OEM Tips: Top 10 Questions for Vetting New Suppliers
Choosing a pump supplier for your OEM project can be a daunting process. Given the high cost of making the wrong decision, it’s essential that OEMs use a detailed process to screen and compare candidates in order to select the ideal supplier/partner.
Using our list of top 10 questions for vetting new suppliers, this article is intended to provide a basic framework for OEMs to identify and assess pump suppliers that best fit your needs and requirements.
- Focus on suppliers that can add skills and expertise that you don’t have
- Focus on suppliers with in-house engineering and manufacturing capabilities
- Focus on suppliers that are flexible, cost-focused, and understand the importance of time-to-market
- Look for suppliers with a proven track record in your product category
1. What type of OEM experience do you have?
With decades of experience, Beckett has a wide range of core pump technologies and works with a broad range of OEM applications, including specialty HVAC/R equipment, computer room air conditioning equipment (CRAC), commercial and residential refrigeration equipment, commercial and residential ice machines, tile and masonry saws, parts washers, oil skimmers, hydroponics equipment, evaporative cooling equipment, and others.
2. What is your experience with addressing cost and quality challenges?
Since its founding in 1948, Beckett has built a seasoned engineering team to help OEM customers address cost and quality challenges during the product development process. Customers see the most value by engaging Beckett early in the product development process to explore key factors that can impact cost, improve quality and shorten the time-to-market window.
Beckett has achieved ISO 9001:2015 certification, meaning we are a manufacturing organization that has demonstrated the following:
- Follows the guidelines of the ISO 9001 standard
- Fulfills its own requirements
- Meets customer requirements and statutory and regulatory requirements
- Maintains documentation
3. What is the scope of your pump product offering?
Beckett offers a broad range of fractional horsepower centrifugal pumps, including stock, semi-custom, and custom pumps. Beckett also offers a limited range of piston and diaphragm pumps. These pumps include a wide range of submersible pumps, bottom intake pumps, and a variety of small, medium, and large condensate pumps (i.e. high-temperature, low-profile, plenum rated, and more). Typically, the top factors that drive the pump selection process for OEMs are 1) application suitability, 2) performance criteria, and 3) price point specified by the OEM.
4. Beyond pumps, can you help with controls, sensors, or other integrations?
Compared to other suppliers, Beckett’s broad range of stock, semi-custom and custom pump technologies help keep costs lower and time-to-market shorter. Furthermore, Beckett’s experienced in-house engineering team can also assist with control switches, sensors, and integration with other PCB control systems.
5. Do you have an in-house engineering team to assist with our project?
Beckett’s experienced in-house engineering and manufacturing team can help expedite many aspects of your project: design, prototyping, testing, tooling, sourcing, production, and inventory to meet your requirements and speed-to-market window. In many cases, we are engaged early in the development process because of the additional value we can provide.
6. Do you manufacture your own pumps or outsource production?
Beckett manufactures the majority of their products and only outsources certain components. This approach ensures OEMs a more reliable supply chain, lower tooling costs, faster cycle times, greater quality control, and greater overall flexibility to meet your needs.
7. If needed, can you assist with custom tooling for our project?
In some cases, custom tooling is required for OEM projects, which can sometimes add big costs and significant delays. Because of our extensive in-house engineering and manufacturing capabilities, Beckett offers more affordable custom tooling and shorter lead times to help keep costs down and avoid extended delays.
8. Do you offer any type of reliability or performance testing?
Absolutely. Beckett offers an extensive range of testing capabilities as part of our product development process for OEMs. This includes performance, reliability, and life testing, as well as others based on OEM needs and requirements.
9. How does your approach improve or hinder the project’s overall speed-to-market?
Beckett understands the need for speed and flexibility. Our in-house capabilities shorten cycle times and lead times to give our OEM customers another advantage when it comes to speed-to-market.
10. Do you have experience with UL, CSA, and other safety regulatory agencies?
Practically all Beckett stock pumps are UL and/or CSA listed. We have extensive experience working with various national and international agencies to get products listed/approved (UL, CSA, CE, TUV, NOM, NSF and others).
- The Ultimate Guide to HVAC Condensate and Condensate Pumps
- The A-Z Guide to High-Temperature Condensate Pumps
- Condensate Pumps for Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC)
- Beckett Pump Selection Brochure
- Beckett OEM pump catalog
- Beckett OEM product resources
Final Thoughts and Next Steps
In addition to the top 10 questions listed above, OEMs should also understand a supplier’s position and experience with protecting your intellectual property. Beckett has extensive experience working with OEMs and the confidential nature of these projects. In most cases, NDAs and confidentiality agreements are in place to protect the interests of both our OEM customers and Beckett.
To learn about Beckett’s OEM pumps and capabilities, please contact Allen Jerkins, National Sales Manager – OEM, or call 866-466-4319.