Home' New Zealand Printer Magazine : February 2014 Contents 37
are many possible reasons but you need
to understand which ones are applicable
to your circumstances. Work out what
is essential, what is desirable and what
is not required in any new product,
fnance or maintenance agreement.
These will become your initial
Lack of consultation
THERE is a wealth of information
available, most of it free, so why do
people fail to take advantage of it?
The best sources of information are
your friendly peers, trade shows, staff,
suppliers' sales executives and trade
magazines like this one. When you are
considering upgrading equipment or
expanding into new markets these are
your go-to places.
Friendly peers can give you the
beneft of their experiences – the good,
the bad and the ugly. A tip: ask them
the three things they like most about a
system, then ask them the three things
they would change.
Trade shows are a great opportunity
to see a wide range of equipment in
the one place but you need to work
out the context in which you attend.
Are you seeking basic information,
evaluating options or looking to confrm
a purchasing decision?
Your staff typically have experience
from other businesses and suppliers
that they can share with you.
Suppliers' sales executives can
outline new trends and products,
and what may be applicable to your
business. Let them know where you
are in your purchasing cycle and they
will happily demonstrate systems,
many times if necessary. Yes, they
can be annoying with follow up calls
but the good ones will be happy to set
up rules around contact frequency.
Good consultation will help you refne
your purchasing guidelines and once
established you should try not to stray
YOU are not buying a box; you are
buying a solution made up of drivers,
software utilities, service and support
as well. Focus on all of them to see how
they could combine and work together
to meet your guidelines and deliver
value to your business. If you just focus
on the box then you may end up with a
really well specifed device that offers
Failure to probe
SALES people regurgitate features,
advantages and benefts and try to link
the things their system does well to your
"Can it do X? -- Yes," is not good
enough. As a purchaser, you need to
probe how a particular system will work
in your environment.
Think of each of your requirements
as an onion: it has lots of layers. Your
questions should peel back the layers
one by one as you drill down into the
detail of exactly how the system could
deliver what you want.
Lack of services
MANY people undervalue services like
installation, networking and training
-- they are crucial to you realising
value from your new investment from
day one. Likewise make sure you
understand the services included in any
Square peg in a round hole
ONLY consider equipment that is
appropriate for the purpose.
Sure, you can run 120 gsm stock
through a machine rated to 100 gsm
but it is not ideal. Yes, you can putt with
a three wood but a putter is a better
At the risk of stating the obvious,
do not consider equipment with
capabilities or capacity outside your
requirements. Square peg means a
You don't know what you've lost
'til it's gone
IF you are replacing a system, do you
understand what capabilities you will
The Océ 9400 was a popular LED
wide format system released in the late
1990s. One of its advantages was instant
warm-up, no waiting. Some owners
upgraded their 9400s to different
brands for a variety of reasons but
failed to realise that these other systems
took up to nine minutes to warm up.
They rightly focused on what the
new systems could provide but failed to
realise what functionality they would
lose by moving from their old systems.
Paralysis by analysis
IF you have done your homework then
make your decision. There are three
Don't do it;
Think about it some more.
Option three is rarely a good one
and smart purchasing guidelines will
help avoid it. Procrastination is never a
What are you getting into?
WHEN the contract is put in front of
you and the pen hovers above the dotted
line, failing to fully understand what
you are getting, or getting into, can end
in tears. Do you have the expertise or
competent advice to understand the
equipment specifcations, maintenance,
fnance, operating costs and the
consequential changes to your business?
Consulted your staff and other
stakeholders. Any equipment decision
will have an impact on them.
KNOWING the common mistakes that buyers make can really
help when you look at new capital expenditure. Take a proactive
attitude and prepare to invest time and e ort into the process.
Some simple steps include:
• Don't play secret squirrel -- consult widely and be as open as
• Recognise your capabilities and engage sta or outside help
• Ask questions to drill down into speci c topics to ensure you
fully understand their relevance, or lack of, to your purchasing
• Remember that the amount of e ort that goes into evaluating
and purchasing equipment needs to be considered relative to
the level of investment and its importance to the business.
Some golden rules
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