Have you ever had the privilege of sitting behind the wheel of a brand new, straight off the assembly line automobile? If you have, you’re probably well aware of the uplifting feelings it inspires in the driver. And when you’ve just shelled out big bucks for a new vehicle, you’re far more likely to meticulously clean and maintain it.
Now take a moment and think about the feeling you get when you’re sitting behind the wheel of a beat up, used car. It’s not quite the same, is it? Most people aren’t nearly as carefully with a used car as they are with a new one and, more often than not, used cars don’t uplift your overall mood.
This same new/used car dynamic can also applies to industrial workers and the equipment they use to do their jobs. That’s not always a factor business owners consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade their existing equipment.
If you’re a business owner who has been waffling about investing in capital upgrades, here’s a few talking points that might sway your decision.
You don’t have to be Donald Trump to know that construction and warehouse equipment that’s sitting in a repair shop isn’t doing anything to boost your bottom line. Despite the obviousness of that statement, many small business owners throw good money after bad by continually repairing equipment that should have been replaced long ago.
Worse still, lots of workers are stuck running forklifts, enclosed conveyors and other equipment that’s not broken, but isn’t working as well as it should. Every time these workers stop to make minor fixes or otherwise adjust their around sub-par gear, the company loses money.
If increasing worker productivity is one of your goals, equipment upgrades offer a pretty sweet return on investment.
Here’s an argument that can justify just about any equipment upgrade. Simply calculate the approximate cost of a single workman’s compensation claim or wrongful death suit. Even the cheapest lawsuit is going to involve a lot more money, and headaches, than the most expensive capital upgrade.
Besides the obvious fiscal benefit, replacing unsafe equipment sends a powerful message to your employees about how you really feel about them. Workers who know their bosses actually care about them will almost always do a better job than workers who are stuck in endless, “us-versus-them,” battle.
A Master Plan
Purchasing, or just upgrading, new machinery doesn’t have to be a painful process, especially if you’ve done some advance planning. We strongly encourage every small business owner to develop, and constantly maintain, a long-range upgrade schedule that includes every item in their inventory.
This list doesn’t have to be written in stone, just used as a guideline that can survive personnel changes and new management. A document like this makes managing upgrades a whole lot easier.
There’s no reason to purchase new equipment unless you really need it, but there’s also no reason to be hanging onto equipment that’s not contributing to the bottom line.