Fake products are penetrating supply chains deeper than ever before, and as remarkable as it sounds, researchers now estimate that over the last two decades, counterfeiting has multiplied by 10,000 percent, globally.
Of course, fake components endanger more than just your company's bottom line. They also threaten your intellectual property, your reputation, and your warranties and returns. In some cases, the risks are even greater; some counterfeit products can compromise the end users' health and safety, as well.
How can companies combat this continual and constantly evolving assault?
For starters, they need to build awareness, and the World Bearing Association (WBA) is doing just that with its new campaign designed to inform businesses worldwide about safety hazards arising from one safety-critical threat: counterfeit bearings.
Founded in 2006, WBA is a non-profit and unincorporated industrial association comprised of three regional bearing associations: the American Bearing Manufacturers' Association (ABMA), the Federation of European Bearing Manufacturers' Association (FEBMA), and the Japan Bearing Industrial Association (JBIA). WBA promotes the common interests of the world bearing industry, such as open economic engagement, sustainable development and the protection of legal rights of companies.
This new campaign takes a two-pronged approach, focusing on information for customers, even while shining the spotlight on consistent prosecution of offenders through the competent authorities.
Over the next three years, the WBA anti-counterfeiting information campaign will reach out to various audiences through e-mails, Web banners, social media and the website, www.stopfakebearings.com. At the website, interested consumers can learn more about counterfeiting and the steps branded-bearing manufacturers are taking to stop it.
As explained on the website, the problem with fake bearings is:
You're not getting what you paid for.
They may pose a danger to operations, to finances and to human lives.
It's often hard to distinguish the difference between a genuine and a counterfeit bearing.
They are part of illegal and unethical practices.
"Everyone who buys, sells, mounts and uses bearings can be adversely affected by counterfeits, so it is in their best interest to be on the lookout for them," James W. Griffith, WBA president and president and chief executive officer of The Timken Company, said. "Manufacturers of products containing industrial bearings may be held responsible for damages. We want purchasers to realize that counterfeiting is a widespread and serious problem."