The corona virus has disrupted virtually everyone’s lives around the globe. While some people may hope it will return to normal, realistically there will certainly be some things that will not be the same. We have yet to really know what the new normal will be. But one thing for certain, is that everyone’s priorities will shift and are shifting even during this crisis. Moving forward this will affect not only where we work, but how we work and how we will even make decisions at work.
There will be changes in cost of materials, costs of energy and labor cost and it’s anyone’s guess what will go up and what go down at this point. But one thing that will change is what we consider is most important to least important. In addressing this, we are thinking primarily of compressed air technology – from air compressors to end use products – although the thinking may certainly apply to all factory purchases.
When making any purchase for a manufacturing operation several factors are involved but typically a few take priority over others. The factors are inter-related and at times can be complex. Capital cost is important especially if there are budget limitations and often quality and capital cost are closely related. Capital cost and operating costs have tended to be the overriding priorities with a certain payback required. But this may not be the most important moving forward or at least not the only key drivers behind a purchase. Improved safety may a motivation to purchase a product especially if post corona virus factory environments mean more workers working individually instead of in pairs or groups. Will factory workers working more individually demand a better working environment such as lower noise levels, enhanced safety? Will they demand better training and support? And from where?
Ease of use of the product rise in importance as well as support and training. Where the product comes from may become more important for security of support and spare parts. Cost and safety of the product may be closely related. As lower cost supply chains get disrupted there can be greater focus on innovation that can improve productivity. When dealing with compressed air, energy cost has received a high priority but with energy costs changing, will it remain the most important? Which will be more important – productivity or energy cost and how will these factors change in relation to each other?
In this time of massive change, what do you consider to be the most important when deciding on purchases relating to your compressed air products and/or systems from the air compressor to the end-use product.