I recently made a purchase of a large ticket item for our hospital’s Environmental Services Department. A brand new 20″ battery burnisher sold by a major manufacturer. Although the procurement process went smoothly there have been a few hiccups in obtaining warranty support from the manufacturer. Though the vendor I purchased the burnisher from has been very supportive, this experience reminded me of the importance of doing your proverbial homework before making expensive equipment purchases.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting new equipment for purchase to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience:

(1) Durability

  • Is the equipment built to withstand everyday use or will it start to deteriorate after a few months?
  • What do your colleagues or industry support groups have to say about the type of equipment you are considering?

(2) Product support

  • Who will be providing warranty service for your equipment – the manufacturer or the vendor?
  • How long is the warranty and does it cover parts and labor or parts only?
  • Is there opportunity for an extended warranty?

(3) Compare

  • Do your homework and demo several similar pieces of equipment when possible.
  • Use a checklist to compare items side by side.
  • Ask for references of current users. The majority of vendors are more than happy to provide this information.

(4) ROI

  • Considering labor, maintenance and related costs, how long will it take to recover the cost of the equipment?

(5) Purchase or Lease

  • Should you lease or purchase the piece of equipment?
  • Do you want the convenience of walking away from outdated equipment every few years or do you prefer to keep a piece of equipment running for as long as you can?

Investigating these 5 areas will help to ensure you success in your next major equipment purchase for your Environmental Services Department.