When I was in high school, I purchased a tuxedo for my senior prom. The thought was, because I would surely attend many formal occasions in the future that would require a tuxedo, I'd save money by choosing to buy instead of rent. As it turns out, my vision of a black tie future was quite exaggerated. This same dilemma pops up when thinking about industrial instrumentation, such as gas detection equipment or demand flow regulators. Should you make the investment up front and buy or will renting be more financially wise in the long run?
Making the decision to rent or buy your safety gear is daunting if you've never done it before. When you buy an item, you run the risk of potential minimum usage. Alternatively, when you rent an item, you will have a sunk cost if you end up deciding it's better to purchase. There is a time and place for both renting and buying that depends on budget, preference, and type of item. To help your decision-making, we've outlined some of the common scenarios and what to expect when you choose either.
Buying is a Commitment
When you know you that you will be using an item frequently for an ongoing period of time, buying CAN be the best choice.
Upon purchasing an item, it becomes yours to maintain, care for, and replace when broken. In order to protect your investment and extend its lifetime, more resources are required for care than with a rented item. Workers who are unfamiliar with a product's use will need to be trained on procedures up front, but you will build safety expertise in house that will pay for itself. Additionally, you have the freedom to do with it what you want, and have access to it all day, every day.
Other benefits of buying include:
Resale value of current equipment - If your company wants to upgrade, you are able to resell and recover some of the purchasing cost.
Freedom to modify where necessary - Some items need labeling to differentiate from others and ensure proper usage. When you own something, you can inset changes without worrying about whether you are voiding your rental agreement.
Immediate access - Once owned, you don't need to go through the hassle of continuous shipping and waiting for an item. This is important for critical equipment that you need access to at a moment's notice.
Click here to see an example of the kinds of devices and components you can purchase.
Renting for Your Budget
Renting safety items gives your workers access to the items they need to stay safe even on a tight budget. You pay a much lower cost than buying a unit outright, but you only have access to it for a limited amount of time. Most renting agencies also offer training on each item rented, so you are still fully empowered to use each item.
Other benefits of renting include:
Testing before buying - Does the item actually fit your needs? Does it work well in your work environment?
Putting others in charge of basic upkeep - This doesn't mean you aren't responsible for the care of a rented item, but it does mean that you are less liable for regular maintenance or calibration.
Avoiding high purchase costs - Some instruments, such as a gas monitor or air sampler, have a much higher cost than others. Renting helps you get state-of-the-art technology without higher expenses.
We want to help you make the right choice when deciding to rent or buy. With over 60 years in the safety industry, we can provide guidance in any given situation. To pass along our knowledge, we have created a free assessment tool that helps guide you to decide whether renting or buying is right for your organization. Take our Rent vs. Buy Assessment to find out the best choice for you and your company!