Managers Should Schedule Time to Test Grounds Equipment Before Purchasing
Part 2 of a 4 part article on the specification process for grounds equipment
Before purchasing, managers should always schedule time to have crews test the equipment, especially when considering a big-ticket item, such as a mower.
In fact, most dealers will allow customers to test out equipment on the property to be maintained. This gives operators and mechanics the opportunity to analyze the equipment and ask any questions they might have. During the test, the dealer also can share safety guidelines with the mechanics and operators, as they are liable for the well-being of its users.
Typically, a dealer lets the user test the mower for a couple of hours or for the afternoon, but in situations where a manager has a large property to maintain, it is common for the dealer to bring several mowers and leave them for a few days. If a dealer does not allow crews to test the equipment, it is time to find a different dealer.
Identifying the type of equipment to purchase can be a challenge, and so can knowing which dealer to buy the equipment from. To ensure that the equipment is well taken care of both before and after the purchase, managers should strongly consider buying from a dealer that is close in proximity to their facility.
If a mechanical problem occurs, a local dealer can service the equipment much more quickly than a national retailer. Furthermore, working with a local dealer allows managers to build relationships, which is important because local dealers are more likely to offer special services and pricing to loyal customers.
That said, for managers deciding between a few different local dealers, customer service is the most important element to look for during the specification process. If a department is experiencing problems with a mower, working with a dealer that is responsive and eager to help can have a tremendous impact on the productivity of the department.
It also can be beneficial for managers to ask other managers in the area for references to local dealers, as peers can have valuable insight to share about their own experiences