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Innovation (3)

Given today’s fast-changing environments where catering service and maintenance is provided, service level agreements (SLAs) between customers and third-party service providers often can drive the wrong outcomes.

Following the challenges and changes of the pandemic, alongside the ever growing issue to supply chain and parts availability – in a number of cases metrics that have been previously used to judge whether a service provider such as the service and maintenance of catering equipment, have become completely irrelevant.

The message from the team at HOBART Service is clear – is it now time to review and rethink your SLAs?

As a market leading commercial catering equipment and service provider, they understand the importance of mitigating any downtime. They believe that when a piece of equipment breaks down, the critical factor is the time it takes to fix the equipment, not the time it takes for a technician to arrive on site.

However, other providers promise quick-reaction SLAs, and meet them, yet are not always in a position once they arrive on site to provide a fix. This can result in equipment standing dormant for days while parts are ordered or waiting for a more qualified technician, bringing operations to an abrupt halt.

HOBART recently spoke with Armend Aljo, Procurement Manager at Oakman Inns and Restaurants who commented:

“Downtime would be a huge issue for our businesses as it immediately affects service delivery to our customers.”

“A 4-hour reaction time literally only works on paper in my opinion. Because you can have somebody jump in a van and go to site and look at a problem, agree a part is needed which will take 3 or 4 days and then they leave… you pay a premium for the 4-hour reaction time and get nothing in return.”

“When it comes to a 4-hour reaction time which some companies require, it is all blown out of proportion as to what really matters – which is the fix. Something that HOBART Service have always achieved for us due to being the service delivery team for the manufacturer.”

HOBART Service advise any businesses who are currently under a time-based call out SLA, yet experiencing issues such as first time fixes or parts availability, to revisit the contract and SLA regularly, whilst discussing and exploring what is business critical.

Response times simply state how quickly the service provider must respond to your report of a problem (even if just to confirm receipt of your request).

Repair times (deadline for the problem to be fully solved) also tend to be stated as non-binding targets, or sometimes, are left out entirely.

Customers need an approximate deadline for solving problems. Vendors may explain that repair times are purposely omitted because they cannot estimate repair time until they know the root cause, however, no matter the cause, you are paying for a service you are not getting; therefore, it is entirely reasonable for you to ask for a repair deadline, with a remedy if missed.

For further information about HOBART Service plans, which include three levels of service and maintenance support to suit your requirements and budget please visit or call 0844 888 7777.