When running a busy workshop, keeping operation costs down to maximise profit, is an important part of business. Therefore, considering that regular servicing of your equipment is not a mandatory requirement, is it really a cost worth investing in?
Here’s some thoughts to help you decide…
Health and Safety considerations
In today’s modern claiming culture, it has never been more important to protect the Health and Safety of yourselves and your mechanics. Whilst considering you will have, hopefully, sourced your equipment from reputable manufacturers, with warranty packages and been trained on how to operate and inspect your equipment at regular intervals (if you haven’t that’s another blog post!) an ongoing service programme may not be the top of your priorities. However, lets consider that you have new mechanics joining your team, your day to day priorities overtake and equipment inspections lapse, equipment is getting older, or any host of reasons that can impact Health and Safety in your workshop, having an external provider aiding the safety of your equipment, will certainly help you sleep at night!
Its quite easy to put ‘unnecessary’ costs like servicing off, but with a service maintenance contract, your equipment and your mechanics are protected, providing you with Health & Safety assurance. Worth its weight in gold some might say.
Insurance inspections of your garage equipment is a mandatory requirement and when the time comes round for your yearly insurance inspection it can sometimes be a worrying, unpredictable time. Unforeseen costs can occur on your most utilised equipment, which depending upon the severity of the categorisation of issue, can mean equipment is unusable until fixed. In addition, equipment breakdowns is one of the most expensive methods of maintaining equipment, because there is no guarantee of resolving the problem in 24 hours, failures always have a tendency to happen at the most inconvenient times.
Having your equipment inspected and serviced in a planned manner, at a time to suit you, can help to spread costs throughout the year, schedule any repairs effectively and in some cases avoid costly breakdown time.
Running a workshop, your mechanics and your customers demands is where your time and expertise should be spent. Ringing round trying to find someone to urgently repair an equipment breakdown, trying to self diagnose issues with equipment, resolving insurance report issues, inspecting the safety of equipment are all things that take you away from your day to day.
Having a professional company manage your servicing puts you in an informed position. Your maintenance can be scheduled to fit in and around your plans, as well as the management of Manufacturer warranties can be handed over. Depending on who you work with, you should gain valuable access to data about each of your equipment’s breakdown costs, which allows you to be in an informed position about when its time to stop repairing and just replace.
Ok, so you’ve decided that a service maintenance contract is right for you, unfortunately the decisions do not stop there. There are many companies in the UK offering garage equipment service maintenance contracts. How do you tell them apart?
Heard the saying, ‘you get what you pay for?’ well this is definitely the case with charges for equipment servicing. Given you are typically charged per equipment, its important to understand what you are getting for your money. Unfortunately, there are companies claiming to offer ‘servicing’ when actually they are simply ‘inspecting’ equipment visually, hence why their costs may look cheaper!
Questions you should be asking any potential supplier?
- What exactly are you getting for your money? An inspection or a service. Ask for an inspection and maintenance schedule which should list exactly what is covered per equipment.
- How long should the service typically take? Be cautious of companies claiming they can service a lift in 15 minutes! This is not a service!
- Are the engineers that will be attending your site GEA Accredited?
- Is the engineer attending equipped with the parts required to complete the service in 1 visit?
- What equipment can they service? Having a company that can manage all of your garage equipment including lifts, mot equipment, tyre equipment, air compressors, workshop accessories, rather than individual pieces may be what you want.
- Is there a dedicated person you can get hold of and speak to about your contract?
- Are there any benefits to being on a contract when it comes to breakdowns?
- Do they offer flexible payment options?
- What management reporting is available on your equipment?
It is a business decision for you to decide on whether or not you feel a planned maintenance program is right for you. But if you do decide to protect your equipment, ensure you choose the right supplier.
You can see more about Straightset Service here.