I am a person who hates spending a lot of money, even on things that are essential. Admittedly, I am a bit stingy.  Buying my first car was, well, a struggle. Coughing up large amounts of money like that is enough to give me an aneurysm. For my sanity, I made a list of requirements, such as age, mileage, maintenance history, and type of vehicle. From there I shopped around by value and eventually found the right fit. While the process of writing such a large check was still painful, I was able to keep my sanity. As you look to begin purchasing equipment for your bank or credit union, we recommend following this guide to make sure you fulfill your business needs without overspending or having a poor buying experience. It might just save you some headaches.

Step One: Make a List (two, actually)

Just as you would if you were going to your local supermarket, you need to make a list. Otherwise, you run the risk of overspending. At Target, I always make the mistake of buying mouthwash when I have a full bottle waiting in storage. That’s nothing compared to your potential expenditures if you begin purchasing equipment that you don’t necessarily need. Too often, our customers are too generous in estimating their equipment needs. We always recommend making two lists: one for the equipment that you need, and another for the equipment that you want. Your needs list should be comprised of the equipment that your branch must have to function efficiently. Your needs list, on the other hand, should consist of all the upgrades you would like to have to your current equipment. Odds are, your bank or credit union has a set budget for purchasing equipment. Take care of your needs list before you invest any money into your wants list, no matter how tempting.

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Step Two: Find Outsourcing Opportunities

Outsourcing can work wonders for banks and credit unions. However, you should approach outsourcing with caution. Here is why: when you choose to outsource equipment, such as your ATM fleet, you sacrifice control over this operation. Since you do not own the ATM fleet, you must rely on your provider to manage your fleet and promptly take care of any issue that might arise. Odds are, you would be able to diagnose and resolve the issue before your provider… if only you had control.

To identify outsourcing opportunities, brainstorm menial items that cost a lot of time and take away from productivity. What is that extra time worth to your organization? Is this a function you are willing to relinquish control over? If the cost to outsource this task is less than the value of the time you spend on this task, pull the trigger on outsourcing.

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Step Three: New or Used?

At times, this might feel like the million-dollar question. I mean, if you buy used, don’t you run the risk of inheriting unresolved issues? And if I buy new, well, I am going to have to pay more money for the same equipment, right? (Ahhhhh!) Let’s make this super simple. In a perfect world, I am sure that you would buy all of your equipment brand new. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, which is why we recommend that if you cannot buy all brand-new equipment, you should consider buying gently used equipment. There are many reputable companies, such as Best Products, that specialize in refurbishing used ATMs and other equipment. They will paint them, repair or replace any necessary components, and upgrade them for compliance before being sold. They will also put a warranty on their products for extra assurance. So there you have it—used equipment that operates like new equipment, for significantly less than the cost of new equipment. Jackpot!

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Step Four: Be a Smart Consumer

When you are purchasing new equipment for your bank or credit union, you really need to be diligent about buying from the right sellers. Buying from the wrong sellers can lead to some dire consequences. Here is how I would go about avoiding the wrong sellers: odds are, if a seller is doing business online, you can find reviews with a simple Google search. Sites like the Better Business Bureau can give you some great insights into how the seller does business. If this fails, see if the seller has a physical store location—odds are they do if they are selling large inventory. Simply search for the business on Google; a Google Maps snippet should appear towards the top of the results page. Select your desired location (assuming there are multiple) and click on reviews. Be sure to read both positive and negative feedback about other customers’ buying experiences. If there is a name of a salesperson that people are speaking highly of, you can specifically ask for that person if you choose to visit the store. Are other buyers sharing dissatisfaction with their warranties, ask for clarification before you buy. It is partially up to you to have a good buying experience.

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I hope this guide was able to provide you with some useful information as you prepare to purchase equipment. If you have further questions, or simply want personalized advice from an expert, be sure to give us a ring at 866-324-4508, or contact us through our website. We have a team of Solutions Advisors that are total rock stars when it comes to helping you find the right equipment solution for your branch.

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About Equips

Equips is revolutionizing how Banks and Credit Unions manage, maintain, and protect critical branch equipment. Equips can leverage a network of 500+ vendors, experts at Equips help Financial Institutions respond to equipment problems quickly in one place: Equips. Active management allows Financial Institutions of all sizes to improve operational efficiency, cut costs, and streamline equipment inventory and vendor management. Our groundbreaking solution provides clients across 45 states with better insight and transparency into their critical equipment and enables employees to do their best work. To learn more visit equips.com.

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