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Getting the Most Value From Your Store IT Warranties

closed checkout lane in need of repair
How long will your store IT equipment last? If OEM warranties are any indicator, it could be one year. Or three. Or lifetime. Warranty service might means applying for an RMA and sending it off to a depot, or calling a tech to come into the store. Warranties might cover wear and tear. Or they might require proving a manufacturing flaw.

The fact is, for many retailers, all of these warranty conditions exist, because every manufacturer — sometimes every model — has its own, specific warranty entitlement terms and options. And retail stores have never been more decked out, with many stores sporting everything from digital signs to workhorse servers to consumer-grade mobile devices, according to RIS News’ 25th Retail Technology Study.

That makes it harder than ever to keep track of warranty entitlements and get the most value from them.

Has this happened in your stores yet?

  • The POS device, receipt printer, scanner and cash drawer all work together, but come from different manufacturers with different warranty terms, and the retailer owns different vintages of each device. How do they keep all the warranties straight?
  • The retail-hardened mobile device gets dropped and the store sends it for service. But the tech says it’s working, so no warranty service is merited. Now the retailer must pay for the transport and the tech’s time.
  • The retailer opts for consumer-grade mobile devices that are too cheap to merit an extended warranty. What is the failure rate and how many spares should they stock? What happens when the operating system and model changes and the new one doesn’t fit the sleds?

Retailers just need their IT to work so they can serve customers. Not only is it hard to manage all those different warranty terms, but often there is a gap between what retailers need and what warranties offer — wrong length, wrong service level, wrong coverage. That’s why, as the list of store devices grows, so does the likelihood that a savvy retailer will outsource equipment warranty management to a qualified IT provider.

The right outsource partner can act as a single point of contact for warranty entitlement for all of a retailer’s hardware, eliminating the need to manage multiple OEMs and track the details of every warranty. They can also:

  • Fully analyze the store, equipment and failure history and design a cost-effective maintenance and repair service model.
  • Fill in the gaps, supplementing OEM warranties with extended or enhanced warranties where needed and preventing no fault found service incidents that cost retailers money.
  • Use benchmark data to predict equipment lifespans and use those to shape service plans and size spare equipment pools.
  • Provide a custom portal to make all key warranty entitlement data accessible in one place.

Retail margins are thin, so there’s no room to lose money through overlapping service plans or time-consuming warranty entitlement management. With smart maintenance management and effective use of warranty service, some retailers have had their retail equipment last longer than previous lifecycle data had predicted.

Outsourcing warranty management and adding supplemental or extended warranties can be a smart move toward getting the most out of their IT investments. Contact us today to get started