Service contracts are a part of every organization and can be critical to the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. What good is a service contract if you can’t call for help when it’s needed? Having round-the-clock service coverage is very useful for maximizing system uptime, especially for critical hardware and software. The organization will need to obtain a list of all service providers you have agreements with and you will want to do a walk-around to ensure all crucial equipment is accounted for. You will want to include these with service provider names when building the vendor contract list. The following are four basic types of contracts that should be part of the discussion:
- 24/7 – These contracts provide unlimited around-the-clock coverage for time and materials. These are the most expensive but are necessary for mission-critical equipment.
- 8 to 5 – These contracts will work on equipment problems during business day and supply any parts that are needed.
- Time and Materials – These contracts will cover the problem and charge you by the hour for the repair technician’s time as well as the costs for any parts required. These are good for nonessential equipment that rarely break.
- Exchange – Exchange contracts are used for broken equipment and the contracting company will send a refurbished or replacement of the item. They are good for devices such as monitors, terminals, scanners, etc.
Building a list of service agreements will be very useful in many areas of the company such as the help desk, the late-shift operations, security guards, as well as many other places. It is essential to go over all contracts and make sure the type of agreement is necessary for each specific service.