MSPs working through the pandemic and supply chain issues have faced dozens of new challenges to keep their businesses moving forward. For many, sourcing new hardware has been a roadblock in helping their clients stay up to date. That’s why warranties have been a big boon to MSPs as they need to keep clients covered, while the search for hardware replacements take longer.
But as many in the MSP industry know, warranty management and procurement is easier said than done. Often taking up massive amounts of staff time to source specific information for an asset, get information from the manufacturer and process a warranty purchase or renewal.
SUCCESS Computer Consulting, an MSP and MSSP based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, also faced this issue. Now they’ve found a solution that lets them do their jobs more efficiently while reducing costs to clients and generating more revenue from warranties than ever before; Lifecycle Manager.
Serving the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, SUCCESS has more than 100 employees and targets small to medium size businesses. Specifically, they have a big focus on non-profits, manufacturing, legal, and healthcare industries.
Dee Ramos, continuous improvement engineer, works on the SUCCESS team to manage and improve processes and workflow. Ramos has spent much of her time on the warranty process and working to roll out more warranty sales across their client base.
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With roadblocks to hardware procurement due to pandemic and supply chain issues, SUCCESS chose to refocus on warranties as a way to protect their clients and buy time until the market can normalize. However, they also found it was a new way to develop ongoing revenue as well.
They couldn’t replace equipment, Ramos explained. So they needed to get warranty coverage on equipment, hoping that the warranty term would get them one more year of time to source replacement hardware.
Renewing warranties manually was a high-effort process. SUCCESS used a tool to get a list of all the hardware items and their serial numbers. From there, staff would have to take that serial numbers to the manufacturer’s website to enter the data and request a warranty renewal.
“We had to bookmark all of these different websites and if we were lucky, we’d actually get the real serial number and then we’d get a date,” Ramos said. “But that wasn’t always the case. Dell has something different in addition to the serial number. So that was inconsistent.”
Like many other MSPs, SUCCESS has partnerships with hardware brands and tries to keep their clients consistent with that hardware. But it’s common for many clients to enter into contracts with preexisting hardware that may be from different manufacturers.
“We’re a Lenovo partner, so we try to only sell Lenovo laptops or WatchGuard firewalls. We try to only sell those, but you get clients that come to you with equipment already purchased and it doesn’t make sense for them to replace it quite yet,” she said. “So we were trying to make sure everything stayed within the warranty. Then because we have those different manufacturers, it was really hard to quickly get those warranty expiration dates.”
When working with warranties from companies they weren’t partnered with, it would often be difficult to get some of the important information to help them track their warranties.
“Lifecycle Manager makes pulling information on expiration dates simple and automatic. The team no longer spends time manually retrieving that information whenever we need to quote a customer on a warranty extension. The work is now proactive and saves us tons of time.”
With Lifecycle Manager, SUCCESS found their solution to this issue. Because of Lifecycle Manager’s integration support, Ramos and her team were able to integrate it with their other tools like IT Glue, to fit right into their workflow.
Lifecycle Manager lets SUCCESS track warranty information, create quotes and determine custom markups, and renew warranties right from within the app. According to Ramos, this has saved hours of time for staff every week. In fact, the sales coordinator team saves at least 15 hours per month. Before, they had to wait up to 48 hours to get warranty date confirmation, but with Lifecycle Manager they get those dates immediately.
With more than 20,000 end users, Ramos said it would have been nearly impossible to look up all the information accurately and on time. Saving all of that time has allowed the SUCCESS team to focus more on growth as well as creating a better employee experience so that everyone can do their best work.
Signing on new clients with a warranty service agreement has been a big benefit for SUCCESS, as all clients agree to keep their hardware on a three to five year replacement cycle. Ramos said it is expected that clients have warranties on their hardware. If a piece of equipment is not replaced, it is expected the warranty is renewed.
Ramos finds that clients have been accepting of this standard and that the task of keeping to it has been made easier with Lifecycle Manager’s asset monitoring functionality.
“It’s definitely a lot easier now that we have Lifecycle Manager to find the expiration date, because that was usually the headache. Can we even find this first to tell them it needs warranty? So now it’s just easier to see it so we can be more proactive about it,” she said.
The ability to create custom markups with ScalePad Warranty Services allows MSPs to evaluate what the best balance for their business is. Ramos said that when they were first looking into Lifecycle Manager, prior to using Lifecycle Manager, SUCCESS’ potential for margin was limiting and often not as profitable as other products and services. Since the implementation of Lifecycle Manager, SUCCESS has been able to sell warranties more frequently for higher margins.
Ramos said they are now generating more revenue with Lifecycle Manager warranties than before because it’s easier and faster to find and propose warranty renewals.
“Quoting warranties now that Lifecycle Manager is in place is easier and more profitable,” she said. “And now we can get them all in a lump sum form. All the dates come to us at the same time. In the past we would potentially get WatchGuard dates immediately and Lenovo warranty dates the following.”
Within a year, SUCCESS Computer Consulting has been able to evolve their warranty process into a more efficient and successful process than ever before, while also providing a better deal for clients.