Schaedler Yesco

Gray Market Risks



Would you pick up an old Chapstick in the parking lot and use it?

Today's global supply chain is combatting a $600 billion counterfeiting problem in the electrical products industry. Even if a product is genuine, buying it second-hand or "refurbished" by an unauthorized repair service comes with significant risk. The only way to protect yourself is to buy from an authorized distributor, like Schaedler Yesco. 

"When you buy from an authorized dealer like us, you know the product is legitimate and has gone through the proper quality assurance." John Rambler, Industrial Automation Manager at Schaedler Yesco, explains. "Just as your computer and phone have updates, your automation products do too. Companies like Rockwell Automation continue to update their product offering and provide safety and recall notices to those who have purchased genuine Rockwell products. These updates not only ensure continued efficiency but protection from cyber threats as well."

If you have been following the recent news about JBS and the Colonial Pipeline, it's clear how critical cybersecurity is. While most companies have tight cybersecurity around their website and email servers, they don't always realize that hackers can infiltrate their operational technology (OT), which manages, monitors, and controls industrial equipment and more.

Products sold on the Gray Market come with mystery and risk.

When you buy material from a source like eBay, it's more than likely excess product that someone is trying to unload. There's no warranty, no software license, and no access to the essential software updates designed to thwart cyberattacks.

"You really don't know what you're exposing your company to when you buy from a source that doesn't offer genuine authorized product," Rambler explained. "Would you pick up an old Chapstick in the parking lot and use it?"

But it's about more than security. It's about efficiency, reliability, and safety. Whether the materials are installed at a manufacturing plant or running amusement park rides, questionable parts can affect productivity and overall safety. The consequences can be catastrophic.

Maintenance budgets, unfortunately, can be the driver of some gray market purchase decisions. One of the services offered by Schaedler Yesco is the Repair and Remanufacturing of essential parts.  A repair by an authorized service center often can be the best solution to reduce expenses while keeping your system and those around it safe.

Buying genuine material is just the start. It's essential to make sure that your automation products are secure once installed. In 2013, one of the most significant data breaches to a U.S. retailer allowed hackers access to 40 million credit and debit cards through a Target store's HVAC system.

"We don't just sell product and wish our customers luck," Rambler says. "Our specialists are trained to understand a variety of situations and develop the best solutions. From lifecycle management to network security surveys and everything in between, we consider ourselves an extension of the on-site team that keeps the system running safely and smoothly."

In the end, it all comes down to the risk you're willing to take to save a few bucks. Ensure that you are buying your automation products from an authorized distributor like Schaedler Yesco to protect yourself, your employees, customers, and your company's reputation. 

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