Many manufacturers are already teaming up with their distributors and VARs to create systems for better managing maintenance contract data. In the technology sector, distributors such as Ingram Micro have already initiated service data management programs as well as Web portals that enable their VARs to easily identify and capitalize on service sales opportunities. In some cases, end customers can also access these portals, giving them the capability to stay on top of service contract expirations and other benefits and resources available to them.
As manufacturers adopt new best practices in this area, they become proof points of a maturing market, where processes are finally keeping pace with modular technology. By extending the value of their service contract systems across the supply and demand chain, companies have the potential to not only double renewal opportunities, but they can also achieve other measures of success that they never before thought were possible, such as improved brand loyalty and better communication with customers and partners.
About the Author: Scott Herron is CEO and co-founder of MaintenanceNet, Inc. (www.maintenancenet.com), a provider of maintenance contract management services.