MACH IN ERY
Third party machine service –
a false economy?
Wayne Hunter, service and operations manager, Emmegi (UK), says that
fabricators who use third party service agents to save money, might end up
spending more in the long run.
When budgets are tight, it’s
understandable to want to
reduce costs and save money.
But saving money by turning to
unauthorised third-party service agents rather
than sticking with the Original Equipment
Manufacturer (OEM), can actually end up
costing fabricators more in the end, and here’s
Firstly, only the OEM will have access to
technical data, systems, drawings and guaranteed
original spare parts for every single machine in
Secondly, only the OEM will have access to
the latest software and safe system updates
which are essential to the efficient running of
any machine. These are identified and provided
during routine maintenance and repairs; but
won’t be available to any third party.
And thirdly, only the OEM will have a team
who can guarantee that all works will be carried
out to their pre-defined standards.
It’s not a question of OEMs deliberately
excluding third party repairers to gain some kind
of commercial advantage. I think customers will
appreciate that the only way we can warranty our
machines and our components is if we know that
they have only been worked on by technicians
trained by us.
Beyond that though, there are risks and
potential pitfalls associated with using a third
party which many fabricators might not even
The biggest risk comes from a health and
safety perspective. If an accident were to happen
involving any piece of equipment and machinery,
the HSE will want to see the training records
not just of the users of the machine, but also of
anyone who has carried out any maintenance or
repair. The onus will be on the manufacturer to
show that the equipment was being operated
and maintained in accordance with the OEM’s
recommended periods and processes and also
by persons with the relevant skills and training.
If you are tempted to use a third-party service
agent, you will need to ask them to provide the
necessary evidence before they start work.
And, when it comes to costs, it’s important
to look beyond the hourly charge. If a thirdparty
repairer can’t complete the work quickly
or they don’t follow the correct procedures,
then the actual costs can be much higher than
you expected. If they have to wait for a part
for example, then the downtime costs for the
machine will almost invariably outweigh any
saving you might have made. Like so much in
life, if it looks too good to be true, then it almost
invariably will be!
Emmegi has a team of highly trained engineers
operating across the country and a warehouse
in Coventry fully stocked with spares, so we will
always be able to dispatch one of our team to
carry out repairs quickly and efficiently. We can
also, of course, schedule in routine maintenance
at times to suit customers. Added to that, if
demand surges for any particular reason, we can
even draft in engineers from Italy to keep our
response levels high.
We do our best to keep our servicing costs
down and our quality and response levels up.
Fundamentally, what we want is strong and
positive relationships with our customers, and
the key to that is providing an outstanding
service which means our customers simply don’t
want to go anywhere else.