Steve Sterling, Contributor

Proclaim Service Contracts from the Rooftops

By Steve Sterling, Contributor | Permanent Link

A number of the equipment manufacturer service managers I speak with are frustrated by the fact they only talk with customers when they experience a problem.

These managers think that machine operators don’t receive enough initial or ongoing training to maintain proper adjustments that keep the machine in spec. They say that end users do not service the machine at recommended intervals which leads to downtime. Some customers, they say, have a tendency to buy cheap replacement parts that not only break more quickly than OEM components, but also cause additional machine wear. Service managers decry the fact that so many customers pass up the opportunity to keep the machines well maintained through preventive maintenance service contracts.

During the sales process

Sales personnel don’t like talking about service because it implies the machine they sell isn’t high quality. Many customers don’t want to hear about service contracts because of the extra cost. Equipment company service managers, uninvolved during the sales process, don’t have a chance to weigh in. Frankly, most may not have the data to back up the cost/benefit ratio of ongoing training and preventative maintenance service contracts.

I suggest that service managers and equipment sales personnel become preventative maintenance contract champions and proclaim at every opportunity the value of those contracts. This advocacy must be fact based in order to demonstrate the positive impacts proper maintenance and training can have on productivity and costs. That means thorough data collection and analysis. Accurate cost/benefit ratios must be integrated into this analysis.

Sales people, customers, and service personnel should come together at the beginning of the sales process in order to chart a course toward lowest-total-cost of ownership and highest uptime and product quality. Without this cooperation, service managers will talk with customers only when they have a problem.

Here’s the question: Do service and sales personnel adequately explain the value of preventative maintenance service contracts?

Do service and sales personnel adequately explain the value of preventative maintenance service contracts?

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