LOOKING BEYOND THE PURCHASE PRICE
When going out to purchase new mobile computers, most businesses may be tempted to base buying decisions solely on a product’s purchase price. But because the purchase price does not reflect the real cost of the unit, this could turn out to be a costly mistake. To truly evaluate what a product costs, we need to look at the cost over the life of the product. This is known as the product’s total cost of ownership (TCO).
Many buyers of mobile computers are lured by the lower initial purchase price into buying non-rugged or minimally ruggedized equipment solely because of the cheaper purchase price, failing to take into account the higher costs of actually using this equipment in the field. By failing to purchase the right kind of unit for the job and the environment, they will be paying a lot more in the long run than if they had purchased a more rugged, but more expensive, piece of equipment initially. In other words, the more expensive unit is actually the cheaper unit.
A HIGHER INITIAL INVESTMENT CAN MOST OFTEN GIVE YOU A LOWER TOTAL COST
TCO takes into account all the actual costs incurred during the entire life of the product. TCO is comprised of hard costs (like purchase price, development, replacement, and deployment costs) and soft costs (training, repair costs, and downtime costs). As more organizations become more dependent on their mobile workforce, downtime costs have become increasingly important and costly. If a field service rep has a device failure at the start of his day, the lost service revenue and customer goodwill from all the missed service calls can be substantial.