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Executive Report:

Lifetime benefits

EHN’s power tools specialist Phil Mist finds Hilti’s Lifetime Service package impressive.

Professional power tools represent a significant outlay for hirers. Hilti’s new Lifetime Service initiative provides a comprehensive warranty and repair system that keeps them in optimum condition and reduces the burden on a hire company’s own workshop staff. Whereas many warranty systems offered by manufacturers contain the notorious ‘small print’ or exclude certain items, Hilti’s does not. It includes all parts, including batteries, chargers, chucks, cables and carbon brushes. Other manufacturers exclude many of these items, regarding them as ‘wear items’, and invariably the labour costs are not covered either.

Hilti’s warranty, which lasts for two years on the majority of its tools, also covers labour charges. Moreover, after a repair under the Lifetime Service package, the period is extended for a further six months, even including the parts not replaced previously.

After one telephone call to Hilti, the tool is collected later the same day or the following morning. It is barcoded immediately on collection and thereafter can be fully tracked. The machine is then transported overnight to one of two Hilti national service and repair centres, located in Glasgow and Brentford, arriving no later than 8am the next day.

Specialist fitters

Specialist fitters are trained to strip, degrease, repair, re-build and test a rotary demolition or combi hammer in an astonishing 45 minutes. The tool is repaired during the day and will almost certainly be despatched in the afternoon for return to the customer the following morning. A total five-day turnaround is Hilti’s target; currently, however, it is achieving a remarkable 3.5-day response.

The barcoding enables a machine to be monitored throughout its lifetime. The information it contains can provide many important details, including how long the product has been used for, when it has been serviced or repaired, and what items were fitted to the tool on each occasion. What is more, during any visit to Hilti’s service and repair centre, tools that are being worked on will automatically be up-rated or modified according to the manufacturer’s specifications, where appropriate, as part of the package.

Finally, the low vibration system built into the machine will be checked to ensure that standards regarding HAV emissions are maintained. Overall, if there is any catch with the Lifetime Service package, I have not been able to find it.

Warranty claims are contentious for all hirers. Some national companies enter into ‘warranty free’ agreements with suppliers, whereby they receive a rebate at the end of each year for not making claims, but smaller companies cannot do this. They are faced with spending time finding the fault, identifying and ordering the parts and then fitting them. Finally, obligatory paperwork has to be completed and returned, sometimes with the damaged parts. Hilti’s package does away with all this.

With the cost of servicing and repairing large power tools increasing, the Hilti Lifetime Service system can significantly reduce overheads and ease the pressure on hire company workshops. At the same time, by setting an upper repair cost limit on its power tool models right from the start, Hilti can prevent costs from getting out of hand. A hire company is guaranteed that any repair will cost no more than the maximum figure quoted, regardless of the number or type of parts fitted, or the amount of labour involved. In reality, the repair may cost less, but never more than the capped figure. All in all, this really does appear to be a ‘win win’ situation for hirers.

T 0800 886 100
W www.hilti.co.uk

Executive Hire NewsArchivesApril 2006Executive Report › Lifetime benefits

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