Every business faces it on a regular basis—the once top-of-the-range equipment is on its last legs. It repeatedly breaks down and every time you call out the engineer he sucks through his teeth and shakes his head. You are just throwing good money after bad, and you have got to bite the bullet and replace it. Once you have done proper business budgeting plans, what are your options?
Used or Reconditioned
The big attraction here is price. As they say, as soon as a vehicle moves of the forecourt it loses a quarter of its value. The same goes for any major piece of equipment. So it is always possible to buy something similar to what you are seeking, for a lot less, if it has been used before.
If you are looking for a tough workhorse that does a straightforward job in a reliable manner, one whose technology is not fundamentally different from ten years ago, a diesel truck for instance, then this makes a sensible case.
The downside is that the used equipment will never be exactly what you want. There will always be something that is not quite perfect about the specifications. Moreover in areas where small business technology has moved on significantly, for instance in agriculture, your used equipment will need far more human input than the modern equivalent, and probably be far less efficient.
New Means Better Technology
Of course, to buy new equipment is a more expensive option, although by shopping around you will probably find some attractive finance deals, or you could consider leasing. Consider the benefits of new equipment and work them into your decision.
If you are working in an area where technology is changing fast, you will be losing out on the progress that has been made if you do not buy the latest equipment. This can give considerable savings in running and labor costs. New modern equipment runs with much less human intervention, and smart technology means that it is able to forecast problems before they happen, enabling you to plan for maintenance with a minimal loss of productive time.
Buying older technology also carries the risk that the software will not be updated beyond a certain point. Most of us know the frustration when we get notice that the firmware on our phone is no longer supported—you don’t want the same happening within a couple years to your industrial equipment requiring maintenance. With our phones we can live with this until it’s time to replace, but with our business it could be a costly problem.
New Means Customized
Your new equipment can be made exactly to your specifications. Some producers of industrial equipment, like powder coating machinery manufacturers Reliant Finishing Systems of Alabama, make everything in consultation with their customers so that it is exactly tailored to do the job. You can see how they work by checking online at ReliantFinishingSystems.com. This sort of equipment is more likely to come with an assurance of long-term or lifetime software support.
You will get a full warranty with new equipment, compared to the fairly minimal warranty you are likely to get with older used machinery.
New Can Mean Cost Effective
There may be tax advantages to the new equipment, as it is likely to be more environmentally friendly than plant manufactured even a few years previously. The federal government and many states try to encourage industry to use less energy through a variety of schemes that are more likely to be available to new plant.
Safety provisions move on rapidly in the world of industry. The law tends to lag behind, but manufacturers are keenly aware of health and safety issues in the workplace, and will incorporate safety features to deal with risks that you would probably not be aware of until they happen.
Your new equipment is almost certainly going to be more efficient than older equivalent. Savings can be made in energy costs and in reduction of wastage and unwanted by-products that require disposal. In an age when profit margins are tight this can give a competitive edge to your business.
Your Business, Your Choice
If your business is agriculture, manufacturing or transport, then your equipment and vehicles will be a significant capital cost. Getting the decision wrong could have serious implications. As with any business executive decision there are always pros and cons to be weighed, and used or reconditioned equipment is a superficially attractive way to save money in the short term. But refusing to consider buying new could end up being a costly mistake.
Ryan Norton runs a manufacturing company and often writes about technology in business, staff training and keeping operations running smoothly in his online articles which appear around the internet.
Image from http://www.vikingmergers.com/blog/2015/5-steps-increase-value-industrial-equipment-distributor/