Changing matters of importance

In this post, I would like to focus on the changing matters of importance for both industrial and commercial cleaning equipment owners. When equipment is often an organisation’s largest expense, and the key driver of profitability, for me, reliability and total cost of ownership are key matters of importance.

Firstly, let’s delve into reliability. It is a broad requirement which spans across the product and the aftersales support from the supplier. As SA’s top cleaning equipment and cleaning solutions provider since 1984, Goscor Cleaning Equipment (GCE) understands that its customers’ success largely hinges on reliability of both the product and the provision of unparalleled aftermarket support to keep machines running at their peak.

That we have a line-up of globally renowned equipment brands in our stable – Tennant, Elgin, Maer, Delfin, Kaivac and HighPoint – is no point of contention. These are leading brands that have exhibited outstanding reliability over the years. However, I am of the view that gone are the days when established brand names alone meant reinforced market shares. We are way past the era where proven quality of a product was the sole influencer of customers’ buying decisions. In today’s operating environment, quality alone is not enough to influence buying decisions.

We have reached a golden age of services, and to ensure our customers survive and prosper, the supply chain has transformed into a service-centric sector, moving away from just supplying products, to offering end-to-end solutions. Although quality products remain the figure of merit in the whole equation, at GCE we place a bigger focus on delivering the value that customers get out of using those products.

Over the years we have become the cleaning equipment supplier of choice in SA, especially in the industrial space. Testimony to this is our majority market share in the industrial cleaning equipment market. Our success largely hinges on the fact that we tick all the right boxes as far as reliability is concerned – both in terms of the product we supply and the aftersales we provide.

We boast factory-trained technicians in all major regions of the country. By being part of the larger Goscor Group, we also have the most extensive branch footprint spread across all the major industrial centres across the country. These are fully equipped with all major parts and consumables to service and repair our customers’ machines.

In today’s operating conditions, customers expect suppliers to meet their needs and respond to their problems effectively and swiftly. This is even more so when it comes to big-ticket purchases. The consumer will not only buy the product, they will expect the service they receive to be up to their expectations.

Reliable aftermarket support is also a key factor in helping end users lower their total cost of ownership. Investments in industrial cleaning equipment are such big-ticket purchases and it’s important to note that the ongoing costs once you have signed on the dotted line are as important as the upfront capital price. This brings to the fore a very important subject matter – total cost of ownership (TCO) – which is a key consideration for today’s machine owners when making those buying decisions.

I am aware that South Africa remains a price sensitive market. However, there is need to look at the bigger picture, not just the upfront equipment cost. When buying a machine, there is need to consider how much that piece of equipment will cost over time. There are many definitions of TCO, but to put it in simple terms, it is a performance measure meant to uncover the lifetime costs associated with the piece of equipment, both before and after it’s purchased.

At a high level, TCO can be split into owning and operating costs – owning costs being the costs to acquire the equipment and operating costs being all costs related to operating the equipment. Operating costs can then again be divided into service costs and repair costs – service costs being the cost to service equipment according to OEM specification and repair costs the costs associated with replacing failed components.

Focusing only on initial cost does not necessarily produce the best alternative, as a machine that has a lower purchase cost may suffer from very high maintenance costs. But just comparing operating costs is no better – you must also factor in productivity – two machines with equal operating costs may vary greatly in how much work they can do. What a total cost of ownership approach does is allow machine users to work out their profits from the machine, not just the costs.

When it’s time to buy your next piece of cleaning equipment, bear this in mind!