How we work with our customers
If you’re already a customer of Alpha Tekniko, no doubt you’ll have your go-to contacts within the company. We hope the following overview of all available services will prompt you to use more of our support activities. We’re always here for you.
Manufacturing contracts; non-disclosure agreements
Starting a relationship with Alpha Tekniko generally involves a mutual non-disclosure agreement; a written manufacturing contract; a signed statement of work if we are producing to your specifications; and/or a service level agreement. Especially with branded custom products, having both parties’ expectations spelled out on paper is an important first step. Please contact us if you don’t have such an agreement, or wish to modify the one you have.
Importance of demand forecasts
Because your products are custom, they are made to order. We’re better able to service your demand levels – even unforeseen rush orders – if you can provide a usage forecast for at least the coming six months. Your contract may also include a consignment provision, under which we’ll keep your finished products in stock with an open purchase order, and invoice you as items are shipped. Such an arrangement also eliminates the risk of trying to squeeze rush orders into our busy production schedule.
Incoming orders, purchase orders
Orders may be submitted via Email, fax or hard-copy mail. Phone orders are not accepted. Purchase order terms are dependent upon previously-agreed-to payment and service level agreements. We will acknowledge receipt of every order, and discuss shipping time frames with you.
Production lead times
Your manufacturing agreement will include projected lead times by product, based on your forecasted order quantities. Lead times can vary based on our factory load at the time of your purchase order. The first production run of a brand new item will likely require additional time. We regularly work with our customers to speed up manufacturing time wherever possible.
As an FDA-approved manufacturer of durable medical equipment, Alpha Tekniko maintains the highest quality standards. We are fully compliant with all facets of ISO 13485, and are in the process of obtaining an updated certification under ISO 9001. Your name appears on the products we manufacture for you, and that’s a responsibility that we take very seriously. Our job is to make you look better than your competitors, and perfect in the eyes of your customers.
Shipping and fulfillment services
Your products are shipped by FedEx Ground, LTL truck, or by domestic carriers as full truckloads. On any given day, Alpha Tekniko may be shipping containerloads of product to Europe or dozens of individual cartons to end user facilities. Please talk to our shipping experts to find out the best way to handle your orders.
We can also work with carriers hired by our customers. In those cases, all relevant paperwork – bills of lading, customs and duties declarations, etc. – are prepared by our clients rather than by us.
Mattresses can be shipped flat, folded, or rolled and compressed. We’ll let you know how long your goods can stay folded or rolled without damage to the product; we generally discourage keeping healthcare foam products in your warehouse for long periods, even if the items are individually boxed. Certain foams, if folded or compressed longer than 48 hours, will never regain their original shape. (This information is noted on all applicable shipping cartons.)
If you need individual shipments to residential or small business addresses, please inquire about the cost of such programs. We are a full-service fulfillment center and are happy to quote your project.
Invoicing; payment terms
Customer invoices are generated at the time of shipment, unless advance payment has been required. Invoices are Emailed to your accounts payable department or other financial contact. Payment can be made via business check, ACH, or wire transfer.
In some cases an advance deposit or credit card payment may be required. This may continue until your company establishes a payment history with Alpha Tekniko. Once an account has been opened for you, payment terms are net 30 unless other arrangements have been made. Interest may be charged on balances unpaid after 30 days.
Warranties; warranty claims; repairs
Alpha Tekniko warranties all of the products we make against any defects in materials or manufacturing, for a fixed period of time. Your contract with us will specify how long that time frame is for your products.
When you become a private label/custom product customer of Alpha Tekniko, we will have discussed what your expectations are regarding length of warranty and the typical usage circumstances for your product. Some segments of the healthcare market are notoriously abusive of support surfaces; over the years, we’ve gained deep insights into the cover materials, inner components, production methods, and cleaning/care instructions that will extend your product’s life and make the most sense for you and your customers.
Because your custom products will bear your name and not ours, customers will contact you first concerning warranty issues. You will be the one who determines whether the issue is caused by a defect, or based on misuse or mistreatment of the product, or simply normal wear and tear. If you want to make a warranty claim with us based on a perceived material or manufacturing defect, contact Alpha Tekniko for further instructions.
If a product defect is identified, Alpha Tekniko reserves the right to decide whether repair or replacement is the appropriate course of action. Any more specific details will be spelled out in your contract with us.
When your custom product is designed, you’ll know immediately whether any of the item’s components can be easily removed and replaced in the field. We will work with you to develop a program that makes any feasible replacement parts (like covers, air cells, air hose kits, foam toppers, etc.) available for purchase.
No support surfaces or other custom products should be shipped back to Alpha Tekniko for repairs, unless we have made specific arrangements with you. Any user-serviceable replacement parts can be shipped directly to your customers.
Returns policy; RMAs; return credits
As detailed above, Alpha Tekniko takes responsibility for any defects in materials or workmanship. Because your products are custom-made and bear your branding, they are not returnable for any other reason. We’re happy to work with you if something happens outside of your control, e.g. your customer orders the wrong size mattress. In such cases – which are infrequent – any returned product must be unused and in its original packaging.
Any product that is being returned to Alpha Tekniko, for any reason, will require a Returned Merchandise Authorization (RMA). Please contact us for details on how to obtain one.
Supply chain services
Working with our customers often involves sourcing new materials; coordinating product assembly with other locations; advising on optimal distribution locations; setting up deliveries of customer-owned materials; or coordinating product installations at end user locations. We are happy to provide this assistance at no charge to current clients.
Storage and inventory control services
Similarly, Alpha Tekniko will store and inventory customer-supplied materials; customer-owned components or finished goods; and specialized marketing materials, labels, packaging or other items used in your product branding, as part of our private label manufacturing support. Details, costs and any related obligations are normally worked out during the contracting process.
Product updates and enhancements
Because of our commitment to continuous improvement, as well as the owner’s deep involvement in the ISO technical committee and related subcommittees that are reworking performance standards for medical support surfaces, Alpha Tekniko is constantly made aware of newer materials, manufacturing methods and designs that can potentially upgrade and enhance your product. Since a typical advanced healthcare mattress can require as many as 60 different components in its manufacture, there are a lot of opportunities for material substitutions, improvements, production efficiencies and related cost savings.
We are always on the lookout for ways to keep our clients the leaders in their markets, and pledge to keep you aware of any product changes or upgrades that are available to help you achieve that.
Sales and marketing support
Alpha Tekniko offers our customers various kinds of sales and marketing support:
- Detailed product spec sheets and operating instructions for use in customer materials
- Product samples for clinical evaluation and testing
- Review of customer sales materials for technical accuracy
- Sales rep training and customer in-services
- Accompanying customer sales reps on calls or at trade shows, either as technical advisors or to help in demonstrating and presenting products
- Market pricing studies for specific products
- Competitive feature comparisons for classes of products
- Sharing pressure maps, thermal maps and other testing results with clients whose products have been evaluated
- Inventorying and inclusion of customer-supplied materials in shipments at no charge
- Imprinting of product covers with logos and other proprietary branding information
- Assistance in producing special packaging and labeling that help establish branding
- Striving for zero-defect production of their products, in order to keep their end users satisfied!
We do not publicize the signing of new custom product accounts, so even the fact that you are our customer will remain completely private, unless you direct us otherwise.
Staff access; comments or questions
Alpha Tekniko is a hands-on company, with project involvement starting at the very top of the organization. That means that customers will have access to any manager they need, up to and including our CEO. We welcome your calls and Emails; full contact information for the service team is included with our staff bios, as well as on the Contact Us page.
Customers should feel free to contact us at any time with problems, ideas, questions, or other issues that need to be discussed. We learn from our customers all the time, and the best part of our day is when we have the opportunity to create a new product or brainstorm with you.
Thank you for being our customer!