Broken Business Machinery: Should You Repair or Replace?

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Many modern businesses are reliant on machinery. This can range from construction machinery to office computers to commercial ovens.

When this machinery breaks, it’s important to find a quick solution. But what is the best solution: to repair the machinery or to replace it?

This can depend on many factors such as the age and the cost of the machinery. Here are just several questions to ask yourself that could help you to make the right decision.

 

How old is your machinery?

The first thing to consider is the age of your machinery. Is it relatively new or is it ancient?

It’s unlikely you’re going to want to replace a machine that is practically new as you won’t have got much usage out of your investment. If you recently bought the machinery and it was brand new when you purchased it, you may even find that it came with a warranty, allowing you to get free repairs. Computers can sometimes have warranties of up to three years, while some industrial machines may have even longer warranties.

As for old machinery, you may find that it’s overdue an upgrade. Now could be the perfect time to replace it for a newer and better model. Older machinery could be less green, less safe, less secure and generally less efficient than newer machinery.

But just when is machinery considered too old? This can depend very much on the machine. Generally speaking, office computers should be replaced every five years so that they can handle modern software. Construction machinery and manufacturing machinery meanwhile may last as long as 20 years before being deemed outdated.

 

How much do repairs cost?

You should then consider the cost of repairs. If repairs are too costly, it may be more economically sensible to replace the machine. Most companies use the 50 rule – this states that if repairs cost more than 50% of the initial value of the machine, you’re better off replacing.

Find out the average cost of repairs by collecting quotes from repair technicians. You may be able to save costs by sourcing your own parts – there are sites online selling everything from industrial power take offs to computer fans. Work out the cheapest that you can repair your machine and whether this still comes in at over 50% of the machine’s value.

 

Has it broken before?

Another factor to consider is how regularly the machine has broken in the past. If you have already repaired the machine three times before, consider whether the overall repair cost now exceeds 50% of the machine’s value – if so, it could be time to replace.

If the machine has never broken before, you may find it easier to justify repairs. A commercial coffee machine that is five years old and has not broken until now may have proved itself as fairly reliable and you may feel that you can still get a good few years out of it before a replacement is necessary.

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