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7 Innovative Solutions to Deal With the Hardware Shortage

John McVicker

The global hardware shortage is creating uncertainty and logistical nightmares for partners and their customers. At Best Technology Services (Best), we’re seeing innovative solutions emerging for those looking to navigate these challenges. Dean Yates, our Managing Director shares his insights on the current scenario and suggests seven optimum ways to successfully deal with the shortage.

The delay in equipment availability has naturally slowed the process of a hardware refresh, with wait times for delivery up to 300 days, Dean explains. “This adds a new level of uncertainty in an already uncertain economic climate. But what’s particularly interesting is that this is slowing down the customer’s decision-making process. They’re really stopping and rethinking their overall approach to hardware refresh and maintenance.”

When customers face delays in equipment availability, it can result in expensive downtime when mission-critical technology breaks down, causing them to either wait for a lengthy repair process or fail to obtain a replacement on time. Meanwhile, for partners, this can become challenging if they are unable to deliver on sales or move customers to new managed services agreements, ultimately impacting their revenue potential.

Navigating the shortage

In the face of the ongoing hardware shortage, some of Best's partners are taking proactive steps to support their customers, according to Dean. “To help your customer avoid breakdowns, it’s crucial to prioritise the maintenance and upkeep of mission-critical technology,” he says.

One innovative approach Dean is seeing is partners having conversations with customers about alternative options to traditional hardware refresh cycles. For example, refreshing only 25% of their fleet instead of the entire fleet can help manage hardware availability and limitations while also leveraging new technology capabilities. "It's about being open to new ways of doing things and having those conversations with your customers," Dean advises.

  1. Have a back-up plan

Before sweating assets, it's important to be aware of the potential impact of hardware failures and associated downtime for your customers. Understanding the level of reliance on specific equipment and creating a plan for what you will do if fails is essential. Dean suggests creating a backup plan that includes:

  1. Understand wait times

How long might it take to replace or repair that piece of technology? If your customer needs to send it off to be repaired under warranty, will they be able to operate while they wait for its return? Additionally, what are the potential wait times for the delivery of a new unit?

  1. Prioritise your tech

Prioritise which pieces of technology are crucial to your customer’s operations and which could cause the most inconvenience and revenue loss if they were to fail. By replacing these pieces first, you can minimise the potential impact of a breakdown and keep the business running smoothly.

  1. Maintenance of existing equipment

Regular upkeep can help prevent potential failures or provide early warning signs of issues, allowing you to act before they become bigger problems. By prioritising upkeep, you can extend the lifespan of technology and gain more time to implement a backup plan in the event of a failure.

  1. Leverage new technology

It's essential to discuss with your customer how emerging technologies might fit into your hardware refresh approach. This ensures that you – and your customer – can make strategic investments that will benefit their business over the long term.

  1. Simplicity for staff – plan ahead

Downtime is not only costly in sales, but also in staff wages. By providing an easy-to-follow procedure in the event of a breakdown, staff can quickly and efficiently take action to resolve the problem, minimising the impact of any downtime.

  1. Find the right partner

If managing the technology refresh cycle could be challenging for your business, finding the right partner can make all the difference. Consider partnering with an expert to manage the repair, warranty, and replacement process for your customer. By doing so, you can free up you and your customer’s staff to focus on what they do best: core business.

To help partners and their customers get more out of existing assets whilst carefully managing the risk of breakdowns, Best has developed Hypercare.

Hypercare offers a fixed-price solution for fast repair and replacement of hardware. According to Dean, "Hypercare provides our partners with a solution which is easy to price and sell to their customers. It delivers price surety and peace of mind." With a truly national workforce and strategically stored replacement devices, Best can quickly provide onsite assistance and replacement for failed devices. Best also manages the warranty and repair process through the manufacturer, and for devices that have reached the end of their lifecycle, they erase confidential data and dispose of them responsibly. In short, Hypercare helps partners overcome tech shortages and enhances their offering to customers.

“Partners and their customers are really being challenged by the tech shortage, but they’re not alone,” Dean says. “With Hypercare, we’re helping take away what could become a logistical nightmare for partners and allowing them to enhance their offering to their customers.”