Since the launch of 10 Selection Indicators That Machinery Manufacturers Won’t Disclose (Part 1) last month, we have received many praises and responses. Some clients said that they finally know the reasons behind the superior quality of machinery in countries such as Germany and Japan. Some clients said that the 5 indicators in the previous episode were very helpful to them, and some also said that they can’t wait to see the content of the next episode.
Alright, the editor will not talk about other digressions. Let’s get down to business and look at the content of 10 Selection Indicators That Machinery Manufacturers Won’t Disclose (Part 2)!
6. Safety regulations and quality control
The editor organizes the common safety regulations and quality control data in the machinery industry as follows
ISO 9001 is by far the most mature quality framework in the world, used by more than 750,000 organizations in 161 countries around the world. ISO 9001 sets the standard not only for the quality management system, but also for the overall management system. It helps various types of organizations achieve success through improving customer satisfaction, increasing employee motivation, and having continuous improvement.
The ISO14001 series of standards was developed to promote the improvement of environmental quality worldwide.
As the ISO14001 environmental management system can bring many benefits, such as saving energy and reducing consumption, enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises, attracting new clients, and gaining the trust of the government and the public, it has received positive responses from the majority of enterprises since its release, and is regarded as a “Green Pass” to enter the international market.
The letters CE are abbreviated from the French “Communate Europpene”, which means the European Community, proving that it has passed the international safety standard test.
CE certification is limited to the basic safety requirements for products that do not endanger the safety of humans, animals and goods, rather than general quality requirements. Therefore, the precise meaning is that CE marking is for safety rather than quality. The “CE” marking is a safety certification mark and is considered a passport for manufacturers to exploit and enter the European market. In the EU market, the “CE” marking is a mandatory. Whether the product is produced by an enterprise within the EU or produced in other countries, in order to sell freely in the EU market, the “CE” marking must be affixed to indicate that the product comply with the basic requirements of EU New Approach Directives. This is a mandatory requirement for products under EU law.
The meaning of GS is from German “Geprufte Sicherheit” (safety has been verified), and also “Germany Safety”.
GS verification is a voluntary verification based on the German Product Safety Act (SGS) and tested in accordance with the EU unified standard EN or the German industrial standard DIN. It is a German safety verification mark recognized in the European market. Although not legally required, it does subject the manufacturer to strict German (European) product safety laws when products malfunction and cause an accident.
The purpose of editing the above information is to let everyone have a basic understanding of the common “safety regulations” and “quality” inspection items in the machinery industry.
In fact, compliance with these “safety specifications” or “quality” control items is the most basic threshold.
Just like working as a doctor, lawyer, and teacher requires obtaining relevant licenses,
although passing these certifications does not necessarily represent an excellent supplier,
the use of these certifications can be a basic indicator for examining and selecting manufacturers.
In addition to reviewing these safety regulations or quality control certifications,
the editor proposes several additional indicator items, and they can be used as a selection of such excellent machinery manufacturers:
• Quality related awards
• Additional quality control procedures and programs
7. Objection Handling
Some people say: “The best customer service is the perfect quality”,
but the editor believes that there is no 100% perfect product in the world.
Take the world-renowned Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc. as examples.
I believe you must have heard:
A small proportion of iPhones are defective.
(e.g., New phones explosion, abnormal power consumption)
A small percentage of Tesla customer complaints.
(e.g., The automatic driving is judged abnormally, and the battery fault so fail to drive)
Even the products of such famous manufacturers have a small proportion of defective products,
most advocatesstill have brand identity and confidence to the brand.
The main reason is that these well-known manufacturers have excellent objection handling capabilities.
Situations are the same when we return to the machinery industry.
Sometimes when customers raise objections or complaints,
it may be caused by improper human operation, and it may also be caused by the abnormal quality of the original equipment spare parts.
However, whenever something goes wrong with the machine,
some customer services or sales representatives of machinery equipment manufacturers from Europe, America, and Japan blame the problem for improper operation of the customer. (Not customer-oriented)
But taking our SBL company as an example, when customers raise objections or complaints,
we do not assume any position or hold any prejudice.
Immediately, we will listen patiently and carefully to customer questions,
if necessary, ask the customer for further testing or problem detection.
After the sales, technology, R&D, and after-sales service departments discuss together,
presenting the final judgment and solution to the client.
Editor suggests that the following questions can be asked to check the objection handling ability of machinery equipment manufacturers before purchasing:
7-1. Under warranty
- How long is the warranty period?
- Are there different warranty periods for different components?
- Which parts are covered by the original factory warranty? Which parts are covered by non-original factory warranty?
- How are the related maintenance costs under warranty calculated? (Maintenance hours, replacement of spare parts)
7-2. Out of warranty
- How to apply for repair of machinery and equipment outside the warranty period? Is the contact window the dealer or the original factory?
- How are the associated maintenance costs calculated? (Maintenance hours, replacement of spare parts)
7-3. Maintenance time
- If the fault cannot be eliminated immediately and remotely, how many working days will it usually take to repair?
- Is the maintenance time under warranty or out of warranty having any difference?
7-4. Maintenance cost
- Ask the sales department to provide the price of frequently replaced components or consumables.(related to future maintenance costs)
8. R & D capabilities
To evaluate the research and development capabilities of machinery equipment manufacturers,
occasionally it is difficult to see clues or make decisions in a short period of time from the manufacturer’s proposed function or catalog.
Therefore, the editor provides several projects for evaluating the research and development capabilities of mechanical equipment to help you select manufacturers with excellent R&D strength.
8-1. The number and structure of R&D personnel
Observing indicators from the company’s R&D personnel,it can be seen that the proportion of companies willing to invest in R&D.
Theoretically, the more that companies are willing to invest in R&D, its power to maintain product competitiveness will also be relatively strong.
It is suggested that we can obtain the number (or ratio) and the distribution of academic qualifications of R&D personnel from the machinery equipment company to make an evaluation and measurement.
8-2. The number of patents
In theory, after the company’s R&D capability reaches a certain level,
it will definitely start filing patent applications to build a moat to protect their company.
Hence, the number of patents owned by the company on this model is also one of the items that can be evaluated for R&D capability.
8-3. Keeping pace with the times
Now with the development of machinery and equipment in the professional field,
manufacturers with a long history have experienced decades or even hundreds of years of development and market tests.
In fact, the functional improvement is close to the extreme, but the evolutionary range is not large. (Production speed, yield, etc.)
Today, evaluating the R&D capabilities of machinery equipment manufacturers can be observed from another aspect, that is, the ability to combine the network and intelligence.
This items that editor recommends to evaluate:
- Intelligent function (reduce human operation experience and convert it into automatic detection or parameter modularization function)
- Diagnosis of remote network connection problems
- Preventive maintenance
- Finish production report
9. Customization Capability
Here, I will explain customization capability with my favorite example “suits”.
Compared with ordinary suits, custom-made suits will definitely cost more,
but it can better meet the different needs of various customers.
At the same time, it can highlight the advantages and cover up the shortcomings of customers.
Pulling back to the machinery equipment manufacturers,
first, manufacturers who are good at mass production may not necessarily have the ability to customize.
Second, because the customized design is relatively expensive to manufacture,
some manufacturers will not customize for customers under commercial considerations.
As for the importance and benefits of customization capabilities,
here are two examples of our company for your reference:
In Japan, because every inch of land is so precious, through many Japanese TV programs,
we can know that Japan is a country that exerts the utmost in space utilization and ingenuity.
Our company’s die cutting machines originally has an optional height selection for the machine that clients can choose to buy if they want. (The standard height can be increased by 300mm).
In order to meet the needs of Japanese customers,
the height of the feeder and delivery section of the machine can be customized and modified (Customized height can be increased to 400mm).
First, meet the requirements of Japanese customers for storing paper within limited space in the factory.
Next, it also reduces hours of paper feeding and delivery for machine operation. (Compared with the standard machine, the number of paper feeding and delivery is increased by 40% and 48%)
Because the hot foil stamper machine has a rewinder section and a workbench space;
therefore, in general, a larger space is required than a die cutting machine.
At the time, a Malaysian customer needed to purchase a hot foil stamper machine.
However, there is not enough space to put new machines in the factory.
The customer had asked many machinery equipment manufacturers but could not solve the problem,
after SBL evaluated and customized modification for the customer,
finally, we successfully completed the purchase requirements of hot foil stamper machines though the space was insufficient.
It is easy to obtain the price of machinery and equipment.
After inquiries with a number of machinery suppliers, the company is able to have a preliminary price.
But the point I want to emphasize is that “Price does not equal value”.
Is it really enough to use “product price” and “function” as a comprehensive evaluation of the purchase of machinery and equipment?
Is the company’s reputation or brand image equal to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in machine spreads?
Or the company would like to take risks of losing to earn more spreads?
The editor recommends that if you want to obtain good value machinery,
you can refer to following evaluations:
10-1. Product yield
The higher yield or precision of mechanical manufacturing products, the higher price the machine is.
Sometimes because of budget or the benefits of machine spread,
you choose a machine with a lower product yield or a lower availability rate,
maybe it seems to save some money,
but would it be worth sacrificing customer trust or business reputation that are more crucial in essence?
10-2. Manufacturer's reputation
As proposed by 10 selection indicators that machinery manufacturers will not disclose(part1),
you can inquire from the history of the manufacturer or from the predecessors in the industry to understand the quality and level of the machinery manufacturer.
Machinery manufacturers with good value can never form overnight.
It takes a great deal of time to accumulate reputation.
10-3. Second-hand market price
Maybe there are many questions in your mind?
What is the relationship between the selection of machinery manufacturers and the second-hand market price?
In fact, the process of business operation is probably to change because of environment or business needs,
and having expansion, merger, transformation, and reduction.
Moreover, the changing process is likely to involve the demand for trading second-hand machine.
Let me give you an example. Under the premise of similar machine performance,
Company A’s machine sells for $300,000, and Company B’s machine sells for $200,000.
But after 5 years of use,
the second-hand machine from company A can be sold for 200,000 US dollars in the market,
because it has higher market share and brand awareness.
In contrast with machine A, the second-hand machine from company B has lower market share and poor mechanical durability,
even the market price is 100,000 US dollars, it is going begging.
In this case, is machine A or machine B more valuable?
The answer is very obvious.
10-4. Installation and education training
The sale of machinery and equipment usually includes installation and education training services.
Certainly, whether the installation services and education training content meet your company’s needs,
sometimes due to special installation conditions or educational training demands, additional fee is required.
It is also a reasonable range and needs to be included in the selection consideration items.