The key to an experienced consultant’s ability to assist their enterprise clients is their understanding of service level agreements (SLA) and associated contract cost impact relating to specific client requirements. SLA is now widely used by copier service providers as part of major account programs available to corporate customers.
Corporate organizations enter SLA with their in-house customers (users in other departments within the enterprise) so that its services can be measured, justified and compared with those of outsourcing vendors or competitors.
SLA measures the service provider’s performance and quality in a number of ways. Some metrics that SLA may specify include:
- Availability and uptime -- the percentage of the time services will be available.
- The number of concurrent users that can be served.
- Specific performance benchmarks to which actual performance will be periodically compared.
- Application response time.
- The schedule for notification in advance of network changes that may affect users.
- Help desk response time for various classes of problems.
- Usage statistics that will be provided.
In addition to establishing performance metrics, an SLA may include a plan for addressing downtime and documentation for how the service provider will compensate customers in the event of a contract breach. SLA, once established, should be periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changes in technology and the impact of any new regulatory directive.
That is where partnering with an experienced Copier and Printer Management Consultant, to benefit from their collective knowledge, brings results that can maximize process improvements and cost savings.