5 Questions to Ask Before Investing in New Printing Technology
No doubt the current operating environment is having a significant impact on business, creating both enduring challenges and new opportunities. Having the ability to “go and see” people, processes, innovative technology and learn new ideas has been negatively impacted and in many cases, reduced to “Zoom” type meetings. While meeting via remote communication platforms has its advantages, at times, it can be a poor substitute for the impact of being there.
Notwithstanding the current environment, business owners are still faced with making equipment and technology investments. Visits to trade shows (remember those?), company demo centers and peer members, considered essential for assessing recent technology, are only now starting to return.
Under any circumstance, investing in new and/or upgraded capabilities is among the most necessary and impactful decisions any leadership team can make. Here are a few questions to consider as you begin the process.
- Does this investment represent the highest and best use of our capital now?
- How will this investment impact/improve our workflow?
- Will the new technology simplify our internal processes, or will they add another layer of complexity?
- How will our team members adapt to the changes inherent in adding/replacing equipment? Who will handle the training, what will it cost, how long will it take, and how will we cover for time lost during training (ok, so that’s really five questions!)?
- Will this investment make your business more competitive and, most importantly, more differentiated from the competition? Or are you playing catch-up with competitors by following their lead?
Of course, in-depth financial analysis is a key component of a robust decision-making process. Assuming the new technology will enable us to take on new offerings, and/or allow us to do what we do now in a faster, more cost-effective way, what will the payback look like in terms of time and money? One client told me that a vendor pitching new equipment to him said the investment will pay for itself over time. His response: “When it makes the last payment, send it over!”.
For more information on a thorough process for vetting technology/equipment decisions, email me at email@example.com.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.