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Agilent comprehensive program assures top quality testing

Posted: 12 Apr 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:agilent? network analyzer? spectrum analyzer? pre owned equipment? certiprime?

With current test and measurement (T&M) market trends running at a steady pace, purchasing methods that assure customers with top-quality T&M instruments still have a lot to cover in order to reduce "burn" concerns and various other risks involved.

As an answer to these concerns, Agilent Technologies has launched a comprehensive purchasing program for pre-owned instruments that provides low-cost and low-risk options for purchasing pre-owned test equipment.

"Based on the number of researches we've conducted, Agilent has devised two purchasing programs that address the requirements of customers who buy used equipment but are on budget constraints," said Rice Williams, Financial Solutions Unit Marketing Manager, Agilent.

Williams identified the two purchasing programs as the Agilent CertiPrime program and the Agilent Advantage Assurance program. He added that, "this is the first time a test equipment manufacturer has offered this kind of buyer protection program where the manufacturer itself calibrates the tools."

The Agilent CertiPrime fully remanufactured offering features typically demo or off-lease units less than three years old, semi-custom configuration selected models, and fully remanufactured to be as close to new as possible. "Agilent has selected the most popular test equipment that can be offered to customers," Williams added. "Our offerings are guaranteed to be less than three years old, as compared to other equipment manufacturers whose offerings run to as far as five years old."

The CertiPrime remanufacturing process undergo a strict quality assurance process that includes repair, functional verification, compatible firmware/software installation, performance upgrades, and refurbishment according to Agilent's standards before undergoing the 100-point customer experience check.

The Agilent Advantage Assurance program, on the other hand, boosts customer confidence on purchasing pre-owned Agilent instruments from authorized resellers. This program features an initial fitness evaluation with the same calibration and testing requirements provided for by Agilent. Also, customers using this program are insured for 12 months against all repair costs with free recalibration when repair is needed. The assurance is renewable on an annual basis.

"When customers make decisions on buying used test equipment from resellers, they are subjecting themselves to an ample amount of risk," Williams said. "The riskiest would be to purchase equipment from a broker without the assurance of refurbishments, otherwise it is safer to buy a brand new one. With the Advantage Assurance program, those risk factors are significantly reduced with the one-year repair insurance and round-the-clock technical support."

Terry Yip, Asia-Pacific Business Development Manager for Agilent, explained further that the company's new comprehensive program would not be a 'customizing' tool scheme. "There are many specifications out there and these two programs would not, in any way, customize equipment for customers," Yip said. "Instead, this program focuses on the software systems customers would require for their particular applications; so it's basically a software specific program, not a hardware one."

Allaying "burn-out" fears

Williams said that with Agilent reigning as the dominant brand in the secondary market, it is likely that the company can address the "burn-out" concerns that most users worry about.

"Our programs reduce the "burn-out" risk for customers," Williams commented. "Buying a used equipment is like buying a car from a dealer. The broker says the car [or equipment] is in stock, then he finds out that it isn't and he starts contacting other resellers having the same specifications; what happens is that the original price quote would shoot up tremendously and nobody wants that. Agilent's authorized resellers assure customers that they get their equipment on the agreed upon time and at the agreed upon price."

Currently, the CertiPrime and Advantage Assurance programs are only available in North America. However, Yip added that there will be several expansions from June to October this year that would bring these two programs to Europe and Asia, respectively.

"Within the Asian region, we will select a number of authorized resellers to handle these two programs," said Yip. "We will first focus on Korea and Japan, then China and Taiwan, which are part of our key markets."

Williams added that with eBay deal to handle these two offerings, expansion towards Asia is very possible. "With Asian customers buying from multiple sources, from OEMs to distributors to brokers, I think Agilent's program would very much answer their test equipment requirements."

- Anthony Capati

Electronic Engineering Times - Asia

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