Lately, we’ve been explaining the benefits of knowing your source for networking hardware. We’ve told you about getting value, ease, assurance and ability.
What we’re trying to convey is the importance of ensuring that you have a reputable vendor who will be there to help support your network. There are plenty of disreputable sources for cheap hardware, but it’s better for you and your organization in the long run to work with a quality vendor.
With this in mind, here are 5 things your average, mediocre networking hardware vendor won’t tell you.
1. Refurbishing ain’t easy.
Setting up a thorough, exacting refurbishing process takes know-how and a commitment to excellence. A solid process requires a number of technicians, and it requires technical ability. It’s more than just a power on self test and a quick spit shine.
At CXtec, for instance, our certification process is accomplished by skilled technicians with experience and expertise. It involves rigorous testing procedures, thorough cleaning, and a dedication to quality.
If your vendor doesn’t take pride in their process, they won’t take the time to explain exactly what it involves. Perhaps they’ll be vague about it. But rest assured, if they’re doing it correctly it requires a team with knowledge and ability.
2. The warranty indicates the quality.
One of the first questions you should ask about your hardware is what kind of warranty backs it. Don’t make the trade-off of saying, “Hey, the warranty isn’t great, but at least the equipment is dirt cheap.” That’s a recipe for disaster.
Look for a vendor that backs their hardware with a representative warranty, not just 30 days and a prayer. When we decided to back our equal2new hardware with a lifetime warranty, we based the decision on our faith in the quality we displayed in our process.
Because we trust the commitment we made in our process, and the people that carry it out, we then back our hardware with a great warranty. If your vendor doesn’t, quite simply, it’s because they don’t have faith in their product. And if they don’t trust it, why would you?
3. Providing support means having smarts.
It’s not an easy task providing your customer with pre- and post-sale technical support. It means you have to have smart, knowledgeable people on-hand capable of answering questions and helping to build infrastructures, not just read technical specs off a manufacturer data sheet.
Technical expertise like this is hard to come by. If your vendor can’t answer your questions, it might just mean they’ve cut this corner. And if they’re willing to cut corners, how much trust can you have in their product? Look for a vendor with tech specialists who can answer your tough questions and help work with you to find the solution that works best for you.
4. A good facility is a game-changer.
Even if a vendor has some know-how, what good does it do if they don’t have a technical facility capable of handling a thorough refurbishing process? To do live network testing on hardware, you’ll need some space. To break down, clean, and re-assemble phones, you’ll need space. To keep replacement parts at the ready, you’ll need space.
Most importantly, to keep the hardware you’re refurbishing safe from harmful electrostatic discharge, you’ll need a facility that you’ve prepared for the job. Basically, for a number of reasons, if your vendor doesn’t have a proper testing facility, you can’t count on the quality of their product.
5. Inventory is a commitment to the customer.
The decision to keep hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars in inventory is a surefire indication that a vendor is dedicated to serving its customers needs. If anything should malfunction, replacement hardware is right there ready to go. If you need something right away for your organizational needs, it’s ready.
If your vendor doesn’t have an inventory of hardware ready to help you, it’s a pretty good sign that they’re simply not committed to customer needs. Or maybe they just simply don’t have faith that enough people will purchase their product to keep any on-hand to satisfy needs. Either way, it’s not a good sign. Look for a vendor who keeps a significant inventory ready for your needs.
We hope these little insights into your vendor’s thought process will help you choose a quality provider. You rely on your networking hardware to keep your organization running smoothly. You should also have a vendor you can rely on as well.