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From the supply side

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Equipment suppliers and manufacturers offer advice to EPMs in making wise investments in machinery.

Who you buy from is as important as what you buy.
“You should be working with [a supplier] who asks questions, who encourages dialogue back and forth,” says Steven Kaplan, president of S. Kaplan Sewing Machine Co. Inc. “If it is someone who just says, ‘Here, take this’ after offering you one or two different things, that is an invitation for someone who just wants to sell you a box and be done with you.”

Be realistic.
The worst thing a manufacturer can do is “get carried away without thinking how [the machine] is going to work in their environment,” says Harry Berzack, president of The Fox Company. For instance, a new piece of equipment may allow you to produce 1,000 units a day, but do you realistically have—or will you have in the future—the client demand to justify this output?

Look beyond the price tag.
“We work hard to help the prospective customer understand that the initial cost of the system is important, but when viewed through a longer lens, it is a minor part of the purchase equation,” says Doug Hardy of Autometrix Precision Cutting Systems Inc. EPMs can determine a machine’s profit potential by calculating return on investment. Several equipment purchase ROI calculators are available online to help make financial decisions.

Holly O’Dell is a freelance writer based in Plymouth, Minn.

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