Minimising the time engineers spend in the field is critical for any IT supplier, let alone one which resolves an average of 25,000 support calls a month.
As the UK's largest print dealer, the pages that Danwood services every week - if stacked in reams - would exceed the height of Mount Everest.
One of the challenges facing a company of this scale is how to boost customer satisfaction, reduce overheads and lessen environmental impact by increasing the number of incidents it resolves remotely.
"With the software and technology that has been put into its products, we get a higher remote resolution capability out of Samsung than we do out of any other OEM"
As a result of innovations introduced by Samsung in the past 18 months, Danwood's remote resolution ratio with Samsung is 50 per cent higher than its worst-performing vendor, its CEO Wes Mulligan (pictured) said.
Mulligan said he had discussed how to improve the efficiency of Danwood's operations with Samsung R&D staff during a trip to the Korean vendor's headquarters last October.
"We spent a lot of time talking about how we can make our operations more efficient and effective," he said. "If we do things more simply, it means we can share the benefits of that with our customers.
"We are trying to increase our ability to remotely resolve service issues, so when a customer rings up to say a machine is down, we are either able to dial into the machine itself or to fix it over the phone. With the software and technology that has been put into its products, we get a higher remote resolution capability out of Samsung than we do out of any other OEM currently.
"If a customer rings in with an issue and I can resolve more of those remotely, their satisfaction goes up with the Danwood brand, and it also goes up with the Samsung brand. Being able to take those costs out of the business means we can share those rewards with customers through lower pricing, so it allows us to become very competitive. Materially reducing the number of field visits I need to make also has a positive environmental impact as I'm not burning fuel."
The fact that Samsung's platform is Android based means it can deal with 80 per cent of the world's mobile platforms, which Mulligan said resonates with customers in certain verticals such as education.
Innovations Danwood has introduced alongside Samsung in the past 18 months were made possible only because the two businesses were willing to share information and forge a close partnership, Mulligan said.
"We have expanded and grown up with Samsung quite significantly over the past few years and it's probably fair to say that growth has been built absolutely on the back of the people, and also the product and services offering," he said.
"We find them straightforward and our objectives are their objectives. When we are dealing with the end customer, Samsung works shoulder to shoulder with us, so it isn't just a case of knocking on doors and trying to get in front of customers. Samsung are very good at supporting us to make sure any presentation we give to customers is seamless. The way I would measure seamless is that a customer wouldn't actually know if the person talking to them is from Danwood or Samsung. That to me is a success, because it says that we are jointly working together effectively to meet the needs of that customer."
Danwood may boast a headcount of 1,100 and revenues north of ￡150m, but it is still dwarfed by 300,000-strong Samsung, for which it is a global strategic partner. Samsung claims to invest about $33m per day in R&D, and holds nearly 5,000 patents in the US alone.
But Mulligan praised Samsung's willingness to respond to partner feedback on how the needs of customers are changing and to rapidly turn ideas into reality.
"For an organisation of its size, it's quick on its feet. The gestation period between idea and reality is exceptional," he said.
Mark Ash, director, enterprise business at Samsung UK, said the vendor is innovating to produce solutions that benefit both end users and the channel simultaneously.
"We've built a solution that means we don't have to send engineers as often to the customer site, and that's more innovative than anything I've seen in the industry in 20 years," he said. "It benefits the end user, because no one wants to sit there with an inoperable device waiting for an engineer to arrive. But it also benefits the dealer because it saves them money."
■ This article was commissioned by Samsung. Visit www.samsung.com/uk/business for more details.
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