Top 3 things to ask for in your print support agreement

Everyone says their print service is good. But you need more than someone’s word. You need it in writing, namely a print support agreement. 

This print support agreement –usually called a service-level agreement or “SLA” –is a contract that outlines the official commitment a service provider is making to you. The agreement outlines the aspects of the service –quality, availability, entitlements –that the service provider is taking responsibility for. But what are the things you need to make sure are included?

Number 1: types of services to be provided

The service-level agreement should clearly list the goods and services you will get. This should include at a minimum the following:

  • The supply of toner and consumables for your equipment without charge.
  • The inspection, adjustment and repair of your equipment without charge.
  • Skilled service labour and travel to your site without charge.

Number 2: response and resolution time

The service-level agreement should also specify the time-frames:

  • Response: how long will it take before the supplier will start investigation of the problem?
  • Resolution: how long will it take before the problem should be resolved?

Time-frames ensure that you know what is expected and can hold your supplier accountable.

Service-level monitoring and reporting

There’s no point in your supplier saying they will guarantee if a 10-minute response and 30-minute resolution if they don’t have the tools to monitor and report on their service. Make sure you ask your supplier:

  • How do you track inbound cases?Do you differentiate between incidents and requests?
  • How do you allocate outbound work orders?
  • What is your FCR% ?
  • Can you provide a report on incidents, requests and the response and resolution to those on a quarterly basis?
  • Can you report on technician performance at our organization?

If you’re getting blank looks at this point, you’re probably dealing with a slick salesperson who’s promising more than they can deliver.Politely excuse yourself.

Get a reputable supplier with an SLA

When you make an investment in your printers and photocopiers, you want to ensure that you will get good service when things go wrong. Make sure you get the service level you were promised by signing a service-level agreement. All reputable suppliers will have one and will be able to answer your questions about their SLA.