Louis McGarry, Sales and Marketing Director, CENTIEL UK expresses his frustrations with the lack of value associated with UPS maintenance plans in his recent letter to Rob Shepherd Editor of Inside Networks Magazine
Something that really irritates me, is the lack of value associated with maintenance plans and I don’t just mean money. However, you do get what you pay for. Let me explain. There seems to be a perpetual misunderstanding in our industry about how UPS equipment should be maintained. Taking out a maintenance plan is often seen as a tick box exercise, but in reality, it’s much more than that.
The most important thing about maintenance is prevention. It’s about identifying potential risks to your system and taking preventative actions. It is essential that the UPS is always available when you need it, and continues to do the job it was purchased to do for many years to come.
Just like any sophisticated piece of equipment, the UPS needs to be serviced regularly. A cheap maintenance plan taken out with an organisation which is not either the manufacturer or an approved service provider, is a false economy. Engineers may not have the relevant expertise, access to technical support and firmware updates, or spare parts which puts the load at risk.
I’ve seen it many times where new systems have been installed and the maintenance plan has been taken out with an unapproved third party. What organisations may not realise, is that warranties are invalid if the UPS is not maintained correctly. If you purchase a new car for example, and have it serviced by an unapproved mechanic the warranty is invalidated. Simple. It’s the same situation with UPS equipment. This is because the manufacturer or approved maintenance engineer is trained, experienced and able to service the UPS to ensure its optimal function. Others are not! They also have access to the correct firmware updates to guarantee it continues to operate properly and protect the load.
UPS are sophisticated systems and a valuable asset. They cannot simply be installed and left. Regular service visits are necessary. However, visits can be pointless and could be highly detrimental, unless those employed know exactly what they are doing to ensure anything that poses a threat to the load is picked up early and rectified.
It baffles me why firms continue to put their critical power at risk when they’ve gone to all the effort of researching, purchasing and installing the best system available. From CENTIEL’s point of view, we always have our clients’ best interests at the heart of everything we do. We don’t cut corners and we
have a great working relationship with our customers, committing to maintaining the equipment we supply for its entire lifecycle through our maintenance plans. Our reputation depends on it.
However, there is always someone out there who claims they can do it cheaper. But if it’s cheap at half the price, what’s the real risk? A dropped load could cost a firm millions of pounds in revenue, financial penalties or for medical facilities people’s lives could be put in jeopardy.
There, I feel much better now I’ve got that off my chest!