Most every company uses IT hardware from different manufacturers; from Apple to Zebra (and every letter in-between), they all have their uses and large installed bases. But what’s the best way to handle maintenance when you use equipment from a variety of different manufacturers?
Each OEM will have their own specific warranties – how long and what’s covered. They will handle out of warranty repairs in different ways too – where do you send it? Will they replace it? How long is the turnaround time? What’s the warranty on the out-of-warranty repair? (Not very long is the answer to that one!)
There is a growing need in every vertical market for Unified Service Plans; a way to cover all hardware under one maintenance contract or agreement, but what’s the best way to achieve that? Some of the larger manufacturers will offer similar plans, but they have some distinct disadvantages. Such agreements have a tendency to promote the particular manufacturer’s equipment which may not necessarily be the best choice for your application. In addition such manufacturers really don’t have any experience in repairing hardware other than their own and may well outsource it, which can cause delays and doubt about repair quality.
Third party, independent repair companies can be an excellent choice for Unified Service Plans. These companies are independent of any one manufacturer, but normally have repair experience with a range of them. They will handle the out of warranty repairs in-house and offer a long warranty and good turnaround times. They can also process any warranty repairs with the manufacturer on your behalf. Being independent of any manufacturer will also allow them to offer you good advice and comparisons on the different OEMs vying for your business.
What are your experiences of multi-vendor repairs – we’d like to know! Or, if you need more information about Mercom’s Unified Service Plans, then leave a reply below and we’ll be in touch!