View Cleaning Equipment Investment as Profit Center


View Cleaning Equipment Investment as Profit Center

Facility managers and cleaning contractors often wrestle with the question of when to replace or repair floor-care equipment. Equipment purchases are significant expenditures. However, the price of a new machine is only one factor to consider. The American Institute for Cleaning Sciences, says cleaning professionals should approach equipment purchases with a goal to improve bottom line profit.

Consider these factors in calculating your return on investment:

  • Purchase price
  • Productivity of the machine; and
  • The useful life of the machine.
Compare Cost of Ownership

Start your process by examining your current equipment. Determine the amount of time it takes to perform a task and achieve the desired outcome. Calculate the purchase price and annual cost of maintaining your equipment. Then consider new equipment options carefully. Newer technologies and features in commercial floor-care equipment generally come at a higher price, but may deliver a lower total cost of ownership. Features that allow faster cleaning, increase soil removal, easier maintenance or prevent breakdowns can reduce labor and repair costs. Vacuums like the Sanitaire EON QuietClean® upright provide profitable opportunities to offer day cleaning or win new clients that want to attain LEED certification.

Productivity is not just about cleaning faster. It’s about improving cleaning efficiency over time. A machine with greater suction power may allow professionals to reduce the frequency of vacuuming week to week — another labor-saving advantage. Look for features that allow quick on-the-job machine maintenance. Pigtail cords that connect to off-the-shelf extension cords, for example, prevent costly power cord repair.

Assess Long-term Reliability

Carefully consider the product’s useful life. The average lifespan of a commercial vacuum is about three to five years. Some will perform longer, some shorter. Manufacturers’ warranty coverage offers a good starting point. The longer the warranty, such as the two-year warranty for Sanitaire equipment, the more likely the machine will perform longer. However, once the warranty expires, maintaining equipment can get costly. Replacing a worn out motor, for example, may not be worth the expense. Make sure your employees are thoroughly trained to operate the machine and know how to detect problems that require repair, like a change in the sound of the motor. These steps help maximize machine life.

Calculate ROI

Once you determine your current productivity and how that changes with new equipment, you can calculate how long it will take to recoup your investment. Multiply annual labor cost savings by the anticipated life of the machine. Calculate the equipment cost by adding machine maintenance cost for the life of the machine and the purchase price of the machine. Then divide the total equipment cost by 1/12th of the annual labor cost savings to determine how many months it will take to recoup the equipment investment.

Brad Hoare is product manager for Sanitaire

Posted On January 22, 2018
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View Cleaning Equipment Investment as Profit Center
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