By Richard Walker, Sales and Marketing Director, WEG Australia
Right price, right place, right now! This may be the simple ‘scope of supply’ at any given time or in the heat of the moment, but what other responsibilities come along with a willingness to supply?
It’s apparent that historically it was easier to sell to the larger industrial sites and councils than it is today.
Typically there used to be a clearly definable engineering infrastructure, usually led by an experienced engineer, where the scope of supply was articulated in a series of (consistent) specifications, procedures, and standards that challenged you to conform with and which in turn granted you eligibility to supply.
Essentially, there was someone in place to ensure product performance and overall system integration into the plants needs and processes. That was a win-win, and that’s the way we all liked it!
As costs were ripped out and outsourcing became the creative accountants mode of operation, the removal of local and site engineering not only saw site specific intellectual property vanish overnight, but along with that came a massive (but not so obvious) shift in responsibilities to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and manufacturer.
No longer was there a guardian of the site that held you to account through the compliance requirements.
What also came along with this more traditional process were obligations that didn’t need prescribing. Manuals, commissioning and maintenance training were all usually supplied willingly and freely as part of the scope of supply.
Combined with that, ongoing services such as spare parts availability and technical support were unconditionally included, basically because you wouldn’t dare turn up to try and sell something else if previously supplied products weren’t performing to site expectations.
Hand in hand with this ‘localisation’ came the commercial rewards that made it possible for OEMs and manufacturers to maintain local services that brought benefits in plant design, plant performance, and plant reliability.
While specifications still abound, many scenarios today see a cut-copy-paste effect where compliance rates vary, where opportunities for genuine quality and broader based value propositions have no platform to be presented (or assessed) on, and where longer term obligations of product support, as in after sales services (spare parts etc), can easily be bypassed by cheaper ‘imitations’, at the expense – both short and long term – of the site.
The difficulties don’t only manifest themselves on the supply side. If and when things go awry, it can be extremely difficult to identify just who is in control at any given time.
Invariably, managing and defending your brand reputation can become extremely difficult and expensive in times of crisis, whether the crisis be actual or perceived.
Having a clearly articulated scope of supply may be the only fall-back position you have to rely on when these events occur, providing a practical line-in-the-sand which in turn provides a basis for moving forward.
Ensuring you qualify your scope of supply may just be the difference between enjoying the rewards of a nice job or facing a financial disaster.
This partner content is brought to you by WEG Australia. For more information, visit www.weg.net/au.