Lift tables directly from the manufacturer: advantages and disadvantages

You can buy a lift table directly from the manufacturer or from the retail trade. Both sources of supply have their advantages and disadvantages. We would like to take a closer look at these and analyse them in the course of this article.

Buying a lift table on the retail market

There are some aspects that speak in favour of buying lift tables through the retail trade, especially if the dealer has a specific size in stock.

Reach of the wholesale trade

A dealer can only establish himself on the market if he benefits the other participants. Most dealers compensate for the fact that they don’t manufacture themselves by offering a wide range of services, including a 24-hour hotline. Wholesalers often have many service locations spread all over Germany. These are not only used to provide advice to potential customers, but also as the first point of contact for any problems with lift tables.

Extensive range of stock

Dealers also often have a large storage capacity, so that a sudden high demand for standard lift tables can be satisfied quickly. Only a few manufacturers can afford this luxury, as it leads to higher storage costs and so reduces their own competitiveness.
However, as most scissor lift tables are modular, the manufacturer can supply standard lift tables relatively quickly.

Large range of products and brands

One major advantage of the retail trade is its large range of products and brands. In most cases, dealers do not only offer lift tables of one brand, but also include lift platforms from various suppliers in their product range. This makes perfect sense, as the suppliers provide solutions to different requirements. Some manufacturers, for example, specialise in the construction of standard lift tables, others in the construction of complex technical solutions. An experienced dealer recognises the end customer's requirements and can recommend a suitable manufacturer or offer a suitable product.

Moreover, there are only a few dealers who deal only in lift table sales. They often also supply other related products. If you are also interested in these products, it can make sense to buy them through the retail trade. This may have considerable cost-saving potential (reduced shipping costs, quantity discounts or the like).

Buying a lift table directly from the manufacturer

Of course, buying directly from the lift table manufacturer also has some advantages:

Lower costs

Buying a lift table from the manufacturer is usually associated with cost advantages, because it cuts out the dealer’s margin.
And the coordination between manufacturer and client is much easier. This applies in particular to more complex lift tables which are specially manufactured to meet customer requirements. The lift table manufacturers know exactly what information you need to implement a project without any problems. Enquiries are eliminated and valuable time is saved.

Direct exchange of information

You may know the telephone game – also called Chinese whispers. Here, a message should be transmitted without being distorted. This often fails and the message at the end of the chain does not have much in common with the initial message.
This risk basically also exists when buying a lift table, especially if there are special customer requirements associated with it. If the dealer does not have sufficient experience with special lift tables, it can happen that the right questions are not asked or the information is not correctly passed on to the manufacturer. As even small deviations from the standard installation situation can necessitate a significant modification of the design, incorrect information can have far-reaching consequences.

Superior technical expertise

Many lift table manufacturers have their origin in a technical field. This is borne out, for example, by the fact that almost all managing directors of the larger lift table manufacturers have received technical training. This origin and the constant preoccupation with their own product contribute to a very high level of technical expertise, both among the designer engineers and the service staff of the companies in question. The higher level of specialisation of the employees allows more complex problems to be solved too.

Short reaction time in case of possible defects or other problems

Bypassing the intermediate trade makes direct discussions between the end customer and the manufacturer possible. This reduces the reaction time, as possible delays caused by another intermediary are avoided.

So, now what? From the dealer or directly from the manufacturer?

Whether the scissor lift should be purchased directly from the manufacturer or indirectly through a dealer depends on the specific problem.

If a standard lift table is sufficient for the task at hand, it can be worthwhile buying through the retail trade, as they can provide a wide range of different brands, for example. Furthermore, when buying basic versions, there is usually no need for extensive technical clarification, so that no contact between the manufacturer and the end customer is necessary.

If the lift table deviates even slightly from the standard in its dimensions or in its installation situation, there is much to be said for buying directly from the manufacturer. The absence of an intermediary facilitates the coordination and clarification of technical and organisational points. In addition, the profit margin of the retail trade is eliminated, which usually results in a lower price.

When you have decided to purchase a lift table directly from the manufacturer, you need to find the right manufacturer. A list of different manufacturers can easily be found via the Internet. Good points of contact are relevant company directories (e.g. www.wlw.de) or general search engines (e.g. www.google.de).