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Drain Cleaners: Look Beyond Initial Cost
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Drain Cleaning: Cameras Provide Inside Look at ClogsPt. 2: Drain Cleaning: Key Questions During SpecificationPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Drain Cleaning: Tips for Safe OperationsPt. 5: Drain Cleaning: When to Rent or Buy EquipmentPt. 6: PRODUCT FOCUS: Drain-Cleaning Equipment
Once the specification process turns to cost considerations, managers must ignore their initial impulse to focus only on that issue.
"They often ask for the cheapest price on the smallest unit, then use it for every job," Silverman says. "It's better to spend the money for the right tool."
And unless the task at hand is specialized, finding the right tool should not be difficult.
"Unless drain cleaning is an almost daily task, such as a service business, any well-built drain cleaner, — cable-type or jetter — should last many years, provided basic maintenance is performed as recommended by the manufacturer," Spielmann says.
But while managers repeatedly hear about the benefits of focusing on a product's life-cycle cost, not its initial cost, they too often take the short-term view because the equipment tends to be so durable, Brown says.
"People just assume this is the only thing they'll have to buy," she says. The real lesson is to set aside cost and focus on technician needs and equipment performance, but that is too often easier said than done.
"What customers are looking for doesn't always translate into what they should buy," Silverman says