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Service engineers saving the day (and company reputation)

"Great bumping into you again!" Stu, a field service manager, greeted Sarah, his colleague from another manufacturing company, at the big trade show. "How's life treating you? And how's business?"

"Great seeing you too, Stu" Sarah replied. "It must have been before Covid that we saw each other last? I've had my second child since then and came back from parental leave about six months ago." "Second child!? Congrats! We're expecting our first in a couple of months. What was it like coming back?"

"Well, I do love my kids. But it's nice getting paid for your hard work again. You'll understand in a couple of months what I mean by that. How about you and your work? You're still with the same manufacturing company, I see."

Still the same company, still field service, but we've actually run into a new issue; customers buying counterfeit spare parts and then yelling at us for their production breaking down. They think they've bought our genuine parts, or at least they claim to believe so, in spite of them buying them at half our list price.

So we end up getting yelled at, having to make emergency calls only to find out that the parts that broke down are substandard fakes, way below our quality." "Been there, done that." Sarah replied. We had similar issues shortly after you and I last met. It was horrible! And expensive! And demoralising for the service engineers getting yelled at. But we found a way out of it and now it's smooth riding again.

"You did?! How?!" Stu shouted loudly, making some heads nearby turn.  "Quite simple: we found out about isAuthentic, installed it in our production and equipped our service engineers with the app."  "is what?" Stu asked, confused.

"isAuthentic, a Swedish system for authenticating products. Once you have it installed at the end of your production line, the engineers can just scan items in the spare parts store of our customers, identifying them as genuine or counterfeit. Once the customers have accepted that they have had fake spare parts in store, they can get the app too and check deliveries on arrival. Problem solved.

"That sounds awesome!" Stu said, eyes wide open. Didn't the production folks mind you messing with their production line, installing things there?

"Not at all, actually." Sarah replied. It was done in a standard, planned, maintenance break. That was all. I suppose the technology behind it all is pretty advanced but using it is ridiculously easy. Both in our factory and when we're at the customer's – at least technically. It might take a bit of convincing before they let us scan spare parts in their store. We usually start by asking them to bring us the replacement for the broken part from their store. If isAuthentic detects it as counterfeit, we can dig deeper from there.

 In addition, being able to authenticate our products so easily benefits the company in so many other ways too. It makes it easier for the legal folks to hunt down counterfeiters, for marketing to build trust in our quality and the CEO can glow in front of the board and the AGM.  "That IS awesome!" Stu almost shouted. "I want it! Where do I start?"

 "Easy. Just reach out to Blue Cromos, the folks who invented it. They'll help you get your C-suite on board" Sarah finished.  "You've made my day, Sarah! Thanks"

Image credits: Stu and Sarah: nortonrsx on iStock

Background: Thatphichai Yodsri on iStock

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