Companies today are increasingly required to do more with less—and yet too many organizations are wasting high-value resources on their support contract management. Why? They’re usually relying on complicated Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that track too much data or too little of the right data. As a result, these organizations have senior-level or management personnel chasing down serial numbers, which they pay for in lost productivity and innovation.
Here are a five ways you can save time, reduce costs, and simplify the management of your maintenance support contracts:
- Centralize Your Contracts
To make sure you always have access to the most up-to-date information, it’s a good idea to centralize all of your manufacturers’ contracts into a comprehensive repository, viewable from a single dashboard. In fact, many manufacturers will provide support contract portals that offer greater accessibility, additional resources for troubleshooting problems, and direct links for logging support cases or reaching technical support—some vendors will even automate the input of records for you. If you’re managing support contracts from an array of different vendors, consider using a third-party asset portal.
- Maintain Accurate Records
Companies often waste precious resources renewing high-level support contracts they no longer need. On a periodic basis, review your inventory to make sure you’ve removed any assets you’ve decommissioned and added any assets you’ve acquired. This will help reduce your operating costs by avoiding unnecessary renewals, and it will help prevent contracts from lapsing on critical equipment.
- Track the Locations of Your Assets
Companies often move equipment between locations without realizing that vendors have stocked parts and personnel in key regions to meet the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) outlined in their support contracts. That’s why it’s crucial to track the locations of your assets; if you experience a problem and you haven’t notified the vendors of these changes, the vendors may delay or deny the necessary support altogether—leaving you to face the extra costs and hassle on your own.
- Proactively Manage Your Expiration Dates
Before support contracts expire, companies need to determine whether to renew their support contracts or replace equipment with new assets. Make sure you’re getting advanced notification of contract expirations—or for even greater efficiency, select a single strategic date for all your contracts to expire. With only one date to remember, you can easily explore renewal options well before the contracts expire and make better purchasing and renewal decisions.
- Control Your Asset Information
To maintain data integrity and accuracy, establish proper access controls by rigorously managing your asset and inventory information according to who can change it and which information should be viewable to which users. Only personnel who have direct ownership, management, or support responsibilities for the equipment should be able to modify or update this information.
If you don’t have time to implement these steps on your own, consider a maintenance contracts assessment from ASG. We can work with your team to simplify your support contract management process to help preserve your IT budget, free up cycles for your staff, and save you the time and hassle of trying to sort out critical contract issues on your own.