On numerous times I have, at the point of sale, been confronted with a host of (similar) objections. One of the most interesting perspectives I came across (and not for the first time) was the argument that having an MoT bay badged as the same supplied by a single supplier is the ultimate solution for an new MoT bay project…
In theory it sounds great, all the equipment manufactured by the same company who can support post-sale their “own brand” products, but is a “matching bay scenario” actually better than a “bits and pieces” test bay as its detractors hail it?
Point 1: OEM branded equipment is often of similar quality to that of non-branded products
Case in point: Vehicle Lifts
There are only a handful of lift manufacturers in Europe (where the best equipment is manufactured) ultimately lifts are manufactured on the same production line and assembled by the same individuals. The only difference might be the badge on the equipment and its colour.
Point 2: “OEM branded” products are often overpriced.
The price demanded isn’t always reflected in the quality of the product but more commonly the name itself (See Point 1 & Point 5). Often once a company has established a sale the customer gets “stuck” on that manufacturer / supplier refusing to consider other options even if they might be less expensive, offer better quality or service.
In reality the product and service offered by the alternative is usually quite similar and sometimes better. Taking quality as an example, OEM manufacturers should be able to offer an extensive warranty but in reality the warranty duration might only be up to 2 years – ‘Smaller’ manufacturers may be able to, and do offer, better warranty on their products. A quick Google search normally can identify those manufacturers.
Point 3: “OEM manufacturers” often use a distribution network rather than dealing directly with the end user in the garage.
Depending on where you located in the Country, certain brand name suppliers may not be available or fully supported. Ultimately investing in an MoT bay is not purely about the costs of the equipment but also the post-sale support you will receive in times of crisis.
Point 4: Most people don’t take the time to read the full details of the package they intend to purchase.
When it comes to a large capital outlay such as an MoT bay one must not lose sight of the fact that all the equipment is approved by the Department of Transport so the basic operation of the bay is essentially identical between suppliers. The only difference might be the price or quality of the product/service post sale. This should be a very important factor in the selection of the supplier but many people lose sight of this as they head down the path of preferred suppliers equipment rather than considering all the options.
Point 5: Hidden (Amortised) Costs
The manufacturers of brand name products spend thousands on the marketing of their products and spend many laborious hours with external marketing companies determining how best to market individual products or product groups. These monies are not lost leaders and must be recouped somewhere so essential questioning not only entails understanding the initial acquisition costs but also ongoing maintenance and calibration costs. Manufacturers who spend a lot less on marketing can probably offer you an identical or better product that does not have the additional amortisation of the marketing budget within the purchase or maintenance costs.
Final Point & Conclusion:
Opting for an MoT bay package from a single supplier is probably a smart move. Ultimately you have a single point of contact to control the implementation of the bay as well as the ongoing calibrations and maintenance that will be required in order to properly protect the investment. However opportunities do exist for those individuals who understand that an MoT bay is a package of different equipment designed for completing different tasks. In this scenario sourcing the very best equipment for every area of the business is probably a smart move to ensure you get the best return on your investment.