To Buy or Not To Buy…

By Greg Sitek

How to compare/contrast new products to fit your needs and the factors you should look at when comparing/contrasting new products

A new product or new model hits the market. It catches your attention. Why? Before you go shopping ask yourself what about the product or model caught your attention? If you think you need it, what are you going to do with it. Every new acquisition needs to enhance your operation in one way or another.

One of the first steps in making a decision is determining if the product is new or just a mild modification of something that already exist or that you already have. With today’s rapidly advancing technologies, changes and/or advances should be significant. For example, if you’re comparing hand-held power tools the power source/supply has to be a major consideration. Is it cordless? If not is this what will best fit your jobsites? If yes, ss the motor brushless, if not, stop? Is the power supply an ion battery? How many volts – 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 40, 60, 80 or?

Other considerations for power tools are the compatibility or interchangeability of the batteries. Can you use some of the batteries you already have or the chargers?

On the top of your comparison list should be, how current is the product’s technology and what are its benefits?

“Power” has become a game changer not only for hand-held power tools but for driven or operated vehicles or machines. 

Motorized vehicles and or machines are now being offered with the standard gasoline or diesel-powered, alternate fuels, e.g., CNG propane, etc., internal combustion engines but there are many manufacturers now offering battery-electric, hybrid-electric, and in some cases hydrogen power.

What are you planning on doing with this acquisition? You don’t have the luxury of acquiring a new product because 1) it’s new 2) I might need it. Time is a valuable asset and you shouldn’t be wasting it speculating on if it is or is not going to improve your ability to improve your operation. Will it make you more productive or efficient? Will it expand the scope of your operation? Will it improve employee or jobsite safety? In the end, the important question is will it make you more profitable.

There are a number of reasons for considering the acquisition of a new product whether it’s a machine, truck/vehicle, hand-held tool or stationary piece of equipment:

            Changing business needs — has the scope of your business changed such that you need different equipment, machines, people

            Increase efficiencies and productivity — is what you current using out of date lacking efficiencies or productivity (too small, too slow)

            Improve safety and security — these should always be given the highest priority and maintained at highest possible level

            Take advantage of tax incentives — if you have the opportunity for tax incentives and can apply them to any of the above, do the math and determine the value

Once you decided add to your fleet or inventory you need to explore your options, do you buy or do you lease. Both have advantages depending on your operation, location, length of job and your financial stature. Whenever you add to your fleet or inventory your operation should improve.

This material appears in the March 2022 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & EngineerConstructionConstruction DigestConstruction NewsConstructioneerDixie ContractorMichigan Contractor & BuilderMidwest ContractorNew England ConstructionPacific Builder & EngineerRocky Mountain ConstructionTexas ContractorWestern Builder