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    « Solutions to Escape Commoditizaion | Main | Unit Cost of Equipment »

    March 30, 2007

    Selling Uptime

    In response to my previous post a couple people inquired about "selling uptime" for printers.  If you are placing reprographics devices in an FM uptime is important, but since the devices tend to be used occasionally it my be difficult to sell this concept.  Customers expect the device to be up all of the time.  If it isn't it is a problem.

    In a production environment reprographers accept that equipment will be down for repairs or for standard maintenance activities, but since a reprographer depends on the availability of these machines to make a living uptime is critical.  For this reason, most companies have "backup machines".  The problem with backup machines is reprographers tend to have more equipment than they need.  This leads to underutilization and more space requirements.  This is good for keeping printer factories running, but not necessarily running a profitable reprographics company.  I'd be curious if major airlines had backup planes before engine manufactures such as Pratt & Whitney and GE Aircraft Engines started selling uptime?

    Some companies that service their own production equipment claim that they have more uptime than OEM service.  I've never seen any statistics to support this, but they have more direct control over how they manage their resources.  From what I have seen the best practice for self servicing equipment is to focus more on preventative maintenance rather than fixing a machine when it breaks.

    If I ran a company whose core business is servicing equipment in an increasingly competitive market...I would start selling device uptime versus standard monthly service contracts with no performance guarantees.


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