5 Things to Consider When Purchasing Parts and Consumables

Monday, March 3, 2014Categories: Blog

Not all service organizations are created equal. There are many factors to consider when choosing a replacement parts and consumables supplier for your cutting, spreading and plotting systems.

Using quality replacement parts can mean the difference between your system operating reliably day in and day out or suffering downtime that affects your delivery schedules and bottom line. Take into consideration which parts are designed specifically for your equipment and be wary of those that only claim to be.

  1. Quality/Performance: Durable, high-quality parts last longer and are more cost effective in the long term. So, how do you know when a part is of high quality? Look for genuine parts that are engineered and manufactured to the exact specifications required by the manufacturer. After all, the higher the quality, the better the performance of your system. Consider asking your supplier if they test their parts against parts of other suppliers to evaluate performance and longevity. 

    Field tests are equally important.  If your supplier is not working with various manufacturers in different industries with varying applications, they cannot ensure their parts are able to withstand the rigors of any manufacturing environment.
  2. Blanket Purchase Order: A blanket purchase order (BPO) agreed upon between the manufacturer and supplier is essentially a contract to purchase goods and services at a set price for a pre-determined period of time. Typical benefits of a BPO include:  
    1. Improved Purchasing Process – Establishing a BPO reduces administrative costs by eliminating individual orders. It also minimizes shipment delays and ensures you have replacement parts and consumables on hand when you need them.
    2. Inventory Control – A BPO allows the buyer to calculate required inventory levels and better control costs by establishing a just-in-time inventory system.
    3. Competitive Pricing – In many cases, a BPO entitles the buyer to discounted pricing. With pre-determined pricing for a fixed period of time, the BPO serves as a hedge against inflation.
    4. Reduced Freight Charges – A BPO eliminates unexpected or expedited shipping charges as a result of emergency ordering of long lead-time items.
    5. Certainty – Businesses like certainty. With a BPO, the buyer has certainty concerning quantities, price, delivery requirements and payment terms. 
  3. Customer Experience: Working with your technology partner should be convenient. Look for a partner that can offer a variety of sales channels.
    1. undefinedE-Commerce: A parts and consumables e-commerce website gives you immediate access to parts information and ordering 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    2. Customer Solution Centers: Being able to explain your issue to a live person  can sometimes make all the difference. Global call centers provide technical service and support when you need it. Placing a call is often the fastest way to resolve an issue.
    3. Field Technicians: A strong network of knowledgeable field technicians are critical for on-site assistance.
    4. Remote Services: Remote diagnostic support systems enable service technicians to troubleshoot and repair systems remotely, thereby minimizing disruption to the business. 
  4. undefinedExpertise: Your technology supplier’s knowledge and experience is invaluable. The insight gained from working with clients across the globe, across industries and across applications enables them to offer best practices regarding equipment maintenance and parts and consumables selection. 

  5. Logistics: Having parts available when and where you need them is critical. Consider partnering with a technology supplier whose service organization is truly global.  Do they work with a shipping/logistics expert? Do they have a network of distribution centers around the world? If so, it is a good indication that parts will be delivered when and where you need them.   

Finding a technology supplier whose service organization meets the majority of these criteria will benefit you and your business. After all, the stronger the service organization, the more responsive they will be when you need them to help keep your business running smoothly.