Electrical Life Extension: Is it right for you?

by Greg Carter

Have you considered excess overstock for hard to find items to fill a bill of goods including OEM new? Industrial and Electrical companies in this niche market supply excess overstock as well as factory direct items from  warehouses as large as 70,000 square-feet in multiple geographical locations. They often perform industrial repair or retrofitting as well.

The market served here is known as MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations). MRO encompasses supplying or repairing any type of electrical or mechanical device that preserves a factory’s assets (a.k.a., asset recovery). These activities also involve preventive maintenance critical to manufacturers looking to avoid costly downtime. There are as many types of devices used in industrial/electrical settings as there are malfunctions, requiring these niche players to place heavy emphasis on Quality Assurance.

Aging equipment in a factory include: temperature controls; servo motors; dc motors; circuit breakers; power supplies and many other device types. Surplus overstock can be liquidated for re-distribution where need for the items is no longer supported by the manufacturer. Inventory can be over 1 million Stock Keeping Units (SKU).

Radwell Repair and Distribution Center, Lumberton, NJ

Radwell Repair and Distribution Center, Lumberton, NJ

Industrial Repair customers may also choose to repair their item as an economical alternative to a factory-new replacement, especially when the cost of servicing the unit is below 45 percent of the new cost. Their sales engineering are experts at sourcing items and parts. These products may include items such as small diodes and fuses weighing ounces, or as large as AC motors or DC motors weighing hundreds of pounds. Big names are getting in the act too: Schneider Electric acquired a major industrial repair center and has added repair services to its offering.

Certain electrical and automation distributors are partnering with industrial repair centers as a “value-add” when calling on customers having repairable legacy items as part an asset recovery program. The repair centers focus on different areas including mechanical, electro-mechanical or electrical.  Industrial repair teams specialize in repairing specific categories of equipment such as General Controls (timers, counters, and sensors), Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s), Drive and Motors.

Overstock suppliers strive to stay in accordance with quality requirements set by standards organizations including: The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 17025 — specifications from the International Standards Organization (ISO). AS 9000 quality guidelines are published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). QS 9000 is a quality standard for suppliers.

While excess overstock or repair services are not usually a service industrial/electrical offering from supply chain distributors, they can be used to save a sale on a bill of new OEM goods.

Greg Carter has served as director of marketing for large and mid-size suppliers of new and overstock equipment since 2001.

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