How does a service or maintenance agreement affect AV equipment reliability?
A service or maintenance agreement protects AV equipment from the occasional performance issue, which means less downtime for businesses. Time is the one resource money can’t buy, and according to a study by Gartner, downtime costs a company $5,600 a minute on average. That’s more than $300,000 an hour, so a maintenance agreement has the potential to save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars by boosting system reliability.
Here’s how a service or maintenance agreement protects your AV investment:
It comes with preventative maintenance
Maintenance agreements can be configured so that they come with preventative maintenance. Most integrators offer quarterly or monthly maintenance options, and the more often it’s performed, the better. That’s because preventative maintenance is extremely important for maximizing a company’s AV investment. Preventative maintenance resolves potential problems before they cause expensive downtime.
During preventative maintenance, the integrator will send an AV technician to the client’s facilities. The technician will comprehensively inspect any AV technology that’s part of the maintenance agreement. During this inspection, the technician will note, and attempt to rectify, any performance issues. If issues remain following inspection, the technician will reach out for further support.
With every performance issue fix, the system will run a bit faster and recoup time and money for the company.
Preventative maintenance is also effective at preventing downtime, which is something every business strives to avoid. With a single hour of downtime costing a company about $300,000 on average, preventative maintenance can catch those downtime-causing faults before they emerge. That alone will make a maintenance plan worth it.
Remote and on-site technical assistance are standard
Preventative maintenance is an add-on, but on-site and remote assistance are standard parts of most agreements. With remote assistance, the integrator will attempt to resolve any AV-related issues via phone or e-mail. A reputable integrator will provide unlimited remote assistance, too, so companies can utilize their relationship with the integrator as often as needed.
If the issue cannot be resolved with remote assistance, the integrator will dispatch a technician to perform a fix onsite. In most cases, this is done during the same business day, within hours of the initial call.
A new AV system is an exciting addition to a company’s workflow, but it can also be an intimidating thing to keep running smoothly. With remote and on-site technical assistance, every issue can be dealt with in a timely manner. This ensures your AV equipment is operating at peak reliability.
Additional training is also part of a maintenance agreement
User training also affects equipment reliability, because user error can result in ongoing performance issues or improper system configuration.
With a maintenance agreement in place, an integrator will offer extra training sessions during the agreement period. These extra sessions will come in handy if the company brings on new employees or if there are lingering concerns with the technology.
Training is extremely important for ensuring system adoption, which is critical to get a return on your company’s AV investment. Training, then, should not be overlooked, and experienced AV integrators know how to deliver it in a way that works. For example, an integrator has experienced trainers on staff to handle this part of the process, and these trainers can better anticipate what questions they are likely to face. Further, the training content can be developed for different skill levels, so it’s built to fit.
With extra training available, companies can protect their AV solutions from the kind of user error that slows workflow down.
Maintenance agreements provide warranty and shipping support
If a piece of AV equipment does need to be sent to the manufacturer for additional work, the integrator will handle the shipping and may expedite it, depending on the maintenance plan’s terms. If special packaging or crating is required, the integrator may provide this as well.
Warranties are another challenge for companies to keep up with, but with a maintenance plan in place, the integrator will process the warranties and cover the costs of sending and returning the equipment.
When manufacturer warranties are properly leveraged, they protect AV equipment reliability with responsive repairs.
A maintenance agreement turns an integrator into a technology partner
Reputable AV integrators know that equipment is only one part of the business. Post-installation support is what guarantees a client gets full value from their technology. Once a company signs on to a maintenance agreement, they are getting a company full of AV experts in exchange. It’s not just the agreement’s terms that provides value, then, because that expertise can be used to make better AV decisions.
For example, AV equipment should be replaced every five to seven years to ensure maximum reliability. Without an integrator on hand, companies may find it impossible to keep up with this timeline. Further, if earlier replacement is needed, an integrator can determine this before system reliability becomes an issue. AV manufacturers release new equipment models every year, and while companies don’t need to upgrade that often, sometimes it makes sense to jump to an upgraded model. The improved functionality and reliability of the new equipment may offset its cost, in other words. However, only an experienced integrator will know for sure, so it’s helpful to have a professional relationship with a trusted integrator.
When upgrades or replacements are needed, the integrator will make the cost-effective choice for their client, keeping in mind their budget and needs. While businesses can always hire another integrator when AV needs arise, that may take time the company doesn’t have. A maintenance agreement and a formalized relationship with an AV expert fixes that problem.
A lot comes with a maintenance or service agreement, so they are like having a full-fledged technology partner always on call. That’s something businesses should consider, because while modern AV solutions are reliable, with a maintenance agreement in place, they will remain so for years after installation.