Buying equipment for your company is a necessary but sometimes stressful task. You want to get the right product at the right price, but there are plenty of pitfalls along the way. Avoiding the mistakes below will go a long way toward ensuring that you spend your company’s money wisely.
Not Adequately Defining Needs
It can be surprisingly easy to stumble at the first hurdle: the necessity of being explicit about what problem the equipment needs to solve. Make sure you’ve correctly identified both the problem and the solution. Think about other elements as well, such as where it needs to go, what it will cost, and what materials it might require.
Not Consulting Stakeholders
Part of knowing what you need involves talking to those who will most be affected by the purchase, usually your employees. A common error is to assume that because you’re the owner or the supervisor, you know exactly what will work best, but you may be surprised to find that the people who will be working with the equipment day-to-day have different ideas. That doesn’t always mean that you defer entirely to their input, but you can get valuable insight and avoid costly errors by consulting your staff. This also increases the likelihood that you’ll get buy-in even if there is a big learning curve.
Not Doing the Research
It would be nice to know exactly what you need, meaning you could just go out and get it, but you’ll still need to do research to make the right purchase.
If you are buying vehicles for your fleet and you don’t do your research, you could end up sacrificing both profitability and productivity. You can review a guide that helps you identify the steps you need to take before making this type of purchase. This is generally the case with other types of equipment in other departments as well. Don’t rush this step, even though it can seem complicated and time-consuming.
Not Considering the Long Term
Be sure to think ahead to the future and not just about your immediate needs. You don’t want to spend money on equipment that’s going to be obsolete in a couple of years. Think about your company’s goals and where you plan to be in three to five years.
Will the purchase you’re making still serve you as you grow or make other changes? If not, you may need to make a different choice, even if it costs more in the short run.
Not Training Sufficiently
You aren’t finished once you have completed all the above steps, chosen the right equipment, and made your purchase. You also need to train your employees to use the equipment. This is partly about having a good training program in place, but there are other things to consider as well. Will your company’s productivity suffer, and if so, what solutions do you have in place to address that? Don’t expect your staff to be up and running at the same pace they were before, even if what you’re buying will ultimately make them more efficient.