Local service and a simple process at lower price tags

Top dealers in India offer insights into the market trends, the opportunities and process of procuring a secondhand equipment at half the price, and how to ensure a great deal

16 Feb 2011 | By Staff Writer

Eddie Gulmen, Gulmen Enginnering
Global slowdown has thrown up new challenges. We have seen enquiries for used equipment double in the past year. Over the past six months, we have learned that companies are trying to undercut each other even more than before in the label market.

With effect to the slowdown, Gulmen Engineering has appointed extra staff dedicated to development of electrical and mechanical fabrication for retrofitting units onto existing machinery. The trickle of Asian machinery entering the market – from China, Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam has made us stronger. This is because we’ve seen the amount of small mother and father companies update old machines for affordable new ones.

Our close ties with China has enabled us to supply t affordable machinery into the emerging label converters seeing that they can easily transit from letterpress to flexo. This has made an excellent impact with the sale of secondhand machinery.

We monitor the regional currency exchange rates in order to protect ourselves from volatile swings in the market. Trading in all currencies is a must, so we keep it basic for our international friends. Now is a good time for small converters to opt for secondhand machines.

The reason being we are able to get great prices on parts that are needed. When we procure a machine we leave the decision up to our clients. The thing is, if they require us to do the installations we are happy to. Also if they feel like they are able to get it done locally then we can make a better deal as our staff will not be needed on-site of installation.

Sanjiv Rawal, Peerless Pack
 "Global slowdown is a process which is not new to the world economy and good companies have survived it time and again. Both the consumer segment and education is growing in India. Our advice is to let supply and service grow at its natural pace without artificial support.

Over the past six months, it has become evident to us that printing growth based on tailor made solution has not ended. Long term players lay stress on quality and continuity of supply, be it new or used machinery. As a low cost operator we have not compromised on quality or forgone continuity of supply. On the contrary, if the need has arisen, Peerless Pack has not hesitated to build an everlasting relationship and growing brand value through fair trading.

We have established a network of like-minded professionals who have a common goal to identify and cater to machinery needs of various local and international customers. We have tried to build an awareness by promoting brands which offer better value for money.

This in turn has not let us down till date. Because of our relations in the mature markets, we have the courage to turn down lucrative assets if they are of lesser value to the actual user.

Besides this, the company is maintaining a strong national and international database of around 6,000 companies and individuals and our regular newsletters inform the customers and suppliers the important information.

We have never hesitated to outsource local support and have the courage to explain to our customers the benefits and need to go for a new domestic or foreign design.

Our objective is to make economical investment profitable to the customer at the end. In terms of used machinery, the process is easy if the history of the equipment one buys is properly documented and studied. Paperwork, transport and installation are the difficulties, dealers have learnt to handle better with experience.

If Peerless Pack doubts the ability of the performance of the machinery, we install it at our warehouse premises and amend the faults before supply. Missing parts are sourced locally. We try to ensure genuine parts are available.

Exchange rate fluctuation are not accounted when sales are made. They catalyse the process either making the whole process slow or fast depending on the nature of the print market. After all, no business can guarantee immunity to market volatility."

Arjun Pandit, Neeldhara Transfers
"We identify the requirements of our customer and give advise from a printer’s point of view. A transparent system is perfect for procuring a secondhand machine. This ensures the customer will return to you for his next machine. It’s important that the sale of secondhand machine should not be restricted to just sale of machine. It is our job to provide guidance to the buyer. This includes guiding him about the type of machine which is best suited for his business. Also, we should provide a suitable demonstration about the working of the machine, maintenance, original spare parts and providing skilled labour. All this goes a long way in making a good buy. The good thing about India is that we have an extensive network of skilled people. These technicians are available on short notice."

Manubhai Raval, Nayan Graphics
"We have a global network of most countries from America to New Zealand – and so, we can source top quality equipment. I think our market is booming, as compared to other countries. I give guidance about what to buy as per the present situation in the market. I have customers who get in touch with me everytime they plan an investment. In the secondhand market, manufacturers and suppliers should support each other. This benefits our customers. That’s why the process has to be transparent. Nowadays most printers know the value of the machine which is determined by the age and condition of the machine. The paper work is bona fide along with transport support. A technical installation team is a must. I feel, that secondhand machines is a huge market and continuous advancement can make establish a long-term brand position."

Vimal Jain, Grafik Machinery Exchange India
"Due to the global slowdown, the Indian printer gets a good bargain while purchasing a good secondhand press from the international market.
It is not true that a costly kit is always better. Everyone is seeking reduction of cost without compromising the quality. The key is: increase in production speed and minimising the cost. We have established a global network from which we source our equipment. We visit exhibitions, research on the internet, have technical knowledge about the equipment. Above all, we maintain personal relations. We value our personal relations with the clients. Also, we offer after-sale service, quality equipment at affordable price along with timely delivery. Before selling we understand the actual need of the client and accordingly make suggestions. The key is, a clean and transparent process."

Ravi Acharya, Shree Print
"Shree Print has been operating as an importer and exporter of machinery. We have established a network of like-minded professionals who have a common goal, that is of identifying and catering to  needs of local and international customers in terms of machinery. We have maintained a strong national and international database of 6,000 companies and individuals. We keep in touch through a newsletter which provides our customers and suppliers with information. Over the past six months I have learnt that growth is based on tailor-made solutions.
Good technology and metallurgy in machine engineering has survived. A good machine from any country is not confined by geographical limits. If the machine is not good, it will fail. This is the thumb rule of our business."

Manoj Kumar Bansal, Aggarwal Graphics
"Since the last 40 years, we are dealing with secondhand machines. We have established a global network from which we can source our equipment with proper features, capabilities and real-time information about systems. Over the past six months, we have been trying to give the customers more benefits by giving them the best at the least cost price. One of the perils of being an importer or secondmachine dealer is, you’re considered a low-cost player. We overcome this by providing good service. We source machinery from countries which offer used presses in good condition.
We have responded to the challenges presented by the global slowdown with common sense. Today, we feel the market has stabilised and is responding well. However, this is an era in which even major manufacturers are unable to cope with specific economic challenges. We circumvent this problem by guaranteeing local support. Therefore, the slowdown has not affected us. We ensure that the paper work, the transport and the installation process is very clean and transparent. We monitor the regional currency exchange rates in order to protect ourselves and our customers – from volatile swings in the market and advise the customer about the bank rate."

A Gunasekaran, Safire Lithographers
"Today, printers are aware about their requirements. They demand sales and service. Which is why, we are constantly trying to improve the services to our print customers. Because of the experience, I understand the quality of the secondhand machines as well as maintenance handling. This differs from country to country. So it is possible to source proper machines with proper features at the correct price. Due to the government policy and reduction in import duty, the past few years has witnessed transparency in procurement of secondhand machines. The paper work, transport and installations are organised professionally. The currency exchange rate is playing a big role in the business of import as well as exports. It will affect the business  of printers having the stock and sale. Howsoever,  customers always arrange the forward contract in the bank, when they buy the machine to avoid the problem in their project. We ensure the best service by means of proper paper work, transport and installation along with full-fledged support from local engineers. There are good Heidelberg engineers in India. Plus Heidelberg supports installations and provides spare parts."

Sunny Batra, Machine Dealers
"The print industry has to keep on generating new plans and efficient marketing strategies to cope with the challenges. Today, I would not like to go in for a new expensive machinery as it will increase the pressure on the company to repay on time. Instead one can invest in a secondhand machine which performs as well as a new machine. We have learnt many things from the industry. That’s why we can offer quality services to our customer. We have a team to look after the post-sales services. A secondhand dealer always carries a tag of being a low-cost player. However, one can sell low cost machines only sometimes. It cannot be done on a regular basis as we have overheads in this business and would not be able to offer quality and after-sales services on low margins. There are some printers who tend to buy the machinery based on cost. However, a majority know that quality comes at a cost. As far as local support is concerned, we are liable for the machines supplied by us till the time the machine starts to print. It is our responsibility to arrange parts. We arrange for the parts, locally or from the parent company."