Tie yourself to a lease; the rope is thinner — it’s certainly easier to cut than a thick ownership harness.
"Sure, with ownership comes pride, but pride for whom?" -David Mantey
A long time ago, in an industry far far away, communication took patience, technology took time, and equipment ownership made sense. However, as a member of a culture which depends on immediacy and thrives on quick, exponential technological advances I can no longer condone the long term relationship.
As I looked for answers, a consensus from the who’s who of my business park, one phrase rang redundant: “Leasing just makes sense.” New product developments are no longer the “latest and greatest” once they hit the shop floor. While it may be the latest model of the flash-free plastic injection molder, it becomes serviceable by definition. The equipment's resale value is crippled by an oversaturated market constantly offering three new options and a cold-calling force of door-to-door salesmen chastising an inferior product. While such sales tactics may be defined as sly trickery in the past, most nowadays make inescapable sales points.
Sure, with ownership comes pride, but pride for whom? The owner?  Absolutely, he just loosened the purse strings enough to show his commitment to the industry. And before him, in Bay 36, sits a green and black trophy celebrating his investment. The employees? I’m not too sure. Personally, I’d rather continue to work on the best the industry has to offer, for the length of the lease, until a newer model shows up at the door and I have fresh steel to cater to.
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If employees don’t factor into the equation — due to frequent maintenance crew turnover or a complete lack of a full-time maintenance staff — lease agreements offer a mighty bargaining chip in terms of third party maintenance agreements.
If you don’t have a crew on hand, who better to service your short-term investment, than a company which takes stock on the equipment’s longevity? The leaser will provide qualified maintenance assistance, because their company’s success hinges on repeat business both from the lessee and for the equipment.
In the event that a full-time staff is on hand, training programs are available and, more importantly, can be negotiated into the lease package with the distributor. Take advantage of this. As I state above, both parties win if the equipment is kept tip-top; repeat business means valued customer bonuses and equipment that is able to go on to continue to lead a productive career.
Tie yourself to a lease; the rope is thinner — it’s certainly easier to cut than a thick ownership harness — and the industry’s latest technologies will be more readily available. Oh, and in case you buy the next Pinto, you won’t have to look for that daring friend looking to take it off or your hands; that lemon will be the distributor’s problem once you hit that end date.
Comments? Email IMPO Editor, Anna Wells: firstname.lastname@example.org.