Occasionally I’ll be challenged by a potential customer because another print supplier offers double the warranty Electromark does for a similar product.
It’s no surprise that in this industry, products can be very similar. It’s important to know that regardless of product similarity, warranties aren’t created equal.
As consumers, we’re conditioned to think that a warranty is synonymous with a guarantee of quality or durability, but this isn’t always the case.
Many factors go into deciding warranties, and the seller prioritizes those factors. Read on to learn more about warranty terms and how to recognize unrealistic ones.
To better understand warranties it’s crucial to know in most cases your print supplier doesn’t manufacture the actual product materials.
Print suppliers source their raw materials from specialty sign, label, and plastic film converters or various suppliers.
With these materials, print suppliers create your signs, labels, and tags and then sell to you. The materials have a warranty determined by their manufacturer before they are used in production.
It’s safe to assume the material manufacturer’s warranty is a close representation of product durability.
Certain materials will easily outperform the manufacturer’s warranty by 10% or 20% because most material manufacturer warranties are intentionally conservative.
If you have doubts about a product’s warranty, you should ask about the material manufacturer’s warranty. It’s unreasonable to expect products to have double the durability that is warranted by the material manufacturer.
So, why do manufacturers risk a warranty term that exceeds likely durability?
Taking the Risk
We like to think the longer the warranty terms, the better the product.
This isn’t always true, and some manufacturers lean on this common misconception to increase sales.
As consumers, we’re prone to choose the product with the longest warranty because we perceive it to be of higher quality than the one with shorter terms. We forget to look at other factors like similar materials, price, delivery, etc.
Some manufacturers take the calculated risk that they will rarely have to make good on warranty terms for two main reasons: traceability & cost.
It’s not uncommon for a utility to have a sign or label in the field and for them to be unsure of when it was manufactured and who manufactured it.
Without this information, it is challenging to trace the product back to the manufacturer, and some print suppliers may take this gamble.
Another factor is cost. Labels and signs are perceived to be low-cost ancillary items that rarely take priority over the machinery they identify.
Unless it is blatantly clear that they have failed prematurely, a warranty claim isn’t often followed up on by the utility.
Although the products themselves are relatively easy to replace, that doesn’t mean the consequences of them failing in the field are easily ignored.
Never underestimate the impact quality signs and labels have on improving safety and productivity for your workforce.
Our products might be in a different category than large value capital equipment, but the proper application could mean the difference between life and death.
Set your team up for success by using quality identification products with realistic and clear warranty terms.
The Electromark advantage
Electromark chooses a warranty strategy that demonstrates our long-held experience and integrity, even if that means losing an occasional sale because another print supplier’s overstated warranty isn’t recognized for what it is.
Most other print suppliers’ warranties fail to provide any definition of serviceable condition or failure condition, and simply state ‘X’ years.
Here at Electromark, we recognize our products as being fundamental to workplace safety and strive to keep our warranties as straightforward as possible.
Our warranties use clear and simple language with defined service performance condition relevant to the application.
We believe in providing quality products with warranties that are realistically representative of the materials and processes we use; then honoring those warranties in the rare instance of a premature product failure.
If you have questions or concerns along the way, we encourage you to reach out to our customer service team.
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I have been in my present role as Technical Sales and Application Engineer with Electromark for 9+ years, and with the company for 14 years. My earlier experience with the company was with our printing and other manufacturing operations. My knowledge with Electromark and the industries it serves includes materials, products, process capabilities, weathering durability, regulations, and standards. See my Linkedin profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandon-furber-0036644a/
With over 40 years of experience, Electromark specializes in identification and safety marking solutions for the electrical utility industry, other service utilities, and the outdoor industrial workplace. Our products are engineered for the harsh, outdoor environment.