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AUGUST 2021 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 55 dent about. If a company does not consistently remain in contact with customers, does not answer your questions or field your concerns, and does not provide helpful materials on the products for you to look over, they may not be an equipment supplier that should be trusted. Some red flags to look out for during the buying process are false promises, misinfor- mation, unclear product materials, and a lack of response from customer service. Money Transfer If possible, it is best to negotiate payment terms so that 100% of the cost is not due until aer the machine has been delivered and inspected. Once you have ensured that the machine is in good working order, then is the time to pay in full. Exceptional and Lasting After-Care Once you have made your equipment pur- chase, the help should not stop there. A big area where many SMT suppliers fall short is in providing satisfactory aer-care, and this can be a crucial element of production success ver- sus failure. e aer-care process can be seen in two parts: services and materials. Services that customers should expect to be available include: • Remote diagnostics • A variety of warranties • Equipment installs and trainings • Soware updates and trainings • A 24/7 customer service line Materials that customers should expect to be available include: • BOM analyses • Live equipment demos • Helpful instruction manuals • Custom floorplan layouts • Informative blogs and videos Without these services and materials, a com- pany bringing production in-house may strug- gle if/when they need training, repairs, or even simple advice. A Final Word Overall, customers can end up with reliable equipment and support by choosing a com- pany that offers quality machines, thorough and honest communication, and a combina- tion of helpful materials and services. If you are thinking about choosing an equipment sup- plier that does not offer the above—especially machines from equipment resellers with prices that seem too good to be true—it is best to pro- ceed with caution. Finding a supplier that goes the extra mile, having that slightly more intan- gible trait of fostering lasting customer rela- tionships, will be worth your time and effort in the long run. SMT007 Emmalee Gagnon writes about SMT-related topics and customer stories for Manncorp. To read past columns or contact Gagnon, click here. Figure 3: A machine line drawing. Figure 4: A materials line drawing.

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