Hey Prairie Dawg, “I decided on the NEW machine”

Well you made the decision and now it’s time to understand if it was the right choice:

After much contemplating, the new machine was chosen most likely for reasons of warranty, zero run time hours, and new plant smell, LOL. All kidding aside, the new plant was probably considered something that could be better built upon and adaptable to an image of being leading edge or most innovative.

I ask immediately, however, was buying the new machine the best choice for productivity, longevity, and annual cost of ownership? Or how about from a wear cost perspective, routine maintenance and is it the right tool for the job? One would automatically assume that these newer or most recently produced machines would have already accounted of these few secondary considerations, however that is not always the case.

For instance, did you buy the model with all the “Bells and Whistles” necessary to make operating the new model efficiently or was it the base level machine where some of the automation items or hydraulic features are lacking therefore minimizing effectiveness in overall performance and maintenance procedures.

Are you buying the base priced New model machine and operating it yourself or just passing it along for the plant operator to make the best of your budget conscious decision, and if so was that person involved in making any of the budget based operating decisions? Often when buyers are directly operating the equipment being purchased (when they are the operator and overseeing the maintenance) they will likely invest in better long term function control features, which generally have better resale value. Not because of the added feature(s) but mainly due to the plant having been operated better and maintained more effortlessly, therefore receiving much better upkeep during its operating life cycle.

Again I am not out to criticize, but rather make sure all the proper channels to these decisions (sometimes made on a Black Friday whim) don’t end up biting back after turning the “Go Switch” to ON.

  • A) Let’s say the new piece of equipment was thoroughly planned out and well fitted with options. How do we know these options are paying themselves back?

Did the dealer provide any of the manufacturers target performance data and are these targets being hit? If so great, but if not, what can be provided to get better dialed in?

  • Make certain your group is filling out daily production reports to show the manufacturer some sort of established baselines necessary for assistance.
  • Make certain start up procedures were followed carefully and break in periods have been achieved without trouble.
  • Document carefully all maintenance performed in detail especially if performing these obligations “In House” versus a dealer maintenance plan or program.

Without these three key forms of record keeping being tracked, getting the manufacturer to help becomes harder should an ongoing production target problem persist.

  • B) From a dealer’s perspective they will always want to make certain that what they have sold is performing as planned and they will likely be in the buyer’s corner when dealing with the manufacturer they represent so long as the buyer is utilizing the equipment as to how it was stated to be utilized and within reason if slightly indifferent.
  • Most manufacturers will often utilize this interaction between the end user, dealer representative, and themselves to obviously identify an issue should one be present and inevitably if the manufacturer is a solid reputable provider it will generally welcome the opportunity to resolve performance inadequacies especially when provided a thorough documented platform. Manufacturers are eager to further acquire knowledge about their product that is often hard to simulate during most product development processes, so getting feedback from the end user even if it’s not always proactive feedback in their perspective should still be information worth finding a resolution for.

All in all, the New equipment purchase made can be extremely rewarding and bring to light many more greater opportunities than before, opportunities that maybe wouldn’t be possible without risking a new acquisition and all that it includes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained in becoming a future success story.

Questions? Tim Holmberg prairiedawg@pdpractical.com .

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