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Going local: 5 tips for choosing the right coding equipment provider

Supplier: Matthews Australasia By: Mario Soccio*
14 April, 2014

In today's manufacturing environment, the latest equipment includes cutting-edge features to ensure production is as efficient as possible. But what happens when the unthinkable comes about and these sophisticated machines fail?

Running an efficient manufacturing environment relies on you managing reactive and preventative equipment maintenance well. (Here are some good tips on preventative maintenance.) So it's critical to choose equipment providers who have local maintenance teams, with the skills and resources to install, service and fix equipment — and sooner rather than later.

No code, no product…

When we're talking about (typically end-of-production line) coding and labelling equipment breakdown, no code means no product. Not a great situation. So the faster you can get your production line back up and running, the less impact to your bottom line. That's why it's critical to choose a local equipment provider with reliable service and support capability.

A provider's expertise on the ground — when you need it — means you don't have to wait for ages, and avoids excessive downtime. For example, if your equipment needs a special part for repair, you won't have to wait weeks and weeks for it to arrive from overseas because a local equipment provider should have it ready to go. (And, as every manufacturer knows, every minute your equipment is down is another dent in your profit margin and potentially your company's reputation, because you can't meet your supply schedules.)

But it's not all about costs and deadlines, it's also a matter of having access to specialists who can build a relationship with your team, and who will understand your individual business needs and service requirements. Only a local technical support team can do this properly.

So what should you look for?

When it comes to the crunch, how do you know that your coding and labelling equipment provider will come through? Well, here are five things you should look for:

Response time

If a breakdown happens, how quickly can they support you? How quickly can someone reach your site? Does it take days, or weeks?

First-time-fix rate

When the technician visits your site, do they resolve the issue the first time? Or does it take a few visits? Or (very annoyingly) do they leave, only for the equipment to fail again just a few days later?

Phone assistance

Do they have a 24/7 helpdesk to guide you through basic fault-finding, so you can get up and running quickly?

Operator training

Do they have a program to train your staff on how to use and maintain your equipment effectively? (For coding equipment in particular, operator training is essential to reduce coding errors.)

Spare part availability

Many breakdowns require a part or module replacement, but does the field technician carry adequate spare parts? Or will you have to wait (and suffer costly downtime while the delivery eventually comes through from overseas)?

Support for Australian manufacturers

The entire current range of coding and labelling solutions from intelligent identification specialist Matthews is supported by their fully trained, nationally located technical support team.

With 24-hour support, their service is designed to save manufacturers time and inconvenience, while giving you the peace of mind that your products are professionally serviced and supported.

Having access to this type of capability and specialist knowledge is a real benefit to Australian manufacturers, who are otherwise faced with the challenge of finding spare parts, managing lengthy delivery time-scales or the costs of air-freight for replacement parts.

And that's why it makes great business sense that the right labelling and coding equipment provider is a local.

About the author:

* Mario Soccio is Matthews' National Technical Service Manager. He has been responsible for implementing a 97 per cent first-time fix-it rate (which customers love) and a fully digital central service management system, that's sped up response times, facilitated a well-stocked inventory and improved customer service (which customers also love).

Originally published on the Matthews blog