How to upgrade a support contract to a proactive maintenance strategy

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Investing in 24/7 Support is easy … optimising maintenance requires planning

When a machine breaks down in your production facility, as you all know well, it results in a cost for every minute of every hour that machine is out of use.

If that cost is more than the price of a 12 month support contract, then justifying that investment to your budget holders is easy to explain and shows a tangible return on investment.

This is what we do: enabling you to quantify the need for choosing iconsys ServConnect™ to be part of your first line support team. We will help you understand how much it costs you for each hour of lost production vs the price of a support contract.

We offer a range of service level agreements: 4 hour, 8 hour, 12 hour and 24 hour response periods – together we take an easy risk assessment based around the cost & risk of downtime for a machine to your business.  We then assess how many service credits you need to purchase up front with your Service Contract.

What is a Service Credit ?

A service credit is a value ‘banked’ with iconsys, redeemable against service time or buying materials.

The primary benefit is that you are buying a bank of service credits, which guarantees our time at a reduced rate.

Here’s an example of the other benefits in action … it’s 2am you’re running on skeleton staff and your machine breaks down. You can make the call to iconsys and get an engineer discussing your issues within half an hour with no need for a purchase order, no additional authorisation required. These have already been arranged for you to reduce stress and improve response time.

In addition, parts can be purchased against these credits allowing for our purchasing department to swiftly locate replacement components for swift delivery in the event of a breakdown, without the need to raise a purchase order.

It’s the perfect reactive support model …

… but what happens when you don’t have as many breakdowns as you expected at the start of the year. Do you risk not taking the contract out again – Do the budget holders then pull the plug?

Let’s break this down.

We would advise most new customers to purchase between 20 to 50 credits a year ready to be utilised when something breaks down – your insurance policy from us.

There is no need to raise a separate PO – you just call our hotline and we immediately respond based upon your SLA response period and endeavour to get your production facility back up and running as soon as feasibly possible.

We manage and log all the engineering time and document everything that has been completed upon site so you have full visibility of how you have used your service credits – at the end of each successful service visit and via monthly reports sent to you and accessed at your pleasure in our customer portal.

Moving to a more proactive maintenance strategy

Towards the end of the year, we can help you use up any remaining credits with additional maintenance, thermal imaging survey, training, consulting, energy reviews etc – our comprehensive suite of ServConnect™/a> service offerings really come into their own here.

Next, have a think about how you can optimise this reactive-based model more proactively for future years. For example:

What other maintenance tasks could I enable a quick resolution for?

How long does it take me to get a PO raised for small works?

Is there training that my engineers could benefit from?

How many ‘nice to have’ changes on my SCADA get lost in larger jobs and pre planned budgets?

With a little bit of analysis and data from previous years planned and un-planned maintenance jobs your inhouse team have done, you will have a landscape of costings and time spent against all types of maintenance work completed and training requirements.

No doubt you will also understand which assets need maintaining more regularly than others, which assets that are more critical than others (although we can help with that too if you don’t!), and maintenance activities that have brought little to no benefit.

At the start of each year, you could then look to purchase, say, 50 more credits to be used against some of your planned maintenance jobs. Let’s say the ones that never get done by your maintenance team – for example panel maintenance.

That way, you get unplanned maintenance covered, and some or all your planned maintenance covered within one service contract through our credit system. Total flexibility for your service needs, 24/7.

Typically, our existing contract customers expand the annual quantity of their service credits once they understand the versatility and expertise available to them through our ServConnect™  offering.

Improving responsiveness with RemoteConnect™

Ever wished you could get immediate help with a machine issue, rather than waiting for a service engineer to turn up?

Welcome to our next-level remote servicing toolbox that enables your engineers to ‘plug & play’ with our remote access gateway service, allowing us full access to diagnose an issue swiftly. It allows you to create a secure VPN connect between your PLC, HMI etc and our service team, from anywhere.

You can find out more about the benefits of RemoteConnect here.

If you’d like to build more flexibility into your service and maintenance strategy, get in touch for a no obligation chat to further explore the benefits it could bring to you. We’re here to help, as and when you need it.

Author: Wendy Snell, Service Solutions Sales Manager