The world of IT support can seem pretty overwhelming to the uninitiated. With hourly, break/fix, “trunkers,” managed services and more, trying to understand the different types of service providers can feel overwhelming.

However, all of these terms describe just a few options. In fact, IT services providers typically break down into two different types: hourly “break/fix” IT companies, also known as “trunkers,” and managed services providers (MSPs), like Taylored.

Trunkers are typically small operations that offer quick IT repairs at reduced cost. The name comes from their location: Owners work out of the trunk of their car, driving from business to business. Therefore, these businesses usually don’t provide consulting, network planning or vendor management.

A managed services provider, on the other hand, is in for the long haul. They offer support when equipment breaks or the network goes down — but can also help you plan long-term improvements and prepare for future technologies. Additionally, MSPs will take on the administrative interaction with other vendors, such as web developers, data entry services, call centers or any other digital provider you work with.

Though those are the basic distinctions in service, within these two categories lies a world of difference. Here’s what really separates the two.

Cost vs. Value in IT Support

There’s a lot of truth in the saying “You get what you pay for.” While it’s not necessarily a bad idea to reduce overall technology costs by cutting IT spending, opting for a bottom-of-the-barrel IT provider is not the way to go.

“Break/fix” IT services or “trunkers” may be able to offer significantly lower fees for one-time services. However, there’s no innate support — or accountability — built into this model.

The overall quality of service from MSPs like Taylored is better, largely because we offer support features after the work is completed. The process of repairing IT systems and equipment can be complicated since the source of the issue is not always immediately apparent. That means you could need additional work — or just have a few questions about a new installation or service — and that labor just isn’t built into the break/fix model.

Additionally, since these “trunkers” often charge by the hour, they theoretically could do sloppy work on the hope that you’ll call back with additional repairs. However, in a business model like Taylored’s, client/vendor relationship-building is an integral part of the process. Because we aim to retain clients, we strive to bring you quality and integrity in every project we take on.

Taylored Offers Support Whenever You Need It

MSPs like Taylored also have the upper hand when it comes to internal resources. A one-man shop operating out of a van can’t match the stability and bandwidth of a dedicated team of IT technicians.

Taylored offers on-call service, regardless of the time of day. If your network goes down at three in the morning, we’re on it. And since we provide network monitoring, we often notice — and correct — issues before you or your customers even notice. A smaller provider can’t offer continuous, 24/7 support like that.

Taylored’s larger pool of team members also means there are staff redundancies. You have support, regardless of whether someone gets sick or goes on vacation: Your service isn’t dictated by one person’s schedule.

Experience Makes the Difference

While we can’t speak to the experience of specific hourly IT providers, our expertise at Taylored is one of the qualities that differentiates us from many IT companies, regardless of their service level. With over a quarter of a century of work under our belts, we have a long institutional memory to draw from when planning project logistics and workflows. In fact, many of our team members have been with Taylored for seven years or more, meaning our technicians have our process down pat.

More team members means more diverse experience as well. Our team members can use a variety of different backgrounds and experience to pinpoint the source of a problem — and come up with the most elegant, pain-free solution.

In the long run, you may pay a little more upfront for an MSP, but the added value in support, quality and planning is usually worth it. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t trust a doctor who operated out of the trunk of a car, so why put the health of your business in the hands of a so-called “trunker?”For more information about our services here at Taylored, contact us today for a free quote.