Cost is one of biggest limiting factors for business owners and managers when considering upgrades to their material handling equipment. There are upfront costs in the form of sticker price and additional custom add-ons, as well as costs and savings that one accrues over time through maintenance, battery replacement, rate of production and efficiency, training hours, healthcare costs, insurance premiums, and potential OSHA fines when something goes wrong. Understanding how an altered workplace safety protocol, production strategy, and maintenance budget will affect your bottom line is essential for calculating your true return on investment.
Standard Ergonomic Motorized Equipment
The sticker price is usually straight forward when it comes to purchasing standard ergonomic motorized carts or tuggers. Depending on the model and type of battery you decide to purchase, battery replacement is predictable, allowing you to reasonably calculate the cost of your new equipment over a few years. However, that’s not the end of your ROI equation. Before deciding on a new model, look into insurance premiums and potential medical costs that may be affected by your new motorized material handling equipment. When upgrading to one of our standard models from manual or under-performing equipment, an operation can potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars over time when considering those additional variables. In many cases, the money saved in tangential costs pays for the sticker price and maintenance budget several times over.
Additionally, your ideal motorized cart or tugger will maximize output and efficiency in your plant or warehouse, increasing profit margins over time. Estimates of increased workplace efficiency will also enable you to compare the additional savings of each of the motorized solutions you are looking at, allowing you to find which one will enhance your business the most.
Custom and Retrofitted Solutions
The upfront price of retrofitted and custom material handling equipment is always going to be contingent on what our customers need and want. The more add-on and unique engineering, the higher the likelihood that the cost will be significantly higher than a standard solution. In order to provide an accurate quote, significant understanding of the application is necessary, and is often subject to change as the project evolves over time. If a high-quality custom solution is necessary for your operation, carve out a more generous budget ahead of time.
Additionally, custom solutions are more difficult to predict in terms of maintenance and longevity than a standard model, primarily because a custom solution does not have the testing and development history that tried and true standard solutions have. However, here are some manufacturing and engineering steps that can help ensure a longer equipment life and a more accurate ROI estimate:
- Using tried and true standard components whenever practical
- Selecting quality components when standard cannot be used
- Ensuring good engineering and fabrication practices are applied to the project
- Maintaining equipment per the guidelines of the manufacturer
ROI is always an estimate, even when purchasing standard products. As engineers, we can stand by the quality of our custom products, and can provide reasonable estimates for any standard parts involved in the design, but giving our customers hard and fast time tables and price is dishonest when dealing with a product that is entirely unique. In order to give you a better idea of the projected maintenance requirements for your custom or retrofitted solution, our engineers can educate you on the variables involved and can make suggestions that will increase longevity and give you the best return. In addition to calculating your new insurance premiums, workplace efficiency rate, and employee healthcare costs, working closely with your engineer should give you a reasonable understanding of the total costs and savings over time.
For more information on calculating the ROI of your ergonomic motorized cart or tugger, connect with one of our experts through our Ask an Engineer portal for custom or retrofitted solutions, or our Contact portal for more general sales questions on standard models.