Rent vs. Buy?
Jane Alexander | November 15, 2017
Is your team wrestling with rent/lease vs. buy decisions regarding needed plant equipment and tools?
Information on the U.S. General Services Administration website (gsa.gov, Washington) sums up various benefits—most of which boil down to lower costs, increased flexibility, and easier access to expert support—that governmental agencies can realize by renting as opposed to outright purchasing such items. Those benefits are applicable to non-governmental operations as well.
Lowering Your Operating Costs
As the U. S. General Services Administration, Washington, makes clear, renting/leasing is an attractive option for government agencies. The same can be said for industrial operations, in that the approach leads to added versatility and lower operating costs. To that end, some of the specific—and potentially sizeable—costs that can be avoided by renting equipment and tools instead of purchasing include:
• regular maintenance and repairs
According to the GSA, when it comes to deciding whether to own or rent equipment there are many things to consider. One is the burden of ownership that a plant doesn’t have to assume if renting. In short:
• Ownership requires a capital investment to cover the direct costs of equipment.
• Ownership also requires additional costs for such areas as a maintenance shop, maintenance staff, training, and fuel.
• Renting keeps the burden of buying, maintaining, and selling the equipment on the rental center.
• National rental companies make significant annual investments in the newest, most advanced equipment on the market.
Rental companies also invest in maintenance staff to keep all equipment in top condition. As for flexibility, the GSA notes that renting, among other things, provides the ability to:
• take on a wide variety of jobs and projects that may require equipment you don’t have the capital to purchase
• use specialized equipment that can be obtained by renting
• allow equipment to be available when and where needed
• save time and money through availability and access.
Just as important, if not more so, renting provides access to valuable knowledge and training through:
• up-to-date equipment, as well as expertise within the rental companies
• expert/experienced support with specialized equipment applications, including scaffolding services, aerial specialists, and pump and power professionals. EP