Scale Service Contracts
A common way of addressing your scale calibration and maintenance needs is through Scale Service Contracts (aka Periodic Maintenance Agreements). A Scale Service Contract is an agreement to receive scale service on a periodic basis. These agreements come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each offering its own level of service and operating under specific types of service arrangements.
Levels of Service
Calibration Check (Objective: Accuracy)
A calibration check is simply that– a check of whether or not the scale is weighing accurately. This is accomplished by applying certified test weights to the scale and then comparing the displayed weight to the actual weight. Calibration checks can be more or less rigorious, depending on the standards to which the scale must conform. For example, a simple calibration check can be performed by applying one test weight to the center of the scale platform, or a more thorough test can be performed by applying various amounts of weight (from zero to full capacity) to several points on the weighing platform (center, corners, etc). Obviously, the more thorough the test, the more time consuming it is to perform and document– and the more costly.
Calibration & Repair (Objectives: Accuracy and Operation)
This level of service includes everything mentioned above under the “Calibration Check” heading, but also includes making repairs, if needed, on the same visit, if possible. Since the need for repairs and/or the amount of repair work is unknown at the outset of the service visit, this kind of service is usually performed on a Dedicated or Shared service call arrangement (see below).
Calibration, Repair & Maintenance (Objectives: Accuracy, Operation, Dependability and/or Longer Life)
With this level of service there is not only a concern for the scale’s accuracy and usefulness, but there is the additional concern to maintain the device in order to avoid untimely breakdowns and/or to elongate the life of the scale.
Types of Service Arrangements
When you know what level of service you want, you can then choose what type of service arrangement works best for you.
Clients choose this option when they: 1) require the scale service to be scheduled on a specific date and possibly at a specific time of day; 2) want the service technician to perform preventative maintenance and/or repairs during the visit, if needed; or 3) have a large number of scales, requiring all (or a substantial portion) of the day.
Clients choose this type of service when they: 1) are flexible with the timing of the service and 2) have a limited number of scales, thus requiring a smaller portion of the work day to complete the work. This level of service still allows for maintenance and repairs, if needed, without requiring a separate service call. The advantage of Shared Service is that the costs of travel to and from the location can be shared with another customer in the client’s geographical area, resulting in lower costs for each client.
Clients chose this type of service when they: 1) are flexible with the day and time of their service; 2) only want a Calibration Check and/or any maintenance work is clearly defined beforehand; 3) require a small amount of time on site to complete the work. These clients receive their scale service as part of a scheduled Scale Service Route. The primary advantage of this type of service is lower cost, and the primary disadvantage is that the technician can not address maintenance and repairs needs outside the defined scope of work, but must continue on to the next stop(s) on his route for that day.
Choosing Your Scale Service Contract
When you know the level of service you require and understand the types of service arrangements available to you, you can choose the proper Scale Service Contract. Bitterman Scales knows that every client is different and is best served by the level and type of service that fits their needs and desires. For some clients that’s a Calibration Check performed on a Route Service visit. Others require Calibration, Repair and Maintenance on a Dedicated Service visit.
Which approach is right for you? Only you can ultimatley decide, but Bitterman Scales can provide help and recommendations along the way. Contact us today!