By Jeremiah Reinhardt
As we are in a unique time here, you may be asking “What do you need right now? That could vary depending on the sector you are in, or the current situation in your area. What opportunities are available to you with your current customer base? Are there new opportunities, or do you have the opportunity to expand from your current customer base?
So your next question should be, “Do I have the right machine for the job, or can I make what I have work?” The answer could in most cases be yes AND no. Yes, you can do the job but no, you won’t be as productive as you could be with the right machine. For example, maybe your company has a tilt hopper paver and you’ve landed an opportunity to pave a larger commercial parking lot, yes you can do the job but it’ll take a little longer. On the flip side, maybe your company has too large of a machine that would make you less productive. So again, it can be done but not in an optimal way.
So what do you do? Should you buy the right machine for the job you are doing? In some cases that may work or be most ideal. One thing to consider is the 80/20 rule to best decide the direction on what you should do. If the work you are getting, or that work you are going after, fits a scope the is similar 80% of the time, then owning the right machine for that work would be most ideal.
Now, are there other options? Can you rent the machine that you need to meet the scope of work that you are taking on? If you have an option to rent a machine for the work, then that may be a viable option for you. Now, is that the most cost effective solution? In some cases renting may be the right choice for you. The dealer will more than likely handle the servicing of the equipment and when you are done with the machine you can turn it back in when the job is over.
What if you can’t rent the machine you need for the work you have? Can you find a machine that you need in the used market to purchase? If you can find a used machine, then you need to do your homework and have a good dealer partner that you can rely and depend on that can keep you up and running as down time is your most costly expense. Do you have a fellow contactor that you can borrow a machine from or can you buy their machine from them if their scope of work has changed? Just make sure you do your homework and try to know as much about the used machine as you can so you know what to expect.
It’s not always easy to know exactly what you need but if you can plan ahead and prepare you will be successful. Keep in touch with your local dealer partner on what you are working on and they can help you with solutions to best fit your needs. Communication is key in this time more than any other. Your dealer may have a machine coming in on trade that could be the right fit for what you need or its priced in the budget you can afford. Possibly the machine you need is in their rental fleet and is available or will be when you need it. Some dealers will add to their rental fleet throughout the season converting new inventory to meet demand and needs of their customers. This is a partner that you want to maintain a good working relationship with. If they know what you needs are or could be they can plan accordingly to help you along with your success. The key to shopping for a new machine is having multiple price points to choose from, whether its new, used, rental or other.
As you continue to navigate in these unique times, please do not get too busy to plan. Planning can help you be more efficient in your work, can help save on your budgets and can help keep your staff happy and safe on the job. When your team has the right equipment to get the job done, that yields to happy workforce and one that can be more efficient and effective to the job at hand. Good luck out there!
Jeremiah Reinhardt is LeeBoy Territory Manager. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.