Whether it‘s the complexity of a robotic manufacturing line or a simple mobile phone and laptop, every business needs to purchase the equipment at some point. With endless options on the market, how do you choose the right solution for your company? Here are six crucial factors to consider before making any purchase:
Buy Right, Buy Once
It can be tempting to buy the most affordable option, especially if you’re in the early days of business and want to minimize costs before you have a steady income stream. However, it’s important to first ask yourself the following questions:
- Will this item fully meet my needs?
- How long will it last before I have to replace it?
- What are the opportunity costs (if any) in purchasing a temporary rather than a long-term solution?
It may be worth investigating equipment financing to ensure you can afford the best equipment available. This will lay an important foundation, allowing you to start your business the right way.
Check the Warranty Period
Even the most reputable brands and products can sometimes break down and need to be returned or replaced. When comparing different equipment options, make sure you compare both the warranty period and online feedback about its customer service. If something goes wrong, you need to be confident that your supplier will deal with it promptly and professionally. You don’t want an unexpected glitch to compromise your ability to serve your customers.
Understand the Services and Maintenance Requirements
It is vital to understand how the equipment needs to be serviced and maintained to avoid the above scenario. Just like your Toyota (or Ferrari), heavy-duty machinery like trucks or forklifts needs a regular service to keep them running smoothly. Computer software needs to be updated, and phone systems upgraded. By keeping on top of your maintenance schedules, you will minimize the issues you encounter.
Look at How it Integrates with your Other Systems and Equipment
Studies have shown that approximately 10% of businesses use 200 or more apps in their day-to-day business. With so much software in place, this approach can lead to integration challenges and data silos. You need to ensure that your systems can talk to one another and integrate seamlessly with your workforce management software.
Think Outside the Square to Leverage New Technology
With technology and business practices rapidly evolving, you should think carefully about what equipment will serve your customers and your company best. Reconsidering your needs may mean investing in cloud storage rather than a new file server, or ordering half the number of desks for your office because people are now working from home. Offering a technologically advanced solution that makes your product or service superior to others in the market can be an outstanding way to establish a point of difference.
Provide Proper Staff Training
Training staff members in the proper use of equipment is crucial for three reasons. The first is safety. You need to ensure that everyone is aware of the correct way to use the equipment without the risk of harm or injury. The second is efficiency. You want to ensure that you are getting the maximum value from your new product.
Finally, you want to ensure that the equipment is being used appropriately as it’s all too easy for employees to damage valuable machinery through improper handling. Good quality workforce management software will allow you to deliver and monitor training with ease.
Do your research, take your time comparing the options on the market, and you will be more likely to make the right choice when it comes to your equipment needs.