You Need to Know Before You Make Your Equipment or Machinery Purchase
by Ellen Giard
If you're considering taking the plunge on a big machinery or equipment
purchase, you already may have some questions in mind. Because we
know careful consideration and examination goes into your final
decision, USGlass/USGNN.com has interviewed machinery manufacturers,
suppliers and glass fabricators to get their take on what's most
important to know before making your purchase.
For starters, these industry experts recommend that before you
buy anything, you ask yourself: What do I want to do with this line?
What type of product do I want to make and what markets do I want
to reach? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will
find yourself better prepared to begin discussions with your equipment
supplier about what you want to gain through your purchase.
Another key point to consider before a machinery purchase is the
costs associated with outsourcing versus buying the product. You
may want to consider doing an extensive market analysis of in-house
costs and advantages versus those of your current suppliers. In
addition, before going forward with the equipment purchase it is
important that you know when the time is right for you.
The experts also agree that before you take the plunge on your
big purchase, you should investigate alternatives. Get your questions
answered initially, but also seek existing users' opinions on what
the equipment-and the supplying vendor-will be able to provide in
Here are some questions to ask suppliers before making any type
of equipment purchase:
- Support questions to ask: Does the equipment supplier
have a large service staff with years of experience to help guide
me through my company's daily challenges? Can the supplier help
me by supplying process knowledge and tips for a more successful
and profitable operation? Is the supplier available in my time
zone, and do the company's employees speak my same "glass" language
and know my business?
- Service questions to ask: Does the service department
know the equipment inside and out? Do they know the end product
my company makes and will they help train my operators to make
it better? Can they keep my company up and running and help get
me back in business when there is a problem? Are service people
employees of the equipment company or employees of an independent
representative without immediate access to drawings and in-depth
product knowledge? ·
- Parts questions to ask: Are parts locally stocked and
available immediately when a critical situation arises? Are systems
designed to have minimum downtime and to use parts found at a
local supply house? Are replacement parts able to be replaced
by my maintenance staff with very little help needed from the
equipment supplier's service department?
For detailed lists of the questions you should ask before purchasing
one of more than 30 types of equipment and machinery, look for the
Annual Guide to Equipment & Machinery in the August issue of USGlass
Ellen Giard is the editor of USGlass magazine.