Top 5 questions Answered about Rugged PDA Repair and Service

29 11 2011

Rugged PDA Repair and Service is often a misunderstood, confusing and plain rubbish area for customers to deal with so to end this series on Rugged PDA Repair and Service we wanted to publish the top 5 questions we get asked by customers:

Why do Warranty only or out of warranty repairs take so long?

The top question we get asked!  Our published times for Intermec and Motorola are averaging 15 days at the moment, but that’s nothing compared to Psion who are taking 4-6 weeks to repair kit for us which is really stressful for customers and costly for us to manage.  It’s just not good enough.  It’s actually insulting to be honest.

Warranty repairs take so long because they are always treated as the least important repairs and are at the back of the queue when it comes to repairing them.  If lots of service products come then they get no attention, if none come in then they have time to repair them, simple as that.

Why are they so costly?

We don’t know the answer to this one.  We can buy most LCD screens for under $30, so we don’t know why Motorola charge over £350 for a touch screen repair.  I think there is an element of “told you to buy a service product” here but I also think its unfair to make everyone pay for one when they genuinely don’t need one.

Why can’t I buy a service product on a monthly basis?

Well it’s like your car insurance really.  If everyone could buy service on a monthly model, then they would probably cancel it after they made a claim which would be rather costly to the supplier!  We feel we might have a model that could work for this though.  Watch this space.

How can the “Mobile Phone operators” do this far cheaper and include theft in their plans?

They’re not cheaper, the average cost for a comparably priced device like a Blackberry or iPhone is about £10 per month (£5 per month for a rugged service contract).

Thefts are replaced with refurb units, yes even their largest and most powerful customers get refurb ones, no-one is special!!

The products are not comparable.  They are based on the network contract not the hardware and they use their refurb pool to keep things running.  Try that model in the rugged market and you would soon run into asset management nightmare alley!

Is an offsored service centre better for me?

All the major manufacturers have 1 service centre someone in Europe, usually the cheaper parts! the pros tend to be around the fact they have a Central cheaper service, the cons are also that it’s a Central “cheaper” service!, no local help, engineer communication and postage costs for most to send to places like the Czech republic are higher and take longer for devices to get there.

We think it’s probably swayed a little too much into being more about cost cutting for the manufacturers than it is about service for the customers to be honest.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Top 7 Myths of Rugged PDA Service

28 11 2011
Some Rugged PDA Services are all Myth...Some aren't!!

Some Rugged PDA Services are all Myth…Some aren’t!!

I wanted to continue this series of blogs on Rugged PDA Repair and Service by answering the most common questions,

Rugged PDA Service Myth 1  – It’s Too Expensive

3 Year Service product typically costs less now than it does to repair 1 screen break.  Sure many devices won’t break at all in their 3 year usage time but at least service is well priced and the risk is certainly not influenced by the high cost.

Rugged PDA Service Myth 2 – Warranty is everything I need

We here this all the time where certain customers think the warranty will cover them for accidental damage, wear and tear, theft, loss and probably any eventuality god can throw at them!  We covered the differences on Warranty and Service right here so please go take a look as we don’t have a magic wand here, just magic service!!!

Rugged PDA Service Myth 3  – It won’t work for me

OK, yes we’re seeing some service products fail in our market but with the right manufacturer, right reseller and the right tailored service, you can practically make whatever service you need these days.

Rugged PDA Service Myth 4 – Is only for large companies or large purchase QTY’s

This is a common mis-conception.  You can buy a “Service Pack” for 1 rugged PDA, 100 Rugged PDA’s or 1000+.  We’ll certainly give you the same service and treatment whatever number of devices you buy a service product for.

Rugged PDA Service Myth 5 – I have to buy service up front and it’s too much time pressure to decide

Not true, everyone gives you 1 month from the date of your Rugged Handheld purchase, some 2 months and most do have an option to buy service after this.  It will cost you more and there are a few restrictions of course but it is easily applied after 2 months and every year?

 Rugged PDA Service Myth 6 – I have to buy 3 or 5 years up front

Most service products can be bought annually, again there might be some restrictions and cost associated with this and it can depend on how much you have claimed previously but you can do it.  We also have a range of other annually based products here that are all easily accessed on a per year basis.

Rugged PDA Service Myth 7 – I don’t have to worry about anything now that I can claim for anything any amount of times

Service, great as it is, should also not be seen as a magic bullet for you.  All Service products have “Abuse” clauses built-in and you should still take responsibility for your Rugged PDA’s and user behaviour because too many claims and if the issues are abusive in nature (Stylus stuck through screens!), if the PDA has seen damage it was not meant to be effective against (Water damage on Semi-rugged PDA’s) or if the service is just plain abused then we will need to talk.  remember it’s about protecting your business.  If you can’t be bothered, why should anyone else?

We’ll continue tomorrow with some of the most popular questions we commonly get asked.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Unravelling the Mystery of Rugged PDA Repair – The Managed Service

25 11 2011
Managed Services - Taking real care of your business

Managed Services – Taking real care of your business

As we continue our series on unravelling Rugged PDA service we take a look at what this thing called “Managed Services” is exactly!

First remember that everything tends to come with a warranty, on top of that you can typically then buy a “service” product that increases the levels of care and service you get.  However this is often not quite enough which means you might be a candidate for a managed service.

The Classic Managed Service

Classically a managed service is all about outsourcing your technical support into somewhere else.  Typically larger customers have done this where costs and outsourcing have been a driver but also where perhaps mobile or PDA expertise is also lacking, despite a large IT base.  Managed services usually requires some kind of service product to sit on top of and can be heavily tailored but usually consists of some kind of:

  • Helpdesk – Where your end users will be able to get help, action repairs and deal with an engineer directly.
  • Remote support which allows support to be delivered without the need to bring workers in to the depot or office.
  • Managed rugged PDA pool – Which allows for increased SLA’s for repairs and also further sales.
  • Dedicated desks, engineers and personal.
  • Continued provisioning and deployment of devices.
  • Reporting – Which can be anything form a simple monthly report to general meetings with customer service teams.
  • There should also be some kind of pro-active element for customers which ensures customer solutions can grow and any potential issues are resolved before they become a problem.

Of course you can tailor a managed service to your hearts desire to fit your business exactly but the above are the main building blocks of the product you can expect to see.

We’re seeing  push down into managed Services where customers who wouldn’t normally qualify for this kind of service are asking for elements of it.  As costs to deliver such services reduce, the opportunities exist to start offering higher levels of managed services to smaller and smaller customers.  Come and talk to us here if you want to know more.

It’s all about letting someone who understands the rugged and mobile scenario come in and run your solution for you.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Unravelling the Mystery of Rugged PDA Repair – Warranty Vs Service

24 11 2011

So Rugged PDA service and repair starts with warranty but one of the most common questions we get, and indeed often the hardest sell, is all about the service product.  I say this is the hardest sell for us because I think too many customers think warranty covers them against more than they think it does, and the service product is very little understood.

However we know it’s often the best way to ensure a robust solution for many years which ultimately saves lots of money and keeps your business running down the line.  Below is a slide we use here a lot when we present to customers that shows you the basic differences between warranty and support.  Let me take you through a few of them here:

Warranty is a very different picture when compared to a full Service product

warranty is a very different picture when compared to a full Service product

Warranty will not cover you for “wear and tear”, a service product takes this into account as it does any repair bills, parts and labour should anything go wrong.  A service product also covers you for accidental breakages.  LCD cracks are still the most common injury a PDA suffers in its life and the typical cost of a 3 year service product, is usually the same as the cost of repairing an LCD so it can be very worthwhile and cost-effective having it.

The service product also comes with an SLA.  Unlike many SLA’s we stand by the ones we deliver against here with penalties built-in so you know we are motivated at the least to repair your kit quickly.  Service products can also be the basis of much more, they can be tailored, adding in extra features or special ones that fit your business and mobile solution better.  It also forms the basis of anything that we can offer through a “managed Service” which starts to look at more proactive elements of service, which stops things going wrong in the first place.

In nutshell Warranty is a mechanism to ensure your rugged PDA is as described and of a quality of manufacturer.  A Service is about keeping your business running.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Unravelling the Mystery of Rugged PDA Repair

23 11 2011

Rugged PDA Repair - When it all goes wrong it's essential to have the right service in place

Rugged PDA Repair – When it all goes wrong it’s essential to have the right service in place

As part of our launching of our new, larger and far better service centre I wanted to get the team to do a blog series on Rugged PDA service.

Rugged PDA repair and service is one of the core elements of buying a rugged handheld over a smartphone and it also ensures you have a model where you can get the right help, quickly and with the right resolution.

We’ll start today by looking at the levels of service you can buy on most Rugged PDA’s and then we’ll explore these in more details as the series progresses.

Rugged PDA Service levels

Right at the bottom we’ve got the lowly but essential Warranty product.  Warranty is very basic at best and it pretty much ensures that the product you have works to a standard and is free from defects.  It’s not like warranty for a car as its doesn’t include anything that covers wear and tear, anything that shows signs of abuse and accidental breakages are totally not covered.  Anything over and above a true warranty claim will be chargeable for the parts and labour so you need to be aware that any broken LCD’s are not covered by warranty at all.

All rugged PDA’s come with 12 months warranty, the odd one 24 months, and they will also cover you for what we call the Dead on Arrival scenario where devices that are dead within a certain period of time will simply be exchanged not repaired.  However some manufacturers will only offer to repair so watch out for that.

The Service product

Typically the next step up is the Service product.  All the main manufacturers offer a service product of some nature.  The purchase is usually up front and for a 1-5 year period and you have to make your decision within a period of buying the device.  This product aims at giving you a better control of your overall costs and adds the following to the basic warranty product:

  • Accidental damage
  • Turn-around SLA of 3-5 days
  • Wear and Tear covered
  • Labour and parts cost included
  • Access to upgrades and other software

This is where products such as Motorola “service from the start”, Intermecs “Medallion” and Pidion’s “PidionCare” products sit.  They can typically be upgraded and tailored to meet most needs depending on the way its done but we’ll talk about that in a later article.

Managed services

lastly there are the managed services that are really all about delivering expertise and a helpdesk right into your organisation.  For instance here at RAM we simply have a dialogue with the end users of any managed devices, we use a range of tools to make issues easy to resolve remotely and we offer speedier repairs for these customers too.  Basically these customers have a direct dial into our engineers too so they can quickly get round any minor problems that can be addressed with a quick call or email.

That’s service in a nutshell then! Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the difference between warranty and service in more detail.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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