A common need across organizations and industries is to improve consistency in facility appearance and quality and drive down expenses, thereby doing more with less.
One of the best ways organizations can reduce operational expenses while driving organizational and operational efficiency is to invest in new facility equipment.
This may seem counterintuitive, but new equipment can provide savings in several ways.
1. They’re more energy efficient.
Energy consumption may not always be a significant expense, but for larger items such as floor buffers, the energy savings can be substantial, particularly in larger facilities. In fact, according to the Berkeley Lab, "The average reduction in energy cost that results from a retro-commissioning project is 16%.”
According to Energy Star, “purchasing efficient products reduces energy costs without compromising quality for corporations, institutions, and governments.” They even offer the following Excel-based calculators to help you estimate how much money and energy you can save by purchasing certain Energy Star certified products:
- Commercial Kitchen Equipment
- Consumer Electronics
- Air Source Heat Pump
- Central AC
- Room AC
- Light Fixture and Ceiling Fan
- Light Bulb
- Office Equipment
- Pool Pump
- Exit Sign
- Programmable Thermostat
Some facility equipment that can provide huge energy savings include combined heat and power (CHP) systems, energy management systems, HVAC equipment, variable speed drives, and compressed air efficiency systems.
2. They’re faster and easier to use.
Newer devices can reduce the time associated with typical tasks. That’s because newer technology and smarter devices have been engineered to reduce the time and effort required by the user.
According to Cleaning and Maintenance Management, “labor in most cleaning operations will account for at least 55 percent, and in some facilities, as much as 85 percent of cleaning costs.” The labor cost savings that are possible from the use of more productive equipment is tremendous.
3. They use fewer chemicals.
New, greener devices are typically designed to use fewer and safer chemicals. This reduces the consumption of cleaning chemicals as well as the environmental impacts to the facility and its occupants.
For starters, “green” equipment reduces the use of water and chemicals while improving the effectiveness of cleaning programs. Ultimately, this can reduce the overall cost of operating a facility and can even help extend the life of the building.
4. They require less downtime.
Newer devices are more dependable; newer equipment doesn’t break down as often as older devices. After all, the cost of a breakdown is anywhere from four to 15 times the cost of maintenance.
Furthermore, according to DPSI, “unplanned equipment downtime can lead to increased costs and may be an inefficient use of staff resources.” Therefore, investing in new facility equipment can reduce downtime and improve employee morale, facility appearance and efficiency.
While purchasing new equipment can present up-front costs, the long-term savings can more than outweigh the capital investment. Remember that a payback period of one to three years is considered a good investment, as the latter still leaves “two additional years of expected useful life for most pieces of equipment.”
In addition to reducing facility equipment expenses, there is the intangible benefit to the image of your facility. Using old, run-down equipment reflects poorly on the image of the facility and its management. On the other hand, using new, more efficient equipment will reflect very well on your organization and how you run your business.