It sounds like a crazy question, but just how much are you willing to pay for unreliability? Yes, that’s what it says: unreliability!
Analysis of a recently provided quote to a UK printer from a German press supplier says the answer is rather a lot! In fact, in this particular case, involving a B1 format press, it totaled over £40,000 a year. We might assume that this price included the costs of the technical service contract and for the supplier’s remote service diagnostics, though the quote was rather short on detail. Did it include the cost of all parts? What exactly was covered? The devil is likely to be in the detail.
Service Contracts at RMGT. Yes, of course we can offer our customers a “belt and braces” expensive service contract. For us it would be easy money! Existing users of Mitsubishi and Ryobi presses typically decline such an offer because they already know about the reliability of the products. Yes, regular attention to the equipment to keep it running at its best and most productive makes sense, but buying into an over the top contract for technical cover service ‘just in case’ is, we believe, a cost that you can live without when you run RMGT equipment.
So why do many of our competitors major on service contracts? Yes, they are right to point out that you need to be at the head of the queue to get one of their trained engineers – they have already confirmed to you that their machinery is unreliable with this strong focus on service. At least now you know that the nearest technician is on his toes ready for your call when the equipment does let you down.
Perhaps, rather than charge big money to its customers, these companies should be investing more in their production techniques to allow them to produce more stable products.
Own Spares Stock! Some suppliers even recommend printers to carry certain items as “spare parts stock” on consignment. These elements, it appears, frequently let users down, and rather than be “down” and not producing work for two or three days while waiting for a part to ship, be delivered, and then fitted, printers are told it would be better for them to hold these parts in advance, and pay for them as they are used.
Printers considering these manufacturers should check on this issue: how often do these parts fail? How many components come under the banner of recommended items to stock? Why do they fail?
At RMGT we have a better solution: better engineering and improved machine build quality in the first place!
Remote service diagnostics at RMGT. Yes, we can interrogate our machines remotely – we just don’t find that we need to do so very often. They just keep printing. The thought of setting up a remote diagnostics service team for RMGT brings to mind a wonderful TV advertisement from probably the best-known Scandinavian beer company in the world. The scene was an office worker walking alone along a deserted corridor. Hearing a telephone persistently ringing in one of the offices, he decides to enter the office to answer the enquiry. An old style office and a telephone that is covered in dust suggests an unused part of the company. It turns out that the caller has the wrong number. The visitor leaves the office. It is then that we see the punch line: this was the Carlsberg Complaints Department!
Some suppliers are keen to make a big deal of their remote diagnostics capability: at RMGT we prefer to make a big thing of press reliability.
A combination of well built product and a very cost conscious mentality have led many printers around the world to rely on one single RMGT press to produce their work. They can afford this luxury because they know that an RMGT press is reliable, won’t let them down, and they can put their trust in the product to deliver work for them on time, every time.
Service Costs. Ask the question: how often do these machines break down? Users might give you a more reliable answer of course. Look closely at the cost of service contracts. These are priced with the knowledge and understanding of the supplier as to how much it will cost them to keep this press running. The higher the cost of the service contract, the less reliable the machine is going to be you might assume.
When looking at the cost of service you also need to factor in the most expensive part of the equation: down time. How much is this machine going to cost me when its not running – wages, cost of overtime to get production back on schedule, potential loss of face with customer due to late delivery, and, of course, the possibility of losing a contract completely due to delays in delivery.
Can you afford unreliability?
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