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Procurement Issues with Electronics Service Providers:
An Appeal to Companies

A Commentary by Viktor Siebert
Last updated: 05/16/2024

We collaborate with many procurement companies, but unfortunately, I must issue a word of warning about some.

For privacy reasons, I cannot disclose the names of these companies. However, due to several customer complaints and our own experiences, we have doubts about the reliability and competence of these companies.

You have probably seen some of these companies on the internet. They advertise that they offer professional repair services and can procure anything.

While I believe they can procure anything, I doubt they provide good repair services or have expertise in electronics.

Common Customer Complaints

Earlier this year, a medium-sized company with over 100 employees and a significant machinery inventory had the following experience:

By replacing a faulty power board for a servo drive with an identical board already installed in the machine, the company was able to localize the fault. Subsequently, they ordered a replacement board from such a procurement company. Although the board arrived quickly, it didn't work and appeared to be used.

As a result, the customer received three more assemblies one after another, prolonging the delivery times and drastically reducing communication. By now, the procurement service doesn't even pick up the phone anymore. Obviously, there is no longer any interest in solving the problem. The customer is being strung along without a solution in sight.

I believe such companies have specialized in sales and are good at it. Honest companies don't take this route and instead, impress their customers with their knowledge and skills.

Consequences of Unreliable Procurement Companies

I now see it this way: Many customers only experience problems on the periphery, but the actual number is much larger. Online reviews can no longer be trusted. Gradually, the working environment is being hollowed out, leaving fewer and fewer good repair companies.

Some procurement companies buy electronics in Asia. Nowadays, everything imaginable is counterfeited and replicated there. Used devices are essentially refurbished (only made to look good externally), and model numbers are forged.

You then buy such a device in Germany and think it's a quality part. How long it will work and what else it might destroy is uncertain.

Appeall to Companies

Therefore, I hereby appeal to all companies:

Only work with reputable procurement companies! Demand proof and ask to see test sites. Where is the testing done? Does the company have qualified technicians?

We are often used as an outsourcing partner. However, when I see how support cases are handled, I no longer have the decency to work in the background.

At some point, trust in the craftsmanship quality in this area is lost. Customers lose faith in repairs and prefer to buy new equipment.

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