The independent metrology equipment reseller has been an integral part of the equipment supply and support chain for as long as the industry has existed. With the ever-advancing technology of metrology equipment, and its increasing front-line role being played in manufacturing quality, the original customer relationship-based resellers have fallen by the wayside giving rise to a new breed of solutions-based metrology resellers.
The annual Control Exhibition in Stuggart, Germany presents the visitor with a smorgasbord of high technology metrology capital equipment, much of which comes from companies that you will never have heard of. Some are start-up companies, some spun out of university research projects or larger metrology equipment companies operating only in their domestic markets. All are reliant upon metrology resellers bringing their product to their respective potential market audience. Many of these products will receive no such opportunity and thus never recent their ‘passport’ to enter markets outside of the company’s local reach.
There Are Not Enough Metrology Resellers
Many metrology products are niche with a very specialized, but also very limited application focus. Only by collectively bringing a number of these niche products together to comprise a product portfolio can a metrology reseller create a viable business.
As the large metrology groups grow ever larger, either through company acquisitions or indigenous product line extension, the space available in the market for the metrology reseller to operate has been squeezed. The consolidation of the global automotive manufacturing footprint has also reduced the local market opportunity for many resellers.
The larger metrology groups tend, in the main, to have built their own sales and support operations (subsidiaries) in key markets, particularly since their global customers demand consistent support around the globe.
The independent reseller however remains the primary route to market for so many high technology products in the metrology equipment sector.
The local metrology reseller is charged with knowing the nuances of his respect market, bringing the principles products to the local market, providing market intelligence and feedback along with world class customer application solving, training, service and support.
The emergence of a new breed of reseller to match the increasing customer demands and intensive analytical product evaluation process has meant that the reseller must be every bit as competent as the OEM in product knowledge, application knowledge, competition awareness and professionalism. The customer days of “we always buy our quality control equipment from Steve. If he does not sell it, he will find a product to meet our needs, and represent it” have long gone. In the past resellers had extensive line cards and experts of few. Today’s metrology reseller is much more focused with just a few products. Customers select the right equipment for their short and longer-term needs and only after a painstaking evaluation process – and only from a local supplier that has the resources to support their investment.
Metrology News recently visited one such new era metrology reseller – OGP UK.
The company was founded in 1989 and commenced business as a subcontract CMM inspection, calibration and services company. It has now grown into a second generation family business, now named the Carfulan Group, and is made up of a team of engineering experts located at its impressive Innovation Centre near Derby, UK.
Carfulan specializes in providing the most advanced manufacturing technology solutions available to the UK market, helping to bring ideas into reality and streamlining client manufacturing processes, across four divisions including OGP UK, ZOLLER UK and VICIVISION UK. Its work covers supplying and servicing for multi-sensor inspection equipment, 3D printing and tool pre-setting and measurement, as well as turned-part measurement solutions.
Clients include world-leading companies in the aerospace, automotive, oil and gas, medical, Over the past decade the Carfulan Group has enjoyed huge growth – and now has more than 50 employees with plans in place for further expansion. In 2018 and 2019 it was named one of the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain,’ being recognized as one of the nation’s most outstanding small to medium-sized businesses. The company has supplied more than 1,500 machines into the UK market to in excess of 700 customers.
Each division is focused on an OEM products to the extent that in the case of OGP, Vicivision and Zoller it has absorbed the brand name into its ‘go-to’ market company names.
The company’s facility is equipped with a large portfolio of demonstration machines and equipment. Based on the customer parts evident during our visit the company is dedicated to solving very advanced and complex customer metrology issues.
Metrology Resellers Have Evolved
Metrology resellers have evolved, and are still adapting as market needs change. The entrepreneurial spirit supplied by local metrology resellers allows the industry to remain as diverse in supply base as it is keeping the industry competitive and fueling technological advances as each OEM looks to develop the next big thing. The metrology reseller is critical to both customer and OEM and will continue to be so looking far into the future.
For more information: www.ogpuk.com