Barcode printing and scanning equipment keep your operations humming efficiently, and your business depends on that equipment to run reliably. Broken printers and scanners can lead to costly downtime, missed deadlines, and poor customer service.
Even the best barcode printers will require maintenance, service, and upkeep. Since your business is not likely a specialist in barcode printer repair, you’ll want your employees focused on their core job functions — not on trying to troubleshoot finicky printer problems.
That means you will likely rely on an outside party to provide barcode printer repair and maintenance services.
You may work directly with the printer manufacturer, with your systems integrator/reseller, or with another third-party service provider. In any of those cases, a comprehensive barcode printer repair service plan is a must to guarantee uptime and reduce the long-term cost of maintaining your hardware.
Available service plan offerings will vary by provider. In the case of Zebra Technologies’ printers, the company offers its Zebra Authorized Service Provider (ZASP) program. All ZASP providers have completed extensive training, and are certified to provide on-site installation, maintenance, depot repair, and technical support for the company’s full line of barcode printers.
When evaluating barcode printer repair plans, there are a number of other factors to take into consideration as well, including:
- Warranties and guarantees: Can the vendor provide warranty services on behalf of the original manufacturer? Do they provide any additional guarantees or warranties on their own work after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out?
- Maintenance vs. repair plans: Repair plans are highly reactive; you only access the service after something breaks. Maintenance plans are often less expensive in the long run because they can help you avoid the need for major repairs and the accompanying downtime
- Printer-specific expertise: Does the service plan provider have expertise in your specific printer brands and models? Not all printers are designed the same way, and thus require specialized training and expertise. The service provider should also be able to readily access brand-specific certified replacement parts. Without that access you could find yourself waiting days or weeks on a repair. If you operate multiple types/brands of printers, make sure the service provider’s experience is equally varied.
- Check references: A good barcode printer repair plan provider should be able to offer testimonials and contacts for their long-term clients. By checking with references, you can gauge how dependable the company is, what level of service and response times you can expect, and how well they are able to meet your expectations. If the service provider doesn’t offer this upfront, ask for those references.
- Multi-tiered service plans: Different applications (and even different types of hardware) will require different repair and service approaches. The provider should offer different levels of service based on the criticality of the equipment.
For example, Imprint Enterprises’ professional services division offers a number of different plans. The most basic service plan is a break-fix/depot repair plan, which allows customers to ship broken barcode printers to the service provider for repair. Imprint also offers annual on-site time and material contracts so users can schedule a visit from a trained technician.
There are also other types of barcode printer repair service plans. In some cases, the vendor will provide a replacement unit automatically while the original device is being repaired. For highly critical equipment, there are plans that guarantee an on-site visit from a technician within a preset response time window.
Having a barcode printer repair plan in place can help extend the life of your hardware and ensure that you avoid costly downtime in your labeling operations. By partnering with a trained and certified service provider, you can keep your operation running smoothly and save money in the long run.