Technology charging carts can be a considerable, but necessary investment. Taking steps to prolong the lifespan of this investment could save your institution thousands of dollars and leave more money in the budget for other much needed technology upgrades. By initially buying a good model, refurbishing and replacing parts as needed and implementing proper usage techniques, your mobile technology cart is guaranteed to last well into the future. By being aware of what qualities to look for in a cart, your organization will see results for years to come.
Step 1: Choose Your Carts Wisely
Avoiding technology carts that are made cheaply and or shoddily constructed will naturally extend the life of your institution’s investment. Good materials and workmanship are among the most important features to consider. An ideal technology cart is constructed out of sturdy wood or high grade metal and includes quality electronic components. While it may cost more up front to invest in a strong frame and quality electronics, you should inevitably have a lower occurrence of damage and failing components. Also, check ahead of time that the cart provider can deliver customer service to your level of expectations for instances when parts do need to be replaced or someone from your establishment needs assistance.
Quality construction is not the only feature to consider when you decide to purchase a technology cart. When selecting new technology carts, always consider their versatility. While you may initially try to find a charging cart for a set of laptops, for example, consider carts that have compatibility with a wider range of devices and have the potential to be upgraded as charging technology changes. Strive to find a charging cart that can stay up to the times and you may never have to buy another charging trolley ever again. A good investment can go a long way with some planning.
All too often consumers purchase carts only to discover the hard way that they are too cumbersome for use in their particular work environment. Consider ahead of time how often the cart will be transported, whom will responsible for moving it, how you will run updates etc. If you have deployed charging carts in the past, ask for feedback from the members of your establishment that have regularly used them. Incompatibility with the needs of the institution is a major reason why charging carts are replaced when they are still in good, usable condition.
Step 2: Refurbishing and Replacing Components
Even if you select charging carts with quality components from the start, regular maintenance will ensure that your technology cart is always operational. After all, even a luxury vehicle needs a tune-up every now and then. With regular use, some features in your cart may start to show signs of wear, but typically, there are options keep it in good condition. Many manufacturers offer replacement components for your cart. By replacing these components rather than buying a whole new cart, you can get the most out of your institution’s investment.
When you decide to replace certain features, always check your technology cart’s warranty. Be sure not to overlook the repair policies that are agreed upon in warranties to avoid wasting money on parts that could have been obtained for free. Providers may offer a service contract when you purchase carts. Make sure to take advantage of the repair policy before the warranty ends. This will keep repair expenses to a minimum.
In some situations, you may even want to invest in an extended warranty. Investing in the extended retailer warranty could save your establishment more money, as the expense of aftermarket replacement parts can add up.
Step 3: Proper Usage of the Charging Carts
Proper usage of your charging cart will keep the refurbishment or replacement of parts to a minimum. For instance, a tip for proper usage that is sometimes overlooked is unplugging the cart at the wall outlet. Pulling the cart’s power cord out by pulling the cart away from the wall can potentially damage the cart and the cord. Another example would be simply keeping food and especially drinks off of the cart. While it is tempting to use the surface as a table and place down a morning cup of coffee, it’s an accident waiting to happen.
It’s not always easy to know that the users of the charging carts are following proper procedures. Write up detailed instructions of how everyone should operate the cart and what procedures you expect users to follow, even if it is as simple as plugging it in and pressing a button. Keep it as brief as possible and stick it right on the cart! Use pictures too... it can't hurt. Many schools distribute this information to teachers via .pdf, but the information is just more accessible when it is with the cart at all times and remember that anything not attached is at risk of getting lost in the shuffle.
When purchasing a new technology cart, ensure you select quality components and structural materials, refurbish and replace parts when necessary and properly store the charging trolley. These tips guarantee that your technology purchase will be in good hands and will save you money for years to come. When you decide to purchase the cart, a little preparation and thought will ensure the best investment.