Buying the right equipment for your business can improve your processes, productivity, the capacity to innovate, and your bottom line. If you’re investing in major equipment, you need to make the right choices if you’re going to improve things, and not just waste your money.
- Assess your business reality. It’s important to understand your objectives in buying new equipment. Are you trying to increase productivity? Will the new equipment make you more successful? How will it help you stay ahead of the competition? Can you upgrade instead of buying new equipment to improve performance? Have the answers to these questions before you buy anything. Avoid being drawn in by marketing campaigns by knowing exactly what you need.
- Get an external point of view. Depending on the scale of your investment for new equipment, it could be a good idea to bring in an external consultant who can make sure that you making the best purchase by helping you assess your needs. You need to start by looking at factors like capacity, employee usage, and current resources. Start with a cost-benefit analysis, which helps you to justify the purchase you’re making and determine the pros and cons. If your business is in manufacturing, you could use an asset utilization ratio, which will measure your ability to get the best results from your equipment.
- Shop around for suppliers. The internet will give you access to a wide range of suppliers who specialize in different equipment. Take the time to browse. Check newsletters that target your industry, and go to trade shows where you can see the equipment first hand and talk to suppliers like C&B Equipment in person. Get more information from your industry contacts. Don’t be guided by price alone. Consider things like service after the sale, the supplier’s reputation, and references. If you’re a loyal customer to a supplier, you may be able to negotiate better warranties or an extended customer service plan.
- Keep training in mind. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs not to consider the time, money, and resources needed to train their employees on using new equipment. Avoid the productivity drop that can happen when employees take too long to learn a new technology or processes. If the equipment is new or has new features, you can assume your team will have a learning curve. Make sure you’re prepared to address the resulting downtime. Allow time to train employees and be sure you can run operations at capacity.
- Think safety first. A work environment that is safe and healthy means that your employees and better productivity for your company. This rule applies to the equipment that you purchase as well. Your suppliers are responsible for selling you equipment that can be safely used, but you are the one responsible for ensuring that your employees follow any needed safety rules.
By making the right choices in buying equipment for your business, you can safely boost productivity and get the best equipment for your money.