitability.
“We work in a very technologically advanced space, but no matter how clever or sophisticated your technology may be, if your mission-critical equipment grinds to a halt, your bottom line will quickly take a big hit,” he says.
It’s a situation the group’s experienced team of technicians see all too often – an SOS from a client in the middle of a vitally important print run, let down by technology at the critical moment. Often, Marcus says, it’s because the pressure of day-to-day operations has led to important preventative maintenance being overlooked.
“We all get busy, and when the jobs are queued up, shutting down a machine for maintenance is the last thing you want to do,” he acknowledges. “But taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach can drastically reduce your risk of unplanned downtime and also significantly improve the performance of your equipment – which all leads to higher efficiency, better productivity and, ultimately, a more profitable operation.”
A planned approach provides businesses with an all-important health check on each piece of kit to identify any current issues and flag potential problems before they arise. It then allows business owners to lock in a maintenance program that suits their particular workload and operational objectives.
The first step, Marcus says, is to sit down with Currie Group to discuss your requirements. “Service agreements used to be a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing, but today they are incredibly flexible to cater for all types of businesses, from those who operate 24/7 and put through millions of impressions a month, to those who run 9-5 weekdays at much lower volumes. It’s about working out the best plan for each individual situation.”
For many businesses, the solution will be the Currie Care Service Agreement – a plan which looks much like a traditional maintenance or service agreement, albeit one which is more tailored to individual business needs.
“This is where a business can sign up for Currie Care and know that their regular equipment health checks, preventative maintenance, parts and labour, and the training they need, are completely covered by their agreement,” Marcus explains.
For others, a more nuanced approach is preferred. This usually starts with Currie Group experts conducting Health Checks across the company’s key equipment to establish a baseline and identify any areas which deviate from manufacturer’s standard.
A written technical report, detailing the identified issues and recommended preventative maintenance, provides a roadmap for devising a customised maintenance schedule planned around the company’s individual workload, shifts and priorities…and ensures nothing is missed.
The resulting program typically covers a full year, and is delivered by Currie Group’s team of factory-trained technicians – many of whom have been with the company for years. They are regularly sent for the latest and most advanced training with Currie Group’s OEM partners to ensure they are right up to date with new platforms as well as existing technologies, and bring their knowledge and skills back to their colleagues via the company’s internal ‘train the trainer’ style program.
Their expertise and experience are supported by the latest resources including advanced analytics, remote diagnostics delivered in partnership with Currie Group’s principals, and innovations like virtual reality glasses which allow real-time input from the equipment manufacturers during service and maintenance procedures. The team is also investigating innovative new technologies like AI-driven predictive modelling, which they expect to further enhance service programs in years to come.
Maintaining this high level of service requires ongoing commitment and investment, Marcus explains, but it something Currie Group has always prioritised.
“When you invest in new equipment, it’s important to know that investment is backed by the support you need to maximise its potential. Our ongoing commitment to service and support means our customers can have that confidence. In many cases, Currie Group technicians become trusted advisors, with relationships stretching back years. It’s a real partnership.
“Now, we just want to make sure that every business takes advantage of the support available by putting in place the preventative measures they need to maximise their profitability in 2024 and beyond.”
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