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How Well Do You Know Your Suppliers?

November 25, 2015

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WA’s booming economy has seen the proliferation of new suppliers across many industries, all keen to take advantage of the business opportunities that come from a healthy market.

Sometimes, these newbies can be a positive influence on industries, such as in those traditionally monopolised by one or two players. It can help shake up the scene and add some healthy choices for customers.

The downside that often comes with new entrants however, is that often the average customer might not fully understand what the new services entail, what the suppliers are actually offering and how they might look after their customers post-sale.

A current example of this is the UberX ridesharing insurance debate, where private individuals use their own cars to drive passengers for a cheaper fee than a taxi service.

The debate has been gathering steam since the company set up in Australia in 2014.

The industry’s main concern is that UberX is not a safe option for customers, as drivers are not properly insured or licensed.

For customers though, the main attraction is the low price – and sometimes in the rush for a lower price, it can be easy to forget about the risks.

In the automotive arena, the current availability of parallel or non-OEM parts can result in prices that are much cheaper than branded parts direct from the original manufacturer.

While many customers chase the lower prices offered by parallel imports (some of which have unclear origins), it is often not until problems occur that they realise they may not have the supplier’s support or be covered by an adequate warranty.

For a business that relies on its equipment to bring in the dollars, this situation can lead to unplanned and extended downtime, frustrations all around and ultimately cost owners valuable time and money.

So how can you protect yourself and your business when evaluating new suppliers?

  • Deal only with reputable, quality, long-standing suppliers who can back up their products
  • Make sure your supplier can provide support when you need it most
  • Deal with the manufacturer’s appointed agent
  • Ensure your supplier is a member of a relevant and reputable industry association
  • Request genuine parts wherever possible – the extra upfront cost may end up saving you heartache in the long-term
  • Ask to see a warranty statement before purchase
  • Retain invoices as proof of purchase, with detail on parts purchased and / or work done
  • Retain inspection reports for a record of work completed and faults reported
  • …And remember: If a supplier offers you a deal that seems too good to be true – it probably is!

Today’s owner-operators are so busy with their own workload that the mere thought of unplanned downtime or prolonged mechanical issues with their equipment induces all kinds of stress.

So why take the risk with your business?

Build a solid relationship with an established, reputable supplier who will stand by you when the chips are down and your business will thank you for it.

 

Liftrite Hire and Sales

  • Established in 1983
  • Hire & Rental Industry Association member
  • Western Australia OEM-appointed supplier for Manitou, Gehl, Kubota and Kalmar
  • Locally-owned and operated
  • 65 employees
  • 24 / 7 back-up and support
  • Maximum 5-Star Kubota Dealer
  • Maximum 4-Star Manitou Dealer
  • Offering comprehensive labour and parts warranties for all customers
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