Inkjet & Digital Printing
Screen Europe expands Service and Support Department during pandemic
Wednesday 17. March 2021 - Screen Europe has expanded its Service and Support Department over the past year to support its growing customer base in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as printers have continued to invest in digital equipment, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support Screen’s growing sales in recent years, the Service and Support Department has expanded in 2020, hiring 7 new staff. The department is expected to continue to grow, as Screen is looking for more engineers to join its service teams across the EMEA region.
“Over the past five years we’ve seen a clear transition from conventional to digital printing, with many more printers eager to seize opportunities in the shorter print run market. There is a clear increase in sales of print-on-demand products”, explains says Steve Low, Vice-President Service and Support for EMEA at Screen Europe.
“Investment in new digital equipment was stronger than expected at the start of the pandemic. Each month we are installing new products around Europe, the Middle East and Africa. COVID-19 clearly hasn’t hit the digital printer market as much as other sectors. Our digital presses are still seeing strong demand.”
The newly hired engineers are based in the Germany, the Netherlands, and France. In his 31 years with Screen, Steve Low has seen the service team grow consistently although Screen Europe’s products require relatively little service and repairs, thanks to their reliability, high uptime, and low maintenance. “Our customers need relatively few onsite visits from our engineers”, says Steve.
Screen is increasingly switching to remote service and support, using augmented reality (AR). The demand for this technology has accelerated in the pandemic. The team recently started providing AR glasses to some of its customers’ operators, enabling Screen’s engineers to see what the operator sees, looking deep into the machine to guide them in performing tests, making repairs or replacing broken parts.
“Our remote diagnostics tools have definitely helped us meet our short response times. From Amsterdam or London, we can dial into a machine in the Italian countryside, for example, and diagnose a problem, do updates and even reboot machines. The only thing we can’t do remotely is run a print test,” says Steve.
“The pandemic has clearly changed our customers’ view regarding the need for Screen engineers to make on-site visits. A remote repair is now seen as better and quicker.” Steve’s team also trains its customers’ operators to do first line service, especially for very large installations, so that a Screen engineer only needs to visit once a year for maintenance.
Screen’s services teams are crucial to Screen’s business success. Steve Low comments: “Customer satisfaction is essential for us to get new sales orders. Excellent service and maintenance are top priorities for printers looking for new equipment. They hope they won’t need service engineers, but if they do, they want them to be there fast and fix their problems quickly. And they’re absolutely right to demand this from us.”
Screen Europe is still looking for new service engineers to strengthen its teams in Italy and the Netherlands.