What is a maintenance contract?
A maintenance contract is basically a written document which constitutes the terms of an agreement between a client and a maintenance service provider. The client can be a consumer who gets a warranty for purchases of mechanical equipment. The overall purpose for a maintenance contract is to have consistent fees and regular availability of the service provider at a savings over random or emergency calls. By securing a maintenance contract, the client typically garners savings through the fixed or reduced fees and also gets a regular relationship with a service provider.
Why do you need a maintenance contract?
- Guaranteed repair time to keep your hardware and production line running
- Immediate telephone support to resolve repairs quickly and efficiently
- Technical expertise of engineering team as hardware will be repaired by fully qualified and accredited engineers
- Dedicated service schedules
- Provides emergency service, when time is of essence and you need quick services
- All standard parts and labour costs covered by the maintenance contract, hence, ensures cost savings for the time period of the contract
- Paves way for longevity of operations as by sticking to a routine maintenance schedule, hardware will need to undergo thorough inspections designed to catch any serious issues
- Best option for hardware which is out of guarantee time period or has been functional over a long period of time.
What are the different types of maintenance contract?
Maintenance contracts apply to a wide range of products including printers, handheld computers, scanners, and software. They vary on the level of response you require:
- Onsite contracts: an engineer will visit your site and respond within a period of time that you choose which typically ranges from 4 hours, 8 hours to 5 days. The quicker the response the greater the cost, but consider the cost if your hardware and production line fails!
- Hot swap contracts: Ideal if you don’t need onsite support but require a next day replacement for your hardware. Hot swap works simply by a replacement hardware being sent to your site while the faulty hardware is sent away for repair. A lower cost option than an onsite contract, with next day turnaround.
- Return to base contracts: Ideal if don’t need next day support — options include 3 to 5 days. Simply courier your hardware to the repair workshop and it will be fixed within a specified number of days. This is ideal for lower cost desktop and mid-range printers that are not mission critical or where you have a stock of spare printers. Return to the base is not recommended for larger, industrial printers because it is not always easy to find packaging to ensure that the printer is not damaged in transit.
What all should your maintenance contract consist of?
- Billing Structure: It is important to specify how you are going to pay the maintenance service company, whether you are going to pay them on an annual basis or on the basis of number of services.
- Scheduling: Another clause to add in the contract is regarding schedule of services and routine maintenance schedule alongside the kind of contract you want.
- Termination of Services: The clause regarding when and in what circumstances would the client terminate the services of the maintenance company shall also be included. Also, it should be included in the contract that in case of any dispute, the matter should be referred for arbitration or the parties are free to go to court.
- Scope and Term: The contract shall clearly specify the terms and scope of the services to be provided by the maintenance service provider with no ambiguity.
- Duration of contract: The duration of the contract should be specified in the contract.
- Other expenses: The contract should also contain the details regarding the other expenses like the cost of the hardware to be replaced would be paid by the client or the maintenance service provider.
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