Sometimes it's just so easy to forget the simple old adage of "if you think it's too good to be true, it probably is". Especially when your thoughts are focused on budget cuts, profit margins and just in time inventory that, for some reason, are not there in time. How easy is it to click that "buy" button to order those parts that look exactly like the parts you need, but they are even cheaper and can be here on Monday?
Welcome to industrial counterfeiting - a modern day plague infecting all manufacturing industries and racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales of substandard products, packaged to visually look like OEM products with an aura of authenticity, while by-passing any attention to patents, copyrights, licensing agreements, trademarks or federally required testing by third party agencies. This recent article from Forbes - Amazon & eBay Opened Pandora's Box of Chinese Counterfeits and Now Don't Know What to Do - dedicates a great deal of attention to consumer goods, but the portals mentioned for purchasing counterfeit industrial parts are similar, if not exactly the same. This post from November of last year, from Manufacturing Global, focuses on the automotive industry - a victim of an estimated $45 billion in annual losses due to counterfeit goods, and the proactive steps that Nissan Motor Company took in 2014 to track and eliminate thousands of counterfeit parts being passed off as genuine OEM parts. The concluding summary from this story is the same one that's been repeated for years - "the final cost of counterfeit parts can often exceed any savings off the OEM price many times over".
Saving money always sounds like a great opportunity but considering all long-term effects of product failures, not just in terms of the products or devices themselves, but in the people impact and resulting publicity as well, we encourage our customers and clients to take the steps needed to confirm the legitimacy of their products in every aspect of the manufacturing process. If you would like more details on any Madison Company products, including Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory certifications - contact us today!