Obtaining regularly scheduled service is one of the most successful and cost-effective approaches to ensuring the ongoing optimal performance of your critical power quality equipment. And for companies operating aging infrastructure, these routine checkups are even more vital.
Research indicates that regular preventive maintenance (PM) can also appreciably reduce the likelihood of downtime, as it affords the opportunity to detect and repair potential problems before they become significant and costly issues. However, when it comes to deciding on who will perform maintenance and repairs, it’s important to understand that all service providers are not created equal. Before you trust just anyone to look under the hood of your critical equipment, consider a provider who demonstrates the following five qualities:
1. Solid Reputation. Seek an experienced company that specializes in working on UPSs and power- related equipment, and make sure the firm is proficient with your specific brand(s) of equipment. Request references from existing customers and contact them to gauge their satisfaction. The best service companies will not only strive to maximize equipment efficiency, but also to build long-term, trusting relationships with their customers.
2. Highly skilled technicians. Look for a company whose technicians are prepared to service any type of critical power equipment, no matter the age or product line. Familiarity with various brands of UPS equipment — including manufacturers that are no longer active in the industry — ensures that technicians will be equipped to handle a wide range of service issues.
3. Ongoing Training. Displaying initial proficiency isn’t enough; the only way technicians remain that way is with regular, ongoing training. As power quality products and technologies evolve and change, service companies must also keep pace. Look for a provider who requires its technicians to attend manufacturers’ factory training sessions to ensure comprehensive knowledge on various UPS lines. Annual internal training should focus on a broad spectrum of topics and be delivered through a combination of classroom, hands-on, and even online courses.
4. Dedicated Account Manager. Having a single point of contact with your service organization helps keep your site on track. Your representative should coordinate all preventative maintenance and emergency service, track your equipment and replacement dates, and serve as the point person during any emergency incident. An account manager should also work with you to develop a proactive service plan that will ultimately help you achieve long-term savings.
5. Emergency Response. There’s nothing that tests the reliability of a service provider like a frantic call during an unplanned downtime event. Your service organization should not only answer that call regardless of the time of day (or night), but furnish representatives who are qualified to troubleshoot over the phone to try to resolve the issue. If the emergency cannot be remedied, prompt on-site response time is essential. Furthermore, easy and quick access to replacement parts is crucial for unplanned repairs, so make sure your service provider maintains a well-stocked warehouse (including discontinued and rare parts) and the ability to have components on the way to your facility in a matter of minutes when necessary.
Wondering just how vulnerable your power protection solution is? In the final installment of this series, Unified Power will break down the most common causes of UPS failures and what you can do to avoid them.
At Unified Power, we are committed to delivering exceptional, timely maintenance performed by highly trained industry professionals. For more information on critical power maintenance, please visit our web site.