14/04/20

Covid-19: How to keep essential equipment working

Neil Anderson

Like so many businesses operating throughout the UK economy, Qcom is working hard to keep production, supply chain, healthcare and essential retail operations running smoothly through the Coronavirus pandemic.

We recognise that the technology and equipment we support is critical in many of these key sectors most vital to the fight against Covid-19.

While we are working to strengthen our already robust contingency plans to make sure we can continue to provide a full range of services (including field repairs), we are also encouraging technology manufacturers, distributors and end-users to do all they can to maintain and manage equipment, in order to minimise downtime and reduce break-fix demand.

Keeping equipment working

Keeping equipment running

Please keep in mind the following simple suggestions which can help keep mission-critical technology running as it should.

1. The right equipment in the right place.

First and foremost make sure you have the right equipment and the right amount of it, particularly if things have changed as a result of the current situation.

A surge in demand on equipment can significantly increase failure rates, while not having enough equipment to go round can limit operational and supply chain efforts no matter how hard your people are working.

Manufacturers and distributors can help by talking with their end-users to gauge requirements wherever possible; end-users should be opening that conversation with suppliers as early as possible if they foresee any issues.

2. Use original consumables wherever possible.

Long experience shows that cheaper substitutes tend to cause an increased number of problems and device failures.

Wherever possible, place orders early with suppliers to allow for disruption in the supply chain. Contact manufacturers if you have problems sourcing consumables through your regular supplier.

3. Keep preventative maintenance going.

It might look tempting to focus all resources on break-fix requirements and to suspend or delay regular preventative maintenance, but stopping maintenance is almost always a false economy.

Failure to carry out preventative maintenance leads not only to more frequent failures but also to more significant failures which can severely disrupt or halt normal operations.

4. Implement and/or use enhanced telephone support.

Manufacturers and distributors can further help ease the pressure on field engineers by ensuring a technical filter function is provided as part of their support desk function.

Qcom’s technical filter, for example, typically assigns a qualified engineer within 20 minutes of a call, and can solve up to 70% of problems without a site visit, invaluable in this time of limited manpower and mobility.

Similarly end-users should make telephone enquiries in the first instance, or even internet research on manufacturers websites before requesting a site visit.

Meeting demand for service and support

These measures can all help reduce the number of break-fix field support visits required, but inevitably there is still a requirement for these.

Manufacturers should of course be checking and continually updating the contingency planning of their field support function, whether in-house or outsourced to specialist partner like Qcom. Our contingency planning can be read in more detail at www.qcom.co.uk/qcom-covid-19/

If the current disruption or peak demand means you are concerned about your ability to meet any aspect of your technical service and support requirements during this difficult period, Qcom may be able to help with additional capacity.

Please call +44(0)1905 827650 or email outsourcing@qcom.co.uk to discuss.

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