Within most industries, manufacturers and service providers get to choose how they can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Unfortunately, given today’s challenging newspaper production environment, price often plays a significant role. But, make no mistake, the lowest price typically comes at a cost.
That’s why I recommend that when evaluating a lower price, also evaluate exactly what that investment offers in terms of the actual scope of the service—and the capabilities of its provider. Factors to consider include:
- Expertise. Does the vendor have the experience and in-depth knowledge to perform successful repairs on your particular machine and model? And, in this particular time, do they have a written COVID-19 safety protocol in place? Ask for other documentation that attests to their credibility, training and track record. This can include certifications, customer testimonials, and insurance/liability coverage. On most occasions where customers have selected a lower cost provider upfront, Muller Martini receives a request for additional field support, programming, and reengineering. Long story short, clients end up spending more than they would have by going directly to Muller in the first place.
- Support. How quickly can the vendor identify and secure needed parts? Will they be using OEM parts, knock-offs or maybe even second-hand parts? In North America, our Allentown, Pennsylvania, spares warehouse is dedicated solely to supporting all Muller Martini equipment and contains more than $40 million in OEM parts inventory. Most can be ordered for next-day delivery.
- Responsiveness. How quickly can the vendor respond to your needs? How big is their staff, and where are they located? I’m pleased to say that Muller Martini has over 100 parts and service specialists in North America alone. What’s more, these are full-time, salaried employees—not contract, hire-on-demand, or flex workers.
The use of Muller Martini authentic parts is crucial to the success of your operation. This not only helps prevent failures, but also reduces wear and tear on other functional parts in the machinery to prevent catastrophic failure.
And don’t forget about valuable ancillary services.
Another compelling factor is what type of additional services can the vendor provide, other than repairs, which will further enhance the productivity of your mailroom? Through MMServices, Muller Martini offers an array of operational improvement programs that include:
MMStartup. Professional project management for installation and commissioning of your inserters, including relocations, which helps safeguard productivity right from the start.
MMInspect. An extensive machine audit service performed by factory certified technicians to ensure maximum uptime.
MMImprove. With customized training, Muller Martini helps your operators optimize production, improve troubleshooting ability, and continuously adapt to changing requirements.
MMParts. Muller Martini’s availability of original spare parts is exemplary, and includes our centrally-located Allentown, Pennsylvania, warehouse, to help ensure uninterrupted production.
MMSupport. Expert service support when you need it. Programs include a business hours Help Line, 24/7 remote access capabilities, even on-site peak seasonal support.
MMUptoDate. The continued high performance of your machine is ensured by regular software updates that keep productivity at maximum levels and extend the lifecycle of your equipment. Additional offerings include retrofitting or expanding your current line.
MMSelect. An individually-tailored service contract which allows you to select only the elements you need in order to guarantee productivity, keep your employees current, and keep service costs predictable.
The old adage still rings true: You really do get what you pay for.
Most third parties can only compete on price because they simply cannot afford to provide the depth and dependability of the OEM. At Muller Martini, we may not be the price leader, but we will always strive to make your machines and your operation reliable performance leaders. So, if you’re in it for the long-haul, be sure to properly evaluate what a lower price means—with particular attention to how it can impact the day-to-day demands of your own operations and those of your customers.
At the end of the day, it’s the Muller Martini name on the label and not the third party!