Companies have so many choices when it comes to selecting parts and systems suppliers. From industry knowledge and experience to product support to the final invoice, OEMs are tasked with weighing each supplier’s value proposition to make the best decision in selecting the right partner.
The decision is likely to rest on three major considerations:
1. How much will it cost?
2. How much time will I save?
3. How can they help me avoid safety and performance risks?
Deciding how each vendor can answer each of these loaded questions isn’t quite so straightforward. Factors like experience, support and value, are critical components of the cost-speed-risk equation but they can be difficult to measure.
Here, we’ll break down each of these qualities, explaining the associated cost, risk and time savings OEMs should require when assessing prospective suppliers.
OEMs looking for components and systems may opt for an established industry leader, or a vendor with an appealing price and delivery promise for what they deem to be a commodity.
Ultimately, suppliers who can offer time-tested experience and a range of installation reference points have the greatest ability to save OEMs time and reduce risk.
Industry experience pays off particularly well when it comes to troubleshooting and innovation. Most OEMs have experienced quality issues when it comes to parts and components. The right vendor, however, will solve them swiftly. Expect your supplier to stand behind its products, with guarantees, assistance and replacement, and you can expect to save yourself time and reduce risks associated with faulty products.
Experience also pays off in terms of customization ability and know-how. OEMs shouldn’t be limited to a one-size-fits-all approach. You can save valuable development and design time with a vendor bringing a strategic partner’s approach. You’ll know this is the case when the vendor is equipped to offer accessible engineers, in-house manufacturing, odd-sized production runs, prototyping and validation, emergency parts, and the expertise to recommend more cost-effective solutions than you would have picked yourself.
Support and Distribution
Supply chain issues can become time drain issues. Save time and eliminate downtime risk by choosing a supplier with a deep supply chain and broad base of distributors. You’ll benefit from faster service, deliveries and replacements provided by sales and support offices located near you and near your customers. Leveraging the resources of potentially hundreds of locations shaves project time and reduces risks that can come with unexpected product delivery dates.
Benefits that go hand-in-hand with this type of support are training, online support and product guarantees. Vendors that can offer convenient, ongoing training and certification programs at both the distributor and OEM level can reduce risk and save development time for their customers.
Online support in the form of CAD libraries of products in various formats, mobile apps to identify replacement parts, and custom configurator apps allow OEMs to build the right part for their application, eliminating risks associated with selecting parts and components without the right information.
When it comes to specifying fittings, hoses, pneumatics, and tubing, product quality remains a critical value proposition that’s sometimes overlooked. Selecting a premium brand may appear to mean higher price tags and not much more. On the other hand, quality issues and warranty costs associated with poorly made products can quickly nullify any savings from a “cheap” component. Besides ensuring durability and repeatability in your products, choosing a premium vendor also gives you an open line of communication, so you can make sure those products perform.
Performance in the food and beverage packaging arena is also tightly hinged with sanitary and hygienic product design and construction. Components designed to withstand repetitive and often harsh washdown and sanitation procedures in a packaging operation prove their mettle quickly. OEMs can expect more durable components, longer uptime, fewer replacements and higher productivity.
Depth of product line is another key criteria that will save OEMs investment costs. Vendors able to offer a wide selection of products and systems designed to work together will streamline design as well as purchasing. The vendor with everything you need, from connectors to valves to filtration, lets you narrow your supply base, saving you money. Why cut 23 purchase orders when you can do it with one?
Long Term Benefits
OEMs that consider these qualities when selecting an equipment supplier, particularly in terms of time, cost and risk savings, will find their vendor selection process that much easier to complete.
The ultimate payoffs in terms of experience, support and quality will result in faster design and installation time, far less downtime and ongoing product performance.
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