How to Avoid Falling Prey to the Vicious Cycle of Under-investment

So you’ve got a project that is going to require a new piece of pad printing equipment. You obtained the requisite three quotes, and an extra one just to be sure. Quotes A, B and C come in between $15,000 and $18,000. Quote D is for $10,000.

Which proposal is the least expensive?

If you answered “D”, you’re probably incorrect.

If three of four quotes come in closely grouped and the fourth is a significantly “less expensive” flier, it should throw up a red flag.

Why? Because whoever is selling that machine is only selling you a machine. They aren’t providing, nor do they intend to provide, a solution. Most likely, this failure will come in the form of little to no technical expertise or support.

I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times, perhaps a thousand times. Companies buy the cheapest thing they can find, new or used, and then struggle for months or even years, usually at a cost that is several times what they paid for the “least expensive” (cheapest) machine. All in an attempt to reach a level of efficiency and productivity that could have been realized immediately, had they simply taken the time, or cared, to purchase more intelligently.

The secret: production cost analysis.

When I quote solutions for applications, I run them through a cost analysis program that I created, entering factors including machine rate, labor rate, efficiency, scrap, number of colors, volume of ink, thinner and other additives required, pad cost and pad change frequency, cliche type and dimensions – all resulting in an estimated cost per part accurate to $0.001.

Guess what? The “cheap” machine loses, every time.

Want to know what your ROI really is before purchasing your next machine? Learn how to perform a thorough production cost analysis.

If the company from which you’re buying can’t help you out with that, and/or aren’t willing to show you the math in an apples-to-apples comparison versus “the other guys,” walk away from their proposal.

Don’t fall prey to the vicious cycle of under-investment. Buy smarter, not cheaper.

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John Kaverman

John Kaverman is the owner of Pad Print Pros LLC, an independent sales and consulting firm, specializing in pad printing. Kaverman has nearly 30 years of industry experience in pad printing in capacities including production, supervision, process, applications and systems engineering, sales and sales management, and technical training.

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