Listening to the Machine
I was chatting with Sophia Marchi, the director of sales for the Americas for BÖWE BELL + HOWELL Scanners at our recent Nexus event. She had just delivered a great break-out on scanner selection criteria and we started talking about how the users need to have input on scanner selection – they really know what they like and what works for them. Often, these aren’t the people consulted when purchase decisions are made, and it’s a shame. She related how at FedEx, there were 13 identical scanners deployed, and the staff had names them all – Annabelle, Karina, Chloe, Hannah, and so forth. Workers bonded with their machines, and would line up for their favorite – even to the point of coming in early to get their machine. Or switching to it the second in came available. Well what’s the attraction — they are all the same machines, right? Then I recalled my brother and I had the same Schwinn 2 speed bikes as kids, then in college we bought the exact same motorcycles (I stuck to silver, he to purple). 3K miles down the road, I’d borrow his bike. Felt a bit funny, compared to mine with the same mileage. Fast forward to when we had put over 45K miles – what a difference. Rider habits with braking, acceleration, maintenance, even storage – added up to make these bikes ride with distinct differences. I do remember mine being faster – I guess my throttle was used to more demands. It’s the same story with scanners. Properly maintained scanners – the ones that are doted on and listened to carefully – are bound to last longer with fewer unexpected breakdowns. Sophia learned from the users that with their favorite scanners, the operators can hear roller wear, hear double feeds, even hear the need for a cleaning. Scanning shops that listen to their operators, allowing them to use a particular machine when possible, and reward regular maintenance and cleaning will outperform shops that neglect these steps.