Top 4 Service-based Contracts to Increase Uptime

| Ryan Beauchemin

Service-Based Contracts

At Horizon Solutions we continuously work with our customers to come up with proactive solutions to address business issues. Through all the industries we serve, our goal always remains the same—to improve our customers’ efficiency, productivity, and safety through deep domain expertise in electrical, automation, industrial, and safety solutions. Many of these goals are accomplished by utilizing a number of service-based contracts.

These services help you make sure your business needs are not only satisfied today but also continue to be addressed well into the future. This is an important process that is designed to help maximize your investment in your facility and the Rockwell Automation® equipment and technology that runs it. Let’s take a brief tour of some of the values of service-based agreements, focusing on four types that our customers find most valuable (in no particular order).

#1. 24X7 Remote System Support

Service-Based Contracts Remote SupportWhy does it seem that failures always occur at the least convenient times? Whether it's 2:00 in the morning or on Sunday afternoon during the big game, no one likes to receive that call that the line is down, and they cannot fix the underlying issue. The right service-based contract could have solved the problem. 

With remote system support, you can help shorten the downtime occurrence and make sure your support staff has the tools to get the machine back up and running. Rockwell Automation remote technical support provides technical assistance for installation, configuration, troubleshooting, diagnosis, basic instruction programming, and best practice recommendations. Remote Technical Support also includes access to: 

  • Live phone support
  • Augmented reality live view support tool
  • Access to knowledgebase and online support center
  • Live chat to interact with engineers via PC or a mobile device
  • Submit a question via email 
  • Interactive forums to discuss troubleshooting with industry peers
  • Software downloads and updates

With these tools at hand, maintenance personnel has access to the support they need to keep operations running smoothly and prevent unnecessary extended downtime with one phone call or mouse click!

#2. Annual Repair Agreement

Service-Based Contracts Annual Repair AgreementMany of our customers are finding ways to lower their downtime occurrences and total cost of ownership by utilizing quality OEM remanufacturing services. When a critical component fails and you have a spare on the shelf to replace, you successfully avoid unnecessary downtime by having the appropriate stock in the storeroom. Congratulations—that is half the battle. Now, how do you replace that storeroom inventory in case of another failure? There’s a service-based contract for that. At Horizon Solutions we always suggest using quality OEM remanufacturing services to reduce the cost of replacing the spare while ensuring that you have a reliable spare in the storeroom. 

Now that we have covered the benefit of having appropriate stock on the shelf and utilizing remanufacturing services to make sure your spares are reliable; the next step is making your repair expenditures predictable. With an annual repair agreement, you can drive down repair costs while improving operational performance with a predictable maintenance budget. This preventive contract-based service enables flexible payment options, including a fixed monthly amount for your automation equipment repairs, which makes it easier to forecast spending and helps lower your everyday costs.

#3. Field Service

Service-Based Contracts Field ServiceLet’s face it, at some point in everyone’s lives, they realize they need to call in a professional for help. As an avid DIY-er I know all too well that sometimes a perceived simple project turns into a catastrophic plumbing nightmare. Recently, while I stood there in a puddle in my basement, in a stroke of genius, I thought to myself “I should really call a plumber.” Two hours after that call, my plumbing issue was solved, the puddle cleaned up, and I was a happy homeowner once again. These things happen—whether it is at home or in a manufacturing facility, at some point a qualified field service professional is a necessity. 

Rockwell Automation’s global network of over 600 field service professionals is here to help both on-site and remotely. These engineers are specifically trained to efficiently help customers increase uptime, optimize performance, and support the lifecycle of their installed base of components. Whether it’s an emergency and you’re trying to get your machine back up and running or you have a modernization project that needs tackling, field service engineers are always available to assist in a time of need.

Though field service is always just a phone call away, many facilities prefer to take a proactive approach to make sure they are prepared when support is necessary. Pre-purchasing a set number of field service hours as a part of a service-based contract in a block of time helps customers maintain a predictable maintenance budget with flexible payment options. It also enables customers to lock in a lower hourly rate and issue a single purchase order for many field service engineer site visits. 

#4. Bundled Service Contracts

Service-Based Contracts Bundled Service AgreementsMany facilities have proactively alleviated several business issues by utilizing some of the aforementioned support agreements. Sometimes having multiple support agreements can create its own set of confusion. “Which number do I call when I have a machine down, or which support contract do I utilize if I have a critical component in need of remanufacture?” To simplify the process, we often suggest bundling these contracts into one support agreement. That all-encompassing service-based contract is referred to as an Integrated Support Agreement. 

The Integrated Support Agreement or (ISA) is a flexible suite of support options that enables a facility to maximize the value of investments made in their Rockwell Automation installed base. The three-tiered model allows you to select the right package of offerings to meet your needs. Get foundational services with the Essential tier, a full set of support services with Enhanced, or get data insights and proactive management with the Premier tier. With just one phone number to call and one customer agreement, you can obtain more value to meet your needs versus purchasing standalone components and service agreements.

Integrated Service Agreement

Find the Right Service-Based Contract

To learn more about how a standalone or bundled service agreement can help you create a predictable proactive maintenance program contact a Service Specialist at your local Horizon Solutions branch today.