You’ve just purchased that new $20,000 Digital Print System and you’re wondering if you really need a service contract on a brand new machine. Before you decide, you have to ask yourself two very important questions:
- Do you have people in-house that know how to maintain and repair the equipment and have experience doing it?
- More importantly, how critical is the equipment to your business?
Another point to consider is print quality. If print quality is especially high on your “important list,” a service contract is undeniably valuable. To maintain 100% perfection on your prints can be an expensive endeavor without a service agreement.
Digital printer systems require regular maintenance, which can be expensive when paid for on a time and materials basis. These costs do not cover emergency repairs and breakdowns. When you have a service contract, part of the service is preventive maintenance which can help reduce unexpected breakdowns and machine downtime.
Most contracts also cover:
- Emergency repairs
- The cost of parts and labor
- Maintenance items
- Parts such as fuser rollers, gears, bearings, stripper fingers, and corona wires, which all need periodic replacement
- Parts such as circuit boards, power supplies, photoreceptors, and LED heads, which are all expensive parts should any of them fail unexpectedly
Software upgrades and support have become increasingly critical in the ever-changing computer world. They are usually included in a contract as well. The labor to install the software may not be covered.
Most plans offer response time guarantees, with the most common time frame typically being 24 hours. Some plans offer response times as brief as 4 hours. Billing cycles can also vary from monthly to quarterly to annually.
Many clients view service contracts as insurance policies. In some respects, they are; however, service contracts truly cover a whole lot more. Service contracts provide predictability in planning and budgeting. In advance, clients can be aware of service and maintenance costs and avoid unexpected future expenditures that occur without a contract.