While there may be literally thousands of different laser marking machines from an extraordinary array of different brands and manufacturers, the whole market can be split down the middle with one consideration. Quite simple – are you looking to buy British, or will you consider the kind of machinery that’s shipped in from around the world?
These days, the whole ‘Made in China’ conversation has taken on an entirely new dynamic. Once something of a cliché with regard to how many everyday foods were manufactured in the Far East, China has well and truly become the world’s biggest manufacturer of everything. And not just China alone for that matter – from Korea to Thailand to Cambodia to the Philippines and so on, it is almost impossible to think of anything that isn’t mass produced in Asia for the lowest prices on Earth.
So back with the topic of laser engraving technology for a while – what’s the harm in ordering internationally? After all, when you’re looking at same kind of technology for a price exponentially lower than that of buying domestically, wouldn’t it make perfect business sense to go for the cheaper option?
On paper the answer is of course yes – spending more than necessary is never a good idea in any setting. However, when you’re looking at something that’s going to play a pivotal role in the day to day operations of your business, there is in fact a lot more to take into account than initial purchase prices alone. To cast aspersions on every laser cutting device and machine shipped in from overseas would be unfair and unfounded, but at the same time those who choose not to ‘Buy British’ inevitably take a few additional risks.
For example, it’s one thing to organise the transportation of a rather large and cumbersome piece of machinery from one UK city to another – transporting the same piece of equipment thousands of miles is another thing entirely. Chances are that when the decision has been made to invest in a new laser marking machine or to upgrade existing machinery, you’d prefer to have it with you as soon as possible. The simple fact of the matter however is that when ordering in from overseas, even in the case of the most responsible and capable international suppliers there is still a lot that can go wrong along the way. Therefore if fulfilment times matter to you, it might be a good idea to stick with UK suppliers.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that while the UK has some of the strictest and most extraordinarily high quality standards when it comes to manufacturing, the same cannot be said for a great many overseas nations. The UK government is quite specific when it comes to the kind of legislation set out that ensures each and every manufacturer and producer follows the rules in the development, manufacturing and supplying of products and equipment across the board. Suffice to say, these rules in no way apply to the manufacturers and suppliers based overseas, so there’s technically no way of guaranteeing the same kinds of quality standards. And should you not be happy with the quality standards upon receiving any piece of machinery, standard UK statutory rights may also not apply.
There’s a very big and very obvious difference between having a customer care team right on your doorstep that speaks your own language and having to call the other side of the world to discuss in broken English any questions or concerns you may have. It’s worth remembering that as laser engraving technology is the kind of thing that’s built to last and will be with your business for years or decades, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you will have to get in touch with the manufacturer. And when the time comes, chances are you will be more than glad you opted for a domestic manufacturer with a domestic customer service team.
Returns and Maintenance
Last but not least, something to ponder before making your final decision is the not-so insignificant matter of how exactly maintenance and returns would be handled in the instance of a fault. With a UK-based manufacturer, returns are relatively easy and maintenance may be carried out by their own team on-site. If by contrast the manufacturer is based on the other side of the world, trying to get the machinery back to them or organising for third-party servicing and maintenance can be nothing short of a nightmare.
So while there may be obvious immediate cost advantages to buying from overseas manufacturers, British brands almost always represent the safer, superior option.