3 Nov 2012

Spare Part$ the new profit centre

As CX read of airliner and jet engine prices falling in real terms because the spare parts are now very expensive, a reader called to report the new power supply for his powered mixer would exceed the retail price of the mixer.

In aviation, the engine makers require new airliner buyers sign to agree not to sell the parts within gthe engine, because that cruels their after sales business.

We had several calls from lighting production suppliers who were being offered lower cost parts from grey import sources, as some kind of orchestrated campaign by a disgruntled user of lights in Australia, who has some beef with his local supply sources. The callers wanted to know what we knew: were the parts on offer from ‘source x’ genuine, or were they counterfeit?


That we are having this discussion says volumes at the cutthroat distribution biz for lights and sound in Australia, where the punters are now retail aware courtesy of the web, and where anything more than 15 or 20% markup over the international retail average is not working.

Australian buyers will cop 15% or 20% extra in exchange for proper sales support, but now the warranty needs to be tightly understood because someone (we suspect the manufacturer) is charging silly prices for parts.

“We are breaking up inventory and cannibalizing to fix our gear’, a rental dude told CX last month at a junket held in rural Victoria by an importer.


So the lesson appears to be, cost in some repairs over the economic life of the device. But good luck getting a straight quote for a replacement part because when CX called the spare parts division of a selected cross section of suppliers, we ran into a line of questioning that started with the serial number of the thing. And as we were just looking for a price on a part, we had no such thing.

We didn’t get the prices, but we suspect there is a profit centre at work here.



Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.