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Dinesh (Housekeeper): “Mahesh, you are never available on the phone. I even sent emails asking you to come and replace the faulty parts. You have not responded at all.”

Mahesh (Equipment Supplier): “Sir, I assure you that from the time I have supplied machines at 10 of your sites, whenever there has been a problem I have always replaced parts without delay.”

D: “Then, why are you not responding to my call and emails now?”

M: “The warranty period of the equipment has expired, so I cannot replace parts free of cost.”

D: “So what if the warranty has expired? Are you not going to give service any more?”

M: “Of course I can, sir. We can always work out an AMC package to cover the servicing of the equipment. I have always given you best of the services. I have given training to your ever-changing staff several times. But since the staff keep changing they don’t know how to use machines correctly.”

D: “AMC is okay, but don’t put the blame on my staff. They are well trained and know how to do mechanised cleaning.”

M: “Trust me sir, every time I have come to your site, I find a new set of people working and they don’t even know how to open and close the lid of the chemical dispenser. They handle it so roughly.”

D: “No. No. Your plastic dispenser is not of good quality at all. It just breaks.”

M: “Sir these are imported machines and have to be handled with care. You can’t expect them to last forever with your men manhandling them.”

D: “Just because I am complaining, you are saying all this now. Initially, you had no problem with my men or with replacing parts. What happened to your tall talks about after sales service?”

M: “No tall talks sir. Did I not come and train your staff? Did I not give you spare parts several times free of cost?”

D: “Then why did you not reply to me this time? Why were the spare parts not delivered to us?”

M: “We did not have the stock. Our principals too did not have the stock here in India and Europe was closed for vacations. So I had to wait for them to reopen to get the spare parts.”

D: “That is not my problem. Did you not know before that Europe would be closed and you were running out of stock? You should have been prepared.”

M: “I totally agree to you sir. That is why even now when Europe has just reopened we have got the spare parts on priority basis and our Service Engineer is on his way to your site to replace the parts.”

The argument continues…

Is this a question of faulty machine or untrained manpower? In either case, the machine is likely to get into trouble. Who is to be blamed then — the housekeeper for giving machines in the hands of untrained staff or the equipment supplier for selling a machine which is probably not right?

On the one hand, the housekeeper has to have full knowledge of the equipment he is investing in. The brand, the application, the spare parts, the training, the after sales service… Buying an equipment which is not right for a particular application just because it fits your budget would only end up in repeated expenses in procuring spare parts. Further, engaging untrained manpower for operating machines is the biggest risk a housekeeper takes just to meet the headcount.

On the other hand, the equipment supplier has to study the needs of the housekeeper before suggesting a machine. Supplying machines to meet sales target, only puts you in bad books.

A wrong equipment for a wrong application in the wrong hands can only make things go all wrong…

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