If you provide on site service for your clients’ network equipment, you know all too well the pros and cons of the truck roll.
NOTE: A “Truck Roll” is a term describing a service technician’s in-person visit to a site via company truck or van.
On one hand, a truck roll that results in a new revenue stream, such as installing or upgrading new equipment, is most desirable. On the other hand, a truck roll for emergency service for equipment in warranty is nothing more than a profit eater. The challenge for service companies is to be able to charge enough in the Service Level Agreement to cover the expense of basic monthly maintenance services and the (hopefully) occasional remote site truck roll.
While truck rolls are a certainty, the exact cost of these truck rolls are sometimes not so certain. The cost varies from business to business, depending on the accounting system employed. Reported Cost per hour for service truck rolls range anywhere from $150 to $270 to $1,000, depending on what research paper you wish to believe. What seems to be agreed upon are the cost elements of a truck roll, which can be categorized into the following:
Service Truck Roll: Cost Variables
|Vehicle||Fuel, Maintenance, Insurance, Depreciation|
|Labor||Hourly wage for Service Technician(s), Administration, Clerical|
|Downtime||Revenue lost due to unavailable network assets|
Although fuel costs have eased back recently, service dispatch expenses have continued upward. For service companies, every dollar spent on unnecessary truck rolls is a dollar removed from the bottom line. In pursuit of cost containment, utilization of remote M2M (Machine-to-Machine) monitoring/control tools has seen significant growth since 2008. Best-in-Class service companies use remote M2M tools for preventive maintenance, providing power status feedback prior to a truck roll, or executing a repair over the internet without a field technician dispatch.
Even a simple, low cost solution that provides remote power control, logs power outages, and allows for automatic or manual rebooting of network assets can be invaluable to businesses and their customers. If a basic power cycle can remedy a locked up router or modem and prevent one service dispatch, the ROI can be instantaneous.
Also, The USR4204 Courier Console Server & Power Switch provides remote access for up to 4 console ports and control of up to 2 power outlets (100-250 VAC) over a single modem connection. Quickly reboot or configure routers, servers, and firewalls from remote locations when the network goes down or when Out-of-Band access is the only communication option available.
If you are involved with remote site maintenance of network equipment and want to stop unnecessary truck rolls, try our calculator below to approximate potential savings by using Multi-Link’s power control devices.