Counterfeit Structured Cabling and LAN Equipment
Our world is shrinking. The global economy is interacting and conduction business like never before. Ideas, products, and capital-- it's all quickly spread across the globe. This unifying phenomenon is known as globalization and it has changed the way business is conducted.
"One of the benefits is the ability to manufacture products more affordably overseas. This in turn allows consumers access to newer technology faster and at lower prices. The down side to manufacturing these products overseas is that there is limited regulation on the factories that build this product to protect copyright and patent infringements," explains Bill Geary, Senior Vice President-Sales, Accu-Tech Corporation.
While globalization has resulted in a more connected marketplace, it has also facilitated the spread of counterfeit products in the United States. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing economic crimes of modern time. It accounts for 5-7% of world trade, worth roughly $600 billion a year. Yes, billion with a "b". The US is under attack on all fronts as counterfeit products enter our borders at an alarming pace. It is a global epidemic.
Due to the ease of transportation, product counterfeiting has continued to surge in recent years. Nearly all industries are plagued with this problem, whose effects can be felt through the entirety of the supply chain-- from manufacturer, to distributor, and finally to the consumers, who are impacted the most.
There is now a booming business called the 'grey market' for higher end telecommunications and LAN products. This grey market produces counterfeit copies of products and attempts to sell them in the legitimate market through brokers instead of authorized distributors. These products are then offered to consumers at extremely low prices. While the prices are enticing, consumers purchasing these products are putting their network's performance at great risk.
Now more than ever, business is about being connected. Companies rise and fall based on how quickly they can assess, react, and transmit information. This speed is subject to the performance of a company's network. Without an agile network, a business is put at a severe disadvantage.
Billions of dollars are spent each year to ensure networks can perform and meet the demands of the global marketplace. With this much money on the table, why risk that performance? Remember, a telecommunications network is only as strong as its weakest link. Counterfeit products can not and do not perform. By venturing outside the proper channels of distribution, customers are exposing their network to counterfeiters. A business can essentially flush their entire system's performance and livelihood down the drain.
"Counterfeit products are just that...counterfeit. Whether you are talking about product performance or safety regulations, these products are not manufactured with the same materials, manufacturing processes, or adherence to specifications", Jonathan Hayes of CommScope says.
Protect your network by becoming a more knowledgeable consumer. NEMA, National Electrical Manufactures Association, highlights warning signs consumers should be aware of to protect their network's performance:
- ‘Deals' and extremely low pricing.
- Products not accompanied by instructions or warnings.
- Missing components or features.
- Unusual colors or shades used on product logos or the product itself.
- Misspelled words on the packaging.
- The absence of required certification marks on product or package.
- Country of origin different from genuine source
- Apparent product defects or product performance differences
Don't go at it alone; the dangers are far too great. This is where authorized distributors come in. Distribution is designed to protect and back its customers. The quality control and support staff offered cannot be matched. Partnering with distribution not only protects against counterfeit products, it also empowers the customers by opening the lines of communication with the leading manufacturers.
The global marketplace is changing and the telecommunications industry is leading the way. Products are being developed today that will influence the manner business is conducted tomorrow. Manufacturers continue to break new ground and push network performance to speeds once thought impossible. As these products are being developed, there are those looking to take advantage of this innovation. Counterfeiters have been around a long time and they're not going anywhere. That doesn't mean businesses can't be protected. By becoming a more knowledgeable consumer and partnering with an authorized distributor, counterfeiters don't stand a chance.
Remember the advice of our parents, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."