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Used Equipment - Staying Off the Bleeding Edge.

Everywhere you turn,, Americans are bombarded by the mediaís coverage of the latest technological breakthroughs. From high definition panels built into refrigerators to key chain fobs that will chirp their location on demand. Donít get me wrong, technology is fantastic. Anything to make life easier is welcome and embraced. The problem arises when your personal addiction to the latest gadgets starts to cloud your judgment on business purchasing decisions. I have seen this time after time.

When presented with two alternatives to solve a companyís need, all too often a decision maker will opt for a more expensive, high tech product over a time proven solution. Akin to adding seat warmers to your Florida commuter vehicle, these choices may make you feel good at the time of purchase but do little to enhance the companyís bottom line. Even armed with comprehensive ROI statistics reflecting the contrary, some executives still choose to spend more and get less just to have the latest technology. To make matters worse, some even jump into the "bleeding edge" technology. So named because the science is so new and untested that the buyer becomes the guinea pig and suffers all the associated expense of troubleshooting the new concepts.

Not to be confused with the "leading edge" where products and concepts have at least been tried and proven but still retain the price gap over "old tech". These super high-tech purchases are almost always based on emotions and hype not the hard facts, or at least not all the facts. Otherwise the newest, exorbitantly priced products would find very few homes with steadfast, bottom-line conscientious managers. A very good example of this can be found in the industrial fabricating market. Any shop experiencing growth is faced with the choice of buying new machinery or locating quality used or rebuilt equipment. Considering equivalent machines, it is amazing how often the nod goes to a new machine. Even with a price tag of potentially hundreds of thousands higher, and long lead times, new machinery is moving at a steady clip. Although tax consequences play a role in these purchases, it is a tough task to re-coup a 100% price increase by tax write-offs. The mechanical make-up of a typical machine tool further adds to the argument of buying rebuilt equipment. In itís simplest form, a machine tool consists of a frame, drives, servos and a computerized control.

A good frame is essentially timeless and like a good wine, can become better with age. Add to this frame some new drives, servos and a PC based controller and you have essentially a new machine. Sometimes with better performance than a fresh one rolling out of the factory. Now I ask again, why pay a 100% premium for a new machine. If service and warranty play a major role in the decision making process, look to reputable reseller and you will probably find technicians that are former employees of and trained by the OEMs. A good reseller will have complete confidence in their rebuilds and provide a comprehensive warranty that may exceed the OEM warranty in duration and response time. We all know of the savings to be enjoyed by purchasing a used automobile yet we still but new cars for reasons of pride. Capital expenditures should not be an emotional decision. Gather as much information as possible to compare both new used equipment that will accomplish your goals now and into the future. And make sure your supplier will provide the warranty and service you would expect from new equipment.

Then sit back, relax, enjoy your enhanced bottom line and revel in the fact that you made the right decision.


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