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Buying rugged computers – five ways to get it right

Ever bought a shirt in a rush, only to regret it later? You grabbed the first one you saw from the nearest store because it was cheap and easy. But a little later, you realize it doesn’t fit quite well, it’s too big and it’s made out of cheap fabric. It’s a suboptimal shirt. The same is true when you purchase a piece of equipment for your workplace. If you rush and opt for the easiest and cheapest solution when buying rugged computers, you may find yourself stuck with equipment that isn’t quite the fit for your workflow.


Over the past 30 years, JLT has been providing rugged computers to all kinds of industries, and we’ve witnessed various approaches when it comes to the decision-making process. Here are five strategies we’ve pulled together to ensure you get it right when buying rugged computers.


1. The planning when buying rugged computers takes time

Big purchases deserve careful planning, especially if it’s equipment for the long term that’ll last you many years, like rugged devices. The rapid pace at which technological advances are made these days requires you to stay ahead of the curve. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve made this kind of purchase, we suggest some mindful planning before buying rugged computers. Avoid the mistake of simply copying and pasting a purchase made years ago. Instead, look for solutions that are available on the market today, and make sure you look at future-proof solutions that align with your needs.


2. Involve the right stakeholders when buying rugged computers

Not rushing the planning stages means you can involve the right people at the right time, such as people in your organization who will work with and use the devices. Involve them in drawing up the spec to make sure their needs are met and to encourage user acceptance, both of which may result to a smoother deployment later down the line.


Another important stakeholder is, of course, your purchasing department. A good working relationship may result in a better, faster and smoother procurement process when buying rugged computers. Take the time to make sure you understand each other’s drivers, stakes and targets.


Additionally, don’t forget to talk to potential suppliers to find out what rugged computers are available on the market. Speak with as many suppliers and producers as you can, and definitely speak to the ones with a good reputation. There may be new tech and functionalities available that you haven’t heard of, but really don’t want to miss out on to optimize your workflow.


3. Finding the right supplier

While you’re in contact with the potential suppliers, we recommend spending a little bit of time in getting to know them to find out if you want to work with them. Try to look beyond their offer in terms of products or services and look for a supplier that understands your wants and needs. This way, you can be sure you get a supplier that offers you the whole package – for today, and for the future.


Is your future supplier interested in your business and do they understand your challenges? Do they offer extras, such as extended guarantees, repairs or support for your devices when buying rugged computers with them? Can they deliver to your sites on time and within budget? Do they fit any criteria your business has in terms of sustainability or ethics? Do they have the right partnerships to ensure that all pieces of equipment work together seamlessly? Are they willing to go the extra mile to meet your specific needs?


If you need help drawing up a shortlist of suppliers, we recommend you talk to other colleagues in your industry to find out their experience.


4. Try before buying rugged computers

Once you have your stakeholders on board and you’ve compiled a list of interesting suppliers, it’s time for extensive testing. If you’re running an RFP, you can include onsite evaluation as part of the process to ensure you cover this stage.


Start testing as early as possible in the process and spend a good amount of time to get a real understanding of what you get for your money. Don’t forget to get your workforce or representatives involved. It’s one thing to read about rugged computers on paper, but it’s another getting them into the hands of those who need to use them.


5. Lastly, remember that price isn’t everything when buying rugged computers

By now, you should be in a good position to make the right decision for your business. But save yourself the pain of ending up being seduced by a good price. Buying rugged computers for cheap may help you save some money short-term, but it can end up costing more over the lifetime of the product.


We recommend you think of the long term and keep in mind the total cost of ownership, as well as considering criteria beyond price. Additional value may be in terms of service and support, for example.


Of course, our advice isn’t just for buying rugged computers. You could apply this to any kind of purchase. Hopefully our tips will help you make the best purchasing decision, so you end up with an optimal solution, and not just with a suboptimal shirt!


Do you want to find out more about how we approach the purchasing process from a suppliers’ point of view, or are you interested in hearing about our products and services? Feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll do our best to help you find the best solution for your business.

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Hanna Proohf

Hanna Proohf

Corporate Marketing Manager

December 30, 2020

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