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Planned Maintenance vs. Break/Fix Repair for Business Equipment

Let's compare the two options.

August 4, 2020

As a business owner or someone who regularly works with technology, you've likely had this question: How should I repair my equipment when it goes down? Here at BLM Technologies, we have a preference for planned maintenance

Planned maintenance refers to any maintenance activity that is prearranged, documented, and scheduled

Having a plan in place for repairing your devices makes it much easier to execute when the situation arises. There are a couple of styles of planned maintenance:

  • Preventive maintenance means you schedule regular check-ups for your equipment, usually based around a measurable metric like scans or rolls of receipt paper. Preventive maintenance fine-tunes the devices in your inventory before they fail. 
  • Planned and unscheduled maintenance means there is a strategy in place for repairs, but the support does not occur on a regular frequency. This strategy can include the repair partner, established Service Level Agreement (SLA), and price. 

In contrast, many businesses choose break/fix repair. With this option, you wait until a device fails to consider your repair options. Break/fix repair is reactive and similar to home service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, or roofers.

Let's compare planned maintenance and break/fix repair side by side: 

COST 

PLANNED MAINTENANCE

Most repair partners set a fixed fee with businesses for planned maintenance. You identify the device that you'd like to place on this "contract" and pay a monthly sum to cover any repairs during that time. While this may seem like more money upfront, it could save you the money of a significant or complicated repair. Depending on the turnaround for the repairs, your repair bill will be between $45-100 per month. 

Unfortunately, if your business doesn't need IT support during a particular month, you still pay the same flat rate. There may also be additional fees required to begin your partnership with the service provider. 

BREAK/FIX REPAIR

If luck is on your side, this option could be economical. However, frequently used machines will likely require maintenance from time to time. Depending on the issue, your business could be stuck paying a hefty price to ship in a specialty piece or rush the repair.

For smaller devices that can be shipped to a repair depot, a standard break/fix service fee runs $100-$125. However, if the repair requires a new part, it could add on an average of $100 (but up to $500). And if you need the part shipping rushed, this could add on an additional $40. Rush on the repair, especially, from a less urban area, will tack on more. This totals a low-ball estimate of $265 per repair. 

Onsite repair for larger devices will run you $80-$100 per hour, often with a two-hour minimum and potential travel costs. 

CONCLUSION

Expense is a driving force for businesses. Many organizations see the upfront fee of planned maintenance and run for the hills. However, it's essential to consider the longterm strategy for your business and to be able to plan expenses into your budget. 

Learn more about planned maintenance

TIME 

PLANNED MAINTENANCE

Maintenance providers offer different repair timelines for your devices. 3-day and 10-day repairs are common. You can send your device in and get it back within 3 or 10 days of receipt. Some repair providers even offer next day repairs, where you can receive a working machine by the next business day. Usually, a provider establishes these timelines with you in the SLA

BREAK/FIX REPAIR

When you utilize a break/fix repair strategy, it often takes longer than you'd like. Before the maintenance can start, you'll need to locate the warranty and determine if you should send the device to the manufacturer or a standard repair center. 

Without an established timeline in place, these repairs could take days—or weeks, during which time you're out a check scanner, receipt printer, or other essential technology. 

CONCLUSION

When you have business-critical devices, downtime is not an option. It's critical to have a plan when your equipment breaks down instead of scrambling for a solution. However, if your machines are not crucial to daily business activities, this service is not as valuable. 

SCALABILITY

Planned Maintenance

If you have a large inventory to manage, it's smart to find a scalable solution. Many repair partners can service a variety of technologies for your convenience. By locating a provider that fits your needs and placing your equipment on maintenance contracts, you can send your receipt printers and check scanners to the same place, for example. 

Additionally, ask the service partner if they can manage your manufacturer's warranties. Without needing to check your files, you can make one call and receive an invoice only for the out-of-warranty repairs. 

Learn more about planned maintenance

BREAK/FIX REPAIR

Without a maintenance contract, you must personally stay on top of the status of warranties and identify which providers can service which devices. Needless to say, this is not scalable or effective long-term. In this scenario, managing and scheduling maintenance quickly becomes a full-time job.

CONCLUSION

Find a repair solution where you can make a single call for repairs as opposed to dozens. Time is money, and scalability saves on both. 

Which type of repair is right for you?

When determining a maintenance plan for your organization, it's important to consider your values and goals as a company. Is downtime okay, or do you need your devices working promptly? How much are you willing to spend on repairs? Do you have staff that can manage warranties and repair center communications? 

If you're ready to save time, money, and effort in your repair process, learn more about BLM Technologies maintenance plan offerings. We offer scanner repair, receipt printer repair, and more. 

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