Why is it so difficult for tower manufacturers to sell standard items?

To this question, we have never received a clear answer, but we have some ideas…

As AllForSite becomes a more and more mature organization, we were thinking recently that we would be able to compose our own complete range of standard towers within a reasonable timeframe. We started to list every possible tower type, all components, and external factors such as wind zone, weather, soil etc.
We ended up with what we believe to be a solid RFQ focusing on 2 types of towers: the self-supported and the monopole. We foresaw a few different heights (from 20 to 80m), some options such as rest and work platform and a “standard tower load” for 1 to 3 operators.

We sent the RFQ to 18 manufacturers, among them the most representative ones in the world. Only 3 of them (Polish, Malaysian and Turkish) were able to offer a standard tower. Is it not surprising?

Is a tower such a technological item?
Is it so difficult for the “old European” manufacturers to offer a standard tower?
Of course not, but it seems that some companies have enough business in their home country selling the so-called customized towers within captive markets. They are probably used to selling to operators that are not aware of the lower market prices in the rest of the world (around 30% cheaper).

Someone will argue that the norms are different or inexistent in Africa…
Really?! do you think that this is an argument when you know that the same people (consultants) write most of the specifications and that the iron often comes from the same source?
Some others will tell you that the price difference lays in their design…
That is precisely where the problem is!

So, when people fear the effect of globalization is it not time to think and work differently by adopting standards?
There is room for everybody on this market, but it becomes larger for companies such as AllFoSite that places their customer’s interest first!

John Seefour for AllForSite

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