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7 Signs You Need To Upgrade Your Business Equipment

Is it time you replaced your existing equipment with something more advanced? Or is your current equipment good enough to cling onto for a few more years? Here are just 7 signs that it may be time to upgrade – whether it’s an office chair or a forklift truck.

You’re spending too much money on repairs

It’s often worth repairing broken equipment. However, once equipment becomes expensive to repair, replacing can be a more sensible option.

The 50% rule is used by many businesses – if total repairs cost over 50% of the cost of a replacement, you’re usually better off replacing. This could include lots of minor repairs over the years or it could be one single expensive repair.

Old equipment is more likely to need frequent repairs and you should be wary of continuously throwing money at a piece of equipment such as old computer instead of replacing. Most equipment will have a recommended life, after which parts are likely to start wearing away one by one, making repairs futile.

There are fewer places to get your equipment repaired

It’s possible that certain old models of equipment may now be too difficult to repair due to a scarcity of parts or a lack of trained technicians. For example, if your company is using an old printer from a now non-operational manufacturer, it could be very difficult to find parts without scouring used part sale sites (plus these parts may come at a premium cost).

Certain equipment such as industrial machinery may also need to be regularly serviced for health and safety purposes. If there’s no one qualified who is left to service this equipment because the company that built the machinery has long gone bust, this too could be a reason to consider a replacement.

Clients/employees have commented that your equipment is dated

If people are commenting that your equipment looks or feels dated, it could be having a negative impact on your company’s reputation. This could include a PC with a traditional bulky monitor or an old manual cash register.

Customers are most likely to be the ones to comment on this, either vocally or in online reviews. If you’ve noticed these comments being made regularly, it could be time to take note and upgrade to something modern.

Employee complaints are also worth considering. Your employees are the people that are most likely to be using your equipment – it’s important that they have pride in their tools and that they don’t feel they’re underappreciated by being given old equipment to work with. Talk to your staff about these concerns and ask them what kind of equipment they’d prefer to use.

Your equipment isn’t eco-friendly

Nowadays, running a green business is essential. If equipment isn’t eco-friendly, it may not only be leading to increased running costs, but may also be having a negative impact on your company’s reputation.

When it comes to electronic equipment, energy-efficiency is an important factor to consider. Newer equipment is likely to be more efficient than older equipment. For instance, modern printers tend to use very little energy when in standby compared to older printers, which may be guzzling energy simply from being plugged in. Look out for signs such as an energy star rating to work out if equipment is energy-efficient.

It’s important to also consider overall sustainability of materials – especially when it comes to single or limited use equipment. For instance, a growing number of companies are now switching from wooden pallets to plastic pallets. This may not seem like a sustainable move, but some plastic pallets can in fact be more recyclable and have longer usage than wooden pallets. Doing your research into materials could help you to make the most sustainable choice.

Your equipment is a health and safety concern

Health and safety concerns are another clear sign that you should upgrade equipment. If this is damage to equipment such as a faulty emergency stop button on a machine, you may be able to seek out repairs instead of replacing. However, it it’s a more general health and safety concern that cannot be fixed or modified, a replacement may be necessity. In certain cases, an upgrade could even be a legal requirement such as protective equipment not containing a CE marking when used in EU territory.

 If you are not sure whether equipment complies to health and safety standards, you may be able to outsource a health and safety advisor to take a look at your equipment and check. This could be important when it comes to old equipment which may have been produced before modern health and safety laws came in.

Your business needs have outgrown your equipment   

It’s possible that your current equipment may simply be too basic for your company’s growing needs. For instance, if you manufacture your own pop-up greetings cards by hand but now want to start mass producing them, it could be time to switch up your scalpel for a die cutter.

In such cases, newer equipment could allow your business to run more efficiently. Decide whether you have a need for this greater efficiency – you don’t want to upgrade to a piece of equipment that’s unnecessarily complex for your needs.

You can no longer update software (in the case of digital hardware)

When it comes to old digital hardware, not being able to update software could be a major sign that an upgrade is overdue. It’s possible that modern software could be too complex for your old machine to handle. Being unable to update software could then leave you open to cybersecurity risks or simply slower efficiency.

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