Right To Repair Is A Business Puzzle, Not A Legal Principle

The Right to Repair is a move whereby people who purchase durable products such as cell phones, tractors and dishwashers should be allowed to be repaired by someone other than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). , is a wave of legislation and a well-intentioned thought. While this sounds logical, corporate opposition comes from John Deere, Apple, and other brands that many people trust and love.
General Electric

Maybe the problem is that we’re trying to solve relationship problems with a divorce settlement.

Dear John Deere, let me fix my tractor

At the State University of New York in Cobleskill, college students are researching agricultural machinery in a long-standing partnership with John Deere. Students wear caps and trainers with the Deere logo to show their love and loyalty to the brand.The same dedication can be seen at his Caterpillar
Husqvarna, and Stihl are in the SUNY Cobleskill ag-mech and forestry crowd.

This is a familiar phenomenon with long-standing brands that customers love, such as Harley-Davidson, Tesla and, of course, Apple. These customers are strong net his promoters with high repurchase rates. They want to be able to fix their valuable tools, vehicles, or electronics and are happy to do the work themselves or pay a repair shop. So what’s the problem?

Double-edged sword of digitization

digitalization. We now have a vast amount of built-in diagnostic and control electronics, plus telematics that streams performance information via the cloud, and in some cases, remote control capabilities that can literally plow a field without a driver. These advancements enable things that customers think are great, such as iPhone tracking or Tesla’s charging station locator.

Unfortunately, digitization also increases the complexity and cost of equipment maintenance. Manufacturers typically want to keep all this digital information in-house and have it serviced only by authorized service dealers. Right-to-repair advocates believe this is a money issue and limits competition from independent repair shops. A counter-argument from his OEMs like Deere is that there are safety, quality and intellectual property risks in allowing old tinkerers access to data.

Both are correct.

Don’t settle in polls or courts

From a supply chain perspective, the correct answer lies somewhere between free access to equipment data and what activists fear. Diagnostic data is suitable for analyzing component failure trends. This improves forecasting of spare manufacturing and inventory placement. Over time, the same kind of data will help design new variants or models that perform better and last longer. To the benefit of the customer, such digitally-equipped products can be proactively maintained to avoid breaking down at key moments such as harvest time for tractors or family reunion time for refrigerators. increase.

Still, when the only place to get parts or find a trained technician is through an OEM’s 100% owned dealership, the pitch collapses because people want instant local service start to Franchisees, licensed service technicians, and value-added resellers have traditionally served this need as allies of OEMs, not competitors.

But with ballot initiatives in Colorado, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and 10 other states gaining momentum, the two states are at odds with each other. If different rules become law in a checkerboard of state-level annoyances, the results can be confusing. cannot be resolved.

follow the money

Fortunately, cold minds prevail. Deere has entered into an agreement with the American Farm Bureau Federation to make its data available for repair by third parties. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung are increasing the availability of replacement parts for some products.

The right to repair is valid not only because it looks fair, but because it promises to make things last longer. Moving beyond a throwaway culture is a step towards a renewable business model that reduces waste to landfill while increasing shareholder value. It’s a sustainability pitch that saves customers money, but OEMs have to make money too to succeed.

Legislation may get the pump ready, but this is about good business first.

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