In this article, we explore the importance of servicing and the advantages and disadvantages of various levels of support agreements.
Why is servicing ignored?
Buying a new machine or printer is a significant investment, and many printing businesses are reluctant to spend even more on a good service agreement. New machines rarely break down (and are covered by a manufacturer's warranty), so the added value of a textile printing service agreement isn't always apparent.
However, printing machines operate in harsh, industrial environments where they're expected to perform year after year. Any downtime can impact productivity, damage client relationships, and eventually even reduce your profit. Consider buying a new car; taking out a preventive maintenance agreement is fully accepted and almost a nobrainer. So why isn’t this yet the case when buying an expensive printing machine? The importance of service is still undervalued, but is key to maximum performance, high quality and optimal ROI.
A textile printing service solution that matches your business needs
Service agreements are a complete package of support that includes installation, training, spare parts, consultation, documentation, and long-term cooperation with a reliable partner. Various service solutions exist that reflect the level of support a customer requires, ranging from very basic to fully custom service packages. How to choose the support that best suits your situation?
Ask your supplier to provide clear insight into the various options available, for example, through a visual representation. Let’s dive into the most common service agreements and their advantages.
Service agreements: from basic assistance to custom support
If your business consists of modern printing machinery or when your business has an experienced in-house maintenance department, a basic service agreement is often all you need. A basic agreement normally means remote support to help you get your printers up and running again in an emergency.
Extending remote support with planned maintenance visits is a good option to ensure timely replacement of components. This involves a service engineer visiting your site periodically to inspect your machinery and bring the necessary spare parts and consumables. This way, you never run out of stock.
Worry-free service agreements
You may benefit most from a full-service support package as an organization with multiple installations, complex dependencies, and/or 24/7 operations. Finding staff with adequate knowledge of all your different machines within your operation is a big challenge. This problem can be solved by engaging in an all-encompassing service agreement that, in addition to remote support and preventive maintenance visits, also includes replacement parts, priority handling and labour costs for all repairs. This way, you ensure optimal uptime and output of your machine. Moreover, it saves you from unexpected delays and high costs.
Are you aiming for absolutely zero worries about the runnability of your operations, and are there any special, non-standard requirements that your service support needs to meet? Then most service partners also offer a fully customized support package. This is a tailor-made service level agreement that provides personal service and the highest levels of support, oftentimes including a single point of contact who is at your disposal at any time.
How to select the best service package
When deciding on the type of service you would like to have from your supplier, you should spend time considering the following:
- The scope, size, and complexity of your printing process
- The roles and responsibilities you are comfortable outsourcing to a partner
- The extent to which you want to cover all risks
- Your potential partner’s experience, expertise and reliability
- Your expectations on communication with and delivery from your partner
It’s critical to engage in a dialogue with your future service partner to discuss these elements in order to ensure you are completely aligned.
Get the best service for your operation
You’re not alone in this process. SPGPrints can use our decades of experience and expert insight to advise you on the best support for your situation. Whether it concerns rotary printing systems, digital textile printers or industrial solutions for label printing, Printed Electronics or non-wovens: We aim to help you get the most out of your printing systems over an extended lifespan, way past the payback period.
Do you want to know more about our service agreements? Access our service brochure here to discover the available options.
Need expert advice? Discuss all our servicing options with an SPGPrints expert and find the best solution for your situation together: