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O.E.M. & Vendor Technical Mediation, & Conflict Resolution Services

Apics LLC recognizes that there are times when a Vendor and an OEM dispute and have disagreements about the root causes of technical problems that arise during the course of a project's execution and technical arbitrage is needed.

There are basically three scenarios that can arise as a result of this kind of disagreement between a vendor and the O.E.M.:

  1. The O.E.M. engineering staff, or hired consultants, have done due-diligence, and written a request for quote (RFQ) that carefully and methodically outlines the expected performance of the vendor's products, in this case the drive systems and associated control algorithms. A testing procedure has been specified that ensures all the systems and sub-systems will perform to their written specification before installation into the mechanical systems. During the project's start-up these tests are documented, and any sub-system or system that does not meet the specification is questioned. During this testing it may be noted that the drive vendor's products do not meet the stated specifications. The problem here is not the specification document but the vendor's lack of understanding of what the specification was meant to ensure. Often this indicates a lack of communication between the procurement and engineering staffs of the O.E.M. and the engineering staff of the drive vendor.
    When this occurs there are often clauses in the final contract that provide for compensation if the Vendor cannot meet the agreed to specifications. That is of little help if the drive vendor's product results in the manufacturing of an inferior product. Often, if the drive vendor cannot rectify the problem, the issue may have to resolve itself in court.
    Depending on the quality of the O.E.M. engineering staff, the O.E.M. may opt to find a solution independent of the drive vendor, or they may hire consultants to help with this.
    To avoid these disputes on performance critical applications, the O.E.M. engineering staff, and/or their hired consultants, must work closely with the O.E.M. procurement staff, and the drive vendor enginering staff, to ensure that such problems do not occur during start-up. This involves identifying what the specification calls for in terms that everyone understands, and agrees to. ApICS LLC has performed these duties for their customers, and welcomes any inquiries from those who feel they need help with the interpretation or construction of relevant, understandable, and implementable project specifications. Our proven technical mediation methods will help resolve your arbitration issues..
  2. The O.E.M. Engineering staff does not do due-diligence, and arbitrarily draws up a set of specifications that does not accurately reflect the performance needs of the application. This could be in either direction, that is, too high a standard, or too low a standard.
    This problem manifests itself during start-up. The project does not progress smoothly, and testing of the drives, and control loops shows that they are inadequate for the given application. At this point the O.E.M. and drive vendor strongly disagree over the intent of the quoted specifications, without identifying the real needs of the application and using technical mediation methods, cannot find a satisfactory compromise. At this point it is usually in the best interest of all involved to hire a consultant who can identify the applications requirements, and act as a technical mediator. ApICS LLC is a proven catalyst for positive movement beneficial to all parties in such situations. The combination of technical knowledge, finely honed interpersonal communication skills, project management and vendor mediation skills allows ApICS Consultants to provide a voice of authority and ultimate resolution of the sources of conflict.

  3. The O.E.M. is of the "Wanted - One process-line that works real good" school. In this case the O.E.M. does not invest any effort into specifying what the drives and control algorithms need to be capable of. They may have a vague idea of what the drive performance should be like, but cannot tie these vague concepts to the expected performance of the control loops. When the start-up does not go well, the vendor may exit without taking care of the customer's needs, and the O.E.M. is left to remedy the problems independently. Other vendors take customer satisfaction seriously and make every effort to rectify the problem, however if there is a basic misunderstanding of what is needed to solve the problem, all the good-will in the world will not be beneficial. ApICS LLC consultants can help in these situations. By taking a fresh look at the application, and identifying what is critical to ensure that the project meets the customers productivity, and quality expectations. This is accomplished by working with the customer, using O.E.M. mediation and Vendor mediation methods such that the O.E.M. and the drive vendor identify a solution that is in the best possible interests of all involved.
    Note: If a customer or O.E.M. that does not write adequate specifications has had success with a particular drive vendor, and the drive vendor has conscientiously performed the due-diligence required to correctly specify the drives for a given application on previous projects, the customer will usually go back to that vendor for future projects. This approach to system procurement can result in a very negative outcome if the personel that were responsible for specifying the drives and loops on previous projects leave the vendor. Often when this occurs a void of technically competent engineers at the drive vendor will result in a technically flawed project specification. Situations similar to this call for a third party to interface between the drive vendor and the O.E.M., at the proposal stage. ApICS LLC has provided this service for several of it's fortune 500 customers. Let us know if we can help you with your Vendor / O.E.M. technical mediation challenges.

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