Opinion: Never a Truer Saying Than “You Get What You Pay For”
Rhinowash Director Mark Burns recently shared his thoughts on controlling costs in today’s competitive marketplace. From throwaway culture to hidden costs to loss leaders; Rhinowash stands strong and committed to manufacturing equipment from the front-end, to guarantee a product that is built to last and fit for purpose. Read the full article below.
As the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt more than a year on, I, like many business owners, have been evaluating the Rhinowash business strategy to ensure that we are controlling our costs in an effective and sustainable way.
As both a manufacturer and a service provider, we have a unique perspective on the marketplace that I believe gives us an edge above our competitors.
Many businesses aim to stay competitive and attractive to prospective clients by reducing their up-front costs. And who am I to say that’s wrong? It’s evident we live in a world of a throwaway culture, with demands for convenient, cheaper, consumable products which can be run until failure and then simply thrown away and replaced.
Many think it’s easy to be the cheapest but in my opinion it’s a short-term gain that brings its own challenges. Would we at Rhinowash ever considering catering for the disposable market? The short answer is no. Our priority is, and always has been, manufacturing equipment from the front-end to produce machines which are made to the highest standard, that meet our clients’ expectations in respect of life span, durability and reliability.
In my opinion, the first step to controlling your costs is to recognise where the value truly lies, whether it’s in the suitability of the product to fulfil its intended requirements or the dependability of the backup service. Then to provide a product that will provide optimum life span to match the customers’ expectations and requirements. For our most demanding users this is at least 3 years and for many exceeds 10 years. In fact, we’re proud to be servicing some equipment which is over 30 years old! With that said its fundamental that we take into account the costs over the time period continually assessing its feasibility. That is key to the longstanding relationships we have with many of our clients, and you can’t put a price on that.
I appreciate that for many businesses that deal with significantly more expensive commodities: such as Trucks or Plant; that associated costs of a pressure washer can sometimes be overlooked in the grand scheme of things. However, that doesn’t mean it’s any less important and whether a wash system is an integral part of the business, or an investment that means time and money can be focused elsewhere, either way the evaluation and awareness of what those costs actually are, can significantly impact your business strategy. The devil really is in the details and small changes to your business operation can make a big difference long term.
One of the main reasons we believe its fundamental to plan ahead, is to establish solutions which can benefit from a full repair and maintenance agreements for extended time frames. Planning ahead to ensure the correct setup is achieved has enabled us to extend warrantable periods for many users from 3 year to 5 years, and some clients are now extending onto 10 years and beyond. The reason we can extend the lifespan of our equipment so significantly, comes back to our ability to ensure that the equipment we produce performs exactly the way it needs to, for as long as it can, without any issues. Further to this, we can provide a product that is dependable, and has a first time fix guarantee, through our Quick Swap Modular Design.
Time is money after all, which is something that businesses often forget to measure. Look back over the last year and calculate how much money has been spent on a piece of equipment on repairs, as well as the impact of any downtime on your productivity and in turn, your customer service. These hidden costs are often not identified until it’s too late, and all of a sudden, your bargain price piece of equipment has cost you more money over the years than you ever would have expected.
The service agreements we offer, are one of the many factors that ensure we are placing the control over the costs, back into the hands of our clients. Unfortunately, it can be very common in our industry for pressure washers to be used as a loss leader, where the equipment is sold at a price below its market cost, to acquire new clients, who over the future months and years become a captive audience to profit from the sale of chargeable consumables, ongoing maintenance and associated services.
At Rhinowash, we firmly believe that it should never be the case that your equipment is costing you more than the initial investment. Whilst it’s a client’s choice how they choose to look after their machine, we need to make sure we’re providing a product that has a real price point, is fit for purpose, and maintainable.
We’ve all been in that situation whether it be your car, your washing machine or your boiler, where the business seems all too happy to charge you for a repair, instead of simply admitting that the item has run its course.
Of course, with consumables such as lances and hoses there is wear and tear that naturally comes from using your equipment and it’s inevitable that these will need replaced at some point. However, there are still steps businesses can take to make sure it’s the client who has control over the costs, for example, we have an effective hose management system that can prolong the lifespan of your consumables.
At the end of the day, it would be easier for us to manufacture cheaper equipment. We could do that. We choose not to. It’s a balancing act between providing a high-quality durable product, whilst catering to a wide market. However, by assessing the costs of a product through life, instead of just those initial front-end costs, the scales will always be tipped in the favor of meeting our clients’ expectations with a fit for purpose, built to last pressure washer solution. Even if that does cost a little more.