Tips to Avoid Counterfeit Parts

Nov. 15, 2007
With the growth of counterfeit parts, there are a number of practices that management, plant and maintenance personnel can take to avoid them.
  1. Remember: If it's a bargain, there's a reason. Without exception, parts manufacturers advise this as the first and most important clue in discovering a fake.

  2. Clearly state the issues and risks of counterfeits to everyone within your organization who has responsibilities for sourcing, handling, using or maintaining MRO and supply parts. Empower them to be vigilant and to avoid acquiring or using "bandit" parts.

  3. Buy only from the manufacturer or a known and authorized distributor. You are thus protected by both warranty and the reputation of the brand. Insist upon confirmation of a new or unfamiliar distributor's status from the manufacturer.

  4. Inspect and confirm packaging integrity of all received goods. Document and record. Question anything out of the ordinary with your supplier.

  5. For mission-critical parts, develop a second, enhanced level of ordering, receiving and managing inventory of parts.

  6. Check with the manufacturer or its authorized distribution any questionable parts or any offer to supply branded parts via an unfamiliar third party.

  7. Contact the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) at to receive a copy of the "No Trade in Fakes" supply chain tool kit. It is a free download, and contains a wealth of useful tips and practices. A supply chain webinar also is available at no cost, as are several links to related weblogs and sites.

  8. Contact your legislative representatives - there are initiatives currently under consideration which require strong input from industry to achieve their goals of protecting your industry, your customers and yourself.