Understanding Color Calibration Process - I feel stupid - what am I missing?

I didn't really have this problem before with our Xerox printers because they seemed to for the most part hold their colors with a reasonable degree of consistency.
I had other problems with Xerox that were insurmountable but colors seemed to be fairly stable. If the colors seemed like they were drifting we would use the EFI Color Calibrator and then keep printing.

Canon - it's a completely different story.
After talking to their expert that they sent out to train me today, I've come to the conclusion that I know nothing.

What I need:
A consistent process I can teach to every member of our print team to calibrate the printers so we know that colors are printing to about the same standard across our entire fleet (with a reasonable margin of difference from printer to printer).

Realistic Expectations or am I being unrealistic?
We aren't expecting miracles but when I color calibrate our Canon printers (we have four Canons) I get wildly different results depending on the steps I take. The photo below were all printed on the same printer, same paper, same file but after taking slightly different calibration steps using the Fiery Calibrate tool in Fiery with an EFI X-Rite i1Pro3 color calibrator.

The question is... which color is the right color and how would you know and verify that?
Except, I'm not looking for an answer for THIS file. I'm looking for an answer for ALL the customers files.

Canon has not been able to give me that answer or procedure/steps. They just fixate on one file not realizing I need a process because we cannot calibrate the printers between every single job 100 times a day, we are a short run print shop. We tell customers that colors won't come out consistently run to run but there should still be some sort of baseline expectation.

The expert is going to "research" but right now he's trying to pitch me software and color profiling systems that I'm sure will end up expensive. What exactly is the point of the spectrometer and fiery calibrator if we can't produce reliable results.

We also need a way to know that a color change problem isn't just a "recalibrate the colors" issue and is a "fix the drum or developer or whatever" issue.
Is there an expert out there who actually knows what they're doing and can train me on how to use the Fiery calibrator properly with canon equipment and get reliable output?
Because right now I feel incredibly uneducated in this area.

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I can't help you but just wanted to say I appreciate this post.. as someone who regularly posts a disclaimer before many of my queries on here that I don't really know what I am doing when it comes to colour and prepress and am self taught, it's refreshing to see a post like this.


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