Inkjet & Digital Printing
Over 190,000 kilometres of service travel saved in one year
Tuesday 16. March 2021 - In view of the COVID 19 pandemic, Konica Minolta is stepping up remote services in Europe. After a successful pilot phase lasting one year, Konica Minolta is now launching its remote visual support tool AIRe Link and moving from the open beta version to the production version.
Konica Minolta launches AIRe Link after a successful pilot phase and aims to save one billion kilometres of service travel in the next five years
AIRe Link allows companies to identify or resolve issues with their printing equipment themselves while being supported remotely by Konica Minolta. In addition, Konica Minolta is offering the solution to external companies for use in other industries.
“The coronavirus pandemic has called the existence of many service and support processes into question. We at Konica Minolta also had to ask ourselves how we could ensure our services were of a consistently high quality while still avoiding travelling to our customers in order not to endanger the health of our customers and employees. As a result of these considerations, we developed our “Remote Services by Default” concept. As the name suggests, we want to offer remote services by default. For our customers, this means above all that they will receive our services much faster and consequently their issues will be solved more quickly. Every time we avoid a trip to the customer’s site, we also save on CO2 emissions”, emphasises Andé Ziemann, Head of Service & Support at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe. “AIRe Link is the perfect supplement to our “Remote Services by Default” concept. Using AIRe Link leads to faster identification of problems and their resolution remotely, which helps technicians travel less, troubleshoot faster, reduce costs and save on CO2 emissions. In the year that we have been using AIRe Link, we have already saved more than 3,800 on-site customer visits across Europe, which is 190,000 kilometres of service travel. This corresponds to 26.7 tons of CO2 emissions. By using AIRe Link internally and by also offering it to external companies, we want to save one billion kilometres of service travel in the next five years, which corresponds to avoiding 168 thousand tons of CO2 emissions.”
As a cloud solution, AIRe Link enables a technical specialist to see what the customer sees using the camera on the customer’s smartphone or tablet. Instead of installing an application or creating an account, all the customer has to do is click an invitation link sent via text message and a session opens in the browser of their smartphone or tablet. The technical specialist can also use a live pointer or drawing in a snapshot of the customer’s screen to provide visual navigation during problem analysis and to guide the customer through the rectification process.
Konica Minolta has already deployed the solution to service teams in 26 of its 30 National Operating Countries (NOCs) across Europe to reduce on-site visits, ensure higher biosecurity, decrease CO2 emissions, increase customer satisfaction and increase the efficiency of its service and support department.
AIRe Link for other industries
In addition to AIRe Link being used internally at Konica Minolta in Europe, other industries can make use of it for their devices or machines. More than 1,200 service professionals from external companies created an account in AIRe Link during the open beta phase. One example of this is the Bruker Corporation, a global company supplying high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions for molecular and materials research, as well as for industrial and applied analysis. The company also has a team of service professionals located in Brno, Czech Republic. From there, it supports many customers in Eastern Europe who are using Daltonik instrument devices. “If we have an issue with our Bruker Daltonik device, AIRe Link allows us to immediately see what the customer sees. We can often identify or even fix the customer’s problem remotely using AIRe Link, which avoids travelling to the customer’s premises. The customer gets a solution faster, and we save travel costs and carbon emissions. It also significantly improves customer satisfaction and ensures the well-being of service staff,” says David Burian, Head of Service at Bruker. After this positive experience and thousands of euros in service cost savings, Bruker integrated AIRe Link into their standard service and support processes.
AIRe Link is available in two versions: a free basic version and a professional version for €360 per user per year. Customers from the open beta phase have reported service travel cost savings of up to €10,000 per year per user thanks to AIRe Link. Looking at this aspect, the costs ensure an immediate return on investment.
This customer-centric approach to improving serviceability and support for its customers with AIRe Link was also recognised by Keypoint Intelligence, with Konica Minolta receiving the 2020 BLI PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020-2021 in Western Europe for the second time.