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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Computer Consulting 101 Hardware Spares Best Practices

Over the last few days, we’ve looked at how Computer Consulting 101 suggests that you handle hardware spares with your small business clients.

Again, just to be clear, Computer Consulting 101 is not advocating that you haul your computer consulting clients’ broken desktop PC equipment out to the dumpster.

However, we do strongly recommend that you encourage your clients to invest some of their technology budgets in select spare parts and full desktop PC’s… so that they can handle warranty claims at their leisure, not when your company is swamped and functioning in panic mode. This also offloads much of the “fire-fighting” stress that’s often imposed on you and your computer consulting company… because your clients get a more immediate resolution on simple broken parts.

To guide the discussion with your small business clients, Computer Consulting 101 encourages you to use the following discussion points:

  • Do you and your clients keep track of each time some piece of PC hardware breaks, so that you and they can look for trends over time?
  • Have your clients had much experience in placing PC hardware tech support calls, the general prerequisite for getting a PC vendor to provide related warranty service?
  • Are your computer consulting clients aware of the time required to place a warranty service call with a PC hardware vendor, as well as the time it will ultimately take to get the system repaired?
  • Who is responsible for contacting the PC vendor to initiate a warranty service request: the end user, your clients’ internal guru or your firm as the trusted computer consulting vendor?
  • If a PC is unusable while your clients await vendor repair, what plans do they have in place to mitigate the impact of system downtime on employee productivity and bottom line?
  • Do you and your clients know roughly what it costs their company for every hour or business day that one employee or multiple employees are without access to a critical PC hardware system?
  • Do your computer consulting clients keep a spare mouse, monitor or keyboard at their offices?
  • Have your consulting clients considered investing in spare fully configured desktop PC’s to mitigate expensive system downtime at inopportune times?

    Respectfully submitted by Computer Consulting 101