Big and medium-sized businesses are increasingly opting for first-rate, high-quality uninterruptible power supplies to avoid the devastating implications of downtime during power outages and blackouts. While opting for a UPS is a wise decision, the management often spends an insurmountable amount of time to select and buy a system rather than investing the same time in selecting a maintenance plan for UPS support.
To ensure that the UPS lasts for years, it is crucial to invest an equal amount of time in carefully selecting both the equipment and its maintenance plan. As a matter of fact, if an uninterruptible power supply is serviced and maintained properly, it can last for at least two decades. However, in the absence of proper servicing, even a high-quality UPS is much more likely to experience sudden failure. This article will explore the key factors that one should consider before selecting a UPS service provider and subsequently a proper maintenance plan.
Basics of Selecting the Right Maintenance Plan for UPS
According to the Electric Power Research Institute, as of 2009, the average annual downtime of the utility grid in the United States was 8 hours and 45 minutes. The Fibre Channel Industry Association has reported if a UPS failure occurs during a power outage, a media company can incur an average downtime cost of $330,000 while a financial brokerage establishment can sustain a staggering loss of $6,450,000.
However, a quality UPS maintenance plan can prevent such UPS failures and can even fix the ones that occur quickly. Therefore to avoid such huge downtime costs, companies must introspect and consider carefully their needs and options before opting for a maintenance plan for the UPS. The section below will outline in detail essential questions the management must consider while selecting a maintenance and service plan for the backup power supply.
What Kind of Service Provider Do You Need?
The UPS market is filled with third party companies who offer maintenance and service plans. The plans cover a range of services and maintenance levels along with different response timings. However, the plans can also be customized depending on the needs and requirements of the client.
What Kind of Services Do You Need?
There are three common types of services that are offered by most UPS service and maintenance providers:
- UPS Maintenance and Service: These type of plans generally provide emergency and preventive services, replacement of damaged parts, installing a UPS, integrating a new system or handling a system shutdown, commissioning and decommissioning uninterruptible power supplies, analysis of UPS failure, and many more features. These plans can also be customized according to the needs of the customer.
- Battery Maintenance and Service: The companies offering battery maintenance and service plans include a wide range of features, such as transportation and delivery of battery, battery pick-up and receive, installing new and refurbished batteries in UPS systems, removing and recycling batteries, analysis of battery failures and many more.
- Ancillary Services: These are generally additional services which come in support of the battery and UPS maintenance plans. The ancillary services offer maintenance of DC plants, round the clock emergency service, site surveys, and many more features.
What Type of Plan Should You Buy?
Under broad categories, there are three types of plans or agreements that a business can opt for – basic or standard service plans, premium or prime service plans, and ultra or deluxe service plans. Let us explore each in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
- Basic or Standard Plans – These plans are basically kept for small to medium-sized businesses who only require optimum preventive maintenance to keep their uninterruptible power supplies in good shape. This plan can also opt for UPS systems which are still covered by manufacturer warranties or for companies who are functioning on a stringent budget.
- Prime or Premium Plans – This plan is ideal for companies looking for cost-effective options for maintaining and servicing emergency power supports. Most of the premium plans include an emergency response time of 8 hours along with labor support for sudden system failures. This maintenance plan is best suited for UPS systems which are less than five years old.
- Ultra or Deluxe Plans – These service plans cover everything that can be offered for UPS service and maintenance. Suitable for large corporate houses and businesses, the Ultra plan manages critical situations and caters to companies who have zero tolerance for downtime. The response time under these plans are narrowed down to 4 hours and the features include, one price service, maintenance, and repairs of uninterruptible power supplies.
What Kind of Features Do I Require in my Maintenance Plans?
Unless a company is aware of its needs and requirements, the management will not be able to choose the right maintenance and service plan for the UPS systems. Therefore, the administration needs to decide whether it needs five days a week, 9-hour preventive maintenance or 24*7 preventive maintenance. While some companies insist on receiving an inspection report within three days, others require round the clock emergency support for its uninterruptible power supplies. So, decide on the things you need before booking a maintenance and service plan.
Quality investment in a UPS does not end with the purchase of the system. The management has to take a few extra steps to choose the right service and maintenance plan for the uninterruptible power supply. If a company enrolls in a quality maintenance plan, the downtime costs incurred would reduce significantly. Moreover, preventive maintenance will also prevent sudden UPS failures and will ensure that the backup power supply functions properly for years.