Cheap and chipped

Richard Scholes from PARRS Workplace Equipment explains why tradespeople and companies alike are wasting time, money and man-hours by buying cheap equipment.

Price is what you pay for a product. Cost is the value of that product over the period of time that you own it. There is a big difference between the two. However, this is not something that a lot of companies or individual tradespeople take into consideration. They may purchase tools and equipment at a low price in order to reduce their expenditure. But a bargain is only a bargain if those tools then perform to the same standard. If they do not, the cost of these cheaper products could actually be significantly higher. You run the risk of using equipment that breaks on the job, facilitating an enormous financial loss for you or your company. Furthermore, it could even be putting people at risk of suffering a work related injury.

Established in 1886, the company is a family owned business specialising in high quality workplace products. We sell to the UK’s largest retailers, logistics companies, Public Sector organisations and Manufacturers. Over our 130 year history we have established an enviable network of UK and International suppliers including ExpressoNumaticCoscoRavendoTensator, JSP and many more. This enables us to offer the highest quality equipment at the best prices.

PARRS Workplace Equipment

At Parrs, we know the problem with cheap equipment first-hand. We made the decision several years ago to reduce the amount of high quality, more expensive products in our stock. We decided to instead compete at the lower end of the market. We replaced our existing handling, lifting, and safety items with ones that we ordered from Asia and could sell at very low prices. We soon discovered that these products had a lifespan as much as 30 times less than the equipment we were previously selling. One of them lasted no more than one month before it fell apart. Meanwhile, some of our previous stock had remained intact since the 1980s. We have since gone back to selling high quality equipment.

This should alarm companies and tradespeople who attempt to cut costs by purchasing tools and equipment at low prices. You might feel like you are getting a better deal by paying a fraction of the cost you normally would. However, your equipment is likely to have a much shorter longevity. If products were to break on the job it could delay productivity. Therefore, you have not only thrown money away on a product that now needs replacing; you have thrown it away on wasted man-hours as well.

The problems could be much more severe if you are cutting corners with safety equipment such as helmets, goggles or other personal protection gear. It is imperative that you are able to rely on this gear to protect you or your workers from harm. If these they were to fail on the job, the consequences could be severe. Arbill suggests that wounds from slips and falls caused by faulty personal protective gear are among the three most common types of work-related injury. As well as opening companies to a potential claim, there is sick pay to think about. Self-employed tradespeople who don’t get sick pay may even be out of work for an extensive period of time. These are not risks worth taking simply to cut a fraction of your costs.

When it comes to purchasing new tools and equipment, you should always consider the price of the products vs. the cost of the products. You may benefit from short-term savings by investing in items at the lower end of the market. However, the long-term cost could be significantly higher when you factor in their fallibility, as well as the safety risks and wasted man-hours that could come as a direct consequence of that.

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