Service Level Agreement. What is a Service Level Agreement, the main features and benefits of which can be obtained? Service level agreements or service level agreements are contract forms agreed between the service provider and the purchaser or user of the service. For the author, there are agreements between two parties, which may be two departments or divisions of the same company, where one is the customer and the other is the service provider; for the SLA in its most general form is a formal agreement between the service provider and the client, which should indicate the characteristics of the services provided. In particular, a Service Level Agreement is simply “an agreement between a service provider and its customers that defines the minimum acceptable level of customer service.”
This type of contract can usually be found in the context of a business market, and very often these contracts are concluded between domestic suppliers and customers if a traditional contract is not suitable. They were previously developed for domestic service providers. The customer expects impeccable service, always available 100% at any time and at a reasonable price. For some services this can be achieved (for example, for a hospital service), but for others it cannot be fully accepted. In many cases, a service company needs to standardize supply processes in order to reduce time and be able to satisfy customers in a short time, with few resources available, which may be materials or personnel. When you provide a specific service from a third-party company, contracts are usually used that may contain specific requests at the level of the purchased service.
Many service contracts concluded by external bodies are vague, so in these cases it is useful to integrate them with a service level agreement document. Service Level Agreements are an important means of managing relationships between partners in the supply chain. This form of contract goes beyond traditional written agreements, such as a statement of the specification of the service and the price to be paid. In fact, the SLA determines the nature of the goods or services and the level of quality that should be provided. The idea of an “agreement” or “agreement” is the mutually agreed opinion of both parties on how and what should or should be provided.
The service level agreement is considered as an integral part of the development of relations between the supplier and the buyer, and he manages to specify it in a concrete way. The SLA contains obligations and responsibilities of both parties that must be respected during the term of the contract; in addition, the economic role of this type of contract is to reduce the associated costs of operations to ensure a certain quality of the services provided and in the allocation of risks and costs for the “production” and “consumption” of services. A service level agreement is also a document to understand the services, priorities, and responsibilities of participating companies, where opportunities are called into question before this is agreed. Negotiations are subsequently conducted to avoid misunderstanding or misunderstanding (Karten, 2003). A service level agreement should not be seen as a complaint mechanism or difficulty creating a relationship between the two parties, but it should be seen as:
- means of communication.
To implement SLA in business, it must have two sets of elements: service and management, and must contain both elements in order to be effective. Elements of a service should clarify the following aspects:
- the services to be provided;
- services that will not be provided;
- conditions for accessibility of services;
- service standards;
- obligations of both parties;
- costs of trade-offs between services;
- various procedural steps. Service management elements should focus on:
- how to achieve effective service;
- how information is reported on the effectiveness of the service;
- how to resolve disagreements that may arise regarding the services provided;
- how and when the SLA needs to be reviewed and reviewed to make changes.