By Shane Huiet
For a print service provider (PSP), it’s critical that your printer is running—especially if it’s needed around the clock. Wide- and grand-format printers are complicated machines, and, as with anything involving ink, moving parts, circuitry and human error, they can breakdown. Breakdowns mean costly production delays, equating to missed deadlines, damaged reputations and lost business.
Depending on the size and nature of a business, a firm may employ more than one printer to ensure uptime to meet crucial deadlines. Given the cost of wide- or grand-format printers, new equipment is brought on only when the workload demands it, meaning there is little capacity to pick up production slack if a printer goes down.
Most wide-format printers come with a standard one-year warranty, which generally protects from a mechanical failure caused when the printer was manufactured, or other malfunctions encountered during normal operation—and they may not cover the printhead. Once this warranty is up, you might have access to a tech support line to troubleshoot problems. That’s typically done during normal business hours, five days a week. To get a technician to come to a shop—if that option is even available—requires paying for the service, and then it becomes a first come/first serve basis. You are at the mercy of schedules—theirs, not yours.
Rather than fall victim to scheduling interruptions because of unexpected breakdowns, you could enjoy peace of mind by purchasing an extended warranty. Many vendors offer fee-based service plans for added protection in the event a printer breaks down. These programs can vary, from multi-tier offerings to single options. All provide enhanced service above the standard warranty, ensuring that help will be on-hand in a timely manner with nearly all repair costs—including materials, time and in many cases travel—included in your contract price.
Some of the benefits of an extended warranty include:
- Prompt call center phone assistance and problem resolution
- Elimination of unplanned and unbudgeted “time and material” repair charges
- Ability to manage cash flow by budgeting for repair expenses
- Increased printer uptime
- Maximized production
- Highest print quality
- Minimized downtime and costly missed deadlines
- Happy customers
The key to choosing a printer is finding a printer that works for you. The same is true when choosing a service plan for that printer. Most vendors now offer multiple levels in one service plan to give their customers a range of options.