Equipment Economics

By OPW | Jul 13, 2011

In today's hyper competitive world, everyone is looking for a way to gain a competitive edge. Providing a positive customer experience and projecting a quality brand image represents two of the most effective ways to attract and retain customers, and gain their long-term loyalty.

When it comes to operating a fueling site, your dispensing system, and in particular your fueling nozzles, represent the most frequent handshake you have with your customers. Ensuring that you are always delivering a quality, reassuring handshake begins by having the best quality equipment at this critical customer touch point. It is important to remember that the only time your customer has an "experience they remember" with your fueling nozzle is when they fail to perform as expected.

Using the highest quality hanging hardware is the obvious way to help minimize problems and keep customers satisfied. But quality equipment has a higher initial purchase price than low-quality alternatives. At first glance, going with the lowest cost equipment seems as if it makes sense, but in the long-term it is a costly mistake to make. First and foremost, one must consider the lifetime value of each customer. And, once a customer is unsatisfied, they spread the word, which has an immeasurable, exponential negative impact on your business.

Research indicates that quality-built, new nozzles are approximately twice as reliable as rebuilt nozzles, and relative to longer service life, the typical service life of a quality-built new nozzle exceeds rebuilt nozzles by about one third. It just stands to reason that quality-built nozzles and other hanging hardware are the best overall value for the money. First of all, they use 100% new parts; parts designed to work together so they perform more consistently and last longer.

So, do the math. Compare the price you are paying for hanging hardware, replacement and service costs, downtime costs, and don't forget to factor in something for lost business due to unsatisfied customers. Don't throw your money away. Be smart. Buy the best possible fueling equipment you can afford. It will have a positive long-term impact on your business, which will more than offset the potentially higher initial cost.For more about selecting nozzles, please read the article titled "Equipment Economics" from Convenience Store News magazine.

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