Is your after-sales support UK based?
Brexit. The topic of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Regardless of where everyone stood on the subject, the reality is here and it is here to stay. Many businesses in the UK and abroad have had to adapt to the ongoing discussions, and measures have been put in place to ensure a level of security in the day to day. With all of this in mind, let us take a look at schools and the education system. Has Brexit changed the way schools operate and how they make purchasing decisions? Let’s take a closer look at how Schools benefit from British after sales support.
With the majority of schools being a public body, generally speaking, schools are left unscathed in the current climate of change. However, there is one aspect that comes to mind; partnerships and the supply chain. With many IT and AV suppliers making headway into a school’s budget and spending trends, it is very important for schools to consider the after sales service and service level agreements in place with suppliers.
Reduce downtime in the classroom
One of the common side effects of using technology is that something, somewhere will go wrong. This is an inevitability and something we all expect in some form. In our personal lives, insuring goods, extending warranties and finding the right guarantee with our procured technology is considered one of today’s norms. With schools and technology, this is no different. The key thing schools need to consider, however, is when the technology goes down, how best to reduce the downtime with minimal disruption to lessons and teaching. Children have a limited time slot in each lesson, and having every lesson running efficiently is a core staple. Therefore, when getting faulty technology repaired or replaced, time is definitely of the essence. Are there differences in response times and after sales support in British and non-British companies?
Craig Lowe, The ICT Network Manager at Albert Pritchard Infant School and Wood Green Junior School gave some insight. Craig said: “I find overseas companies tend to move towards a ticketing system and have found the responses can be very scripted instead of a more one to one conversation which leads to exchanges/messages forwards and backwards multiple times to explain a situation.” Craig continued: “I find British based companies have a quicker turnaround with supply and parts availability.”
When dealing with non-British brands, another school had a similar experience. James Chamberlain, the ICT Manager at Sutton School, said: “[it is] always an issue. [There are] often long waiting times, poor communication and unavailable technical support.”
Ask the right questions
When sourcing new technology for the classroom, it is easy to get washed away with the wow factor of new tech. However, perhaps we need to consider where the support comes from after everything is implemented and the dust has settled. Remember that the suppliers are there to cater to the school’s needs and they should be able to answer all, if not most, questions about the brand(s) they are providing.
Craig Lowe, said: “I have found that British companies have a great experience of supplying our infrastructures as they are more tailored to our needs whereas overseas are catering more for a global demand.”
So, do remember to ask the suppliers for service level agreements and don’t be afraid to tie them down to some form of post-sale commitment. The product is key, the pricing is key and the after sales and technical support is definitely high on the priority list. Therefore, when looking for new classroom solutions, and demonstrating due diligence as part of the procurement process, schools would do good to ask that all pertinent question: Is this a British brand that will provide me with UK based after sales support?