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Equipment What’s Important When Selecting Equipment? Part 3 – Getting Company Buy-In

What do I mean by buy-in? Buy-in is getting all the people who are going to have to deal with any aspect of this equipment purchase to agree on the decision. You may be wondering – “why is this so important?” It’s important because these people are the ones that will be dealing with the new equipment after it’s been ordered. Let’s explore some of the aspects; keeping in mind this list is not exhaustive.

  • Financing – How are you going to get the money to buy this? (Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series for ideas.) Who’s going to manage this part of it? What are their ideas? Do they have any concerns? Is this good for the company?
  • Shipping and Installation – Who’s going to be responsible for this? Where is this new piece of equipment going to go? How’s it going to affect the workflow in your facility? Do you need special foundations to support the equipment? Do you need special wiring? Who’s going to install it? Does the person responsible for shipping and installation have any concerns?
  • Operation – Who’s going to operate the piece of equipment? Is the equipment the right choice in their opinion? Is there a special learning curve that can be avoided? Does the person responsible have any concerns about operation of the new equipment?
  • Maintenance –Who’s going to do the maintenance? Is the maintenance simple? Is there a set maintenance period and is it reasonable? Are maintenance parts easy to get (discussed in Part 1)? Does the person responsible have any concerns about maintaining the new equipment?

The above list is a good starting point and by asking these key questions, you can help ensure you have full company buy-in before investing thousands, or millions of dollars, in a new piece of equipment.

Skipping this process can be a recipe for disaster. I’ve heard about, and seen many companies, who haven’t implemented a buy-in process. It can, and has, created multiple issues that can have long lasting ramifications such as:

  • Poor financing decisions leading to long term cash and credit issues.
  • Poor installation leading to long-term productivity and quality issues (i.e. poor output quality due to a wobbly foundation).
  • Poor equipment choices and operator consultation leading to lower productivity and flow problems.
  • Poor maintenance decisions leading to premature equipment breakdown and therefore poor productivity.

In addition to the more common issues above, I’ve also seen some extraordinary problems resulting from lack of company buy-in. In one instance the operators were so upset about not being involved with the decision that they deliberately made the equipment function improperly, resulting in all sorts of productivity issues.

As a whole, the impact from lack of company buy-in can be devastating to your business. I’ve illustrated some ways to achieve buy-in, as well as some of the problems that could arise if you don’t. I strongly encourage you to get buy-in on your next purchase so you can maximize the efficiency and profit from your operation.