Electric Gate System Lifetime Ownership Costs?
What is meant by the ‘Lifetime ownership cost’ of an electric gate system?
This is the total cost of ownership of a system throughout its life. How much did it cost to install and maintain, from the day it was ordered until it is no longer needed, or viable? This can be a measure of value and a guide when assessing worthiness of further expenditure upon it, or whether an alternative would be a better overall investment.
‘Estimated lifetime ownership’ can be used when designing a new installation, to see how good a long-term investment a particular system design should be.
Why is this important?
Justification of major investments helps us all with difficult decisions. The initial installation cost is only the start of an ongoing investment that includes servicing and maintenance, much like a car, or your own home.
Like all machines a power operated gate needs looking after and keeping in a safe and secure state. It has to be inspected, tested and serviced regularly, with its technical file kept up-to-date.
What should we be looking for?
Either with an existing system, or planning for a new one, you should have a good idea of the running costs as well as the full cost of maintenance and complexity of any probable repairs (what if, and how?)
The best systems take little effort to maintain and use only minor materials to keep in good working order. They last beyond 20 years and when updated, need little additional investment to achieve a further healthy extension of life. Cabling, foundation, physical element (gates & support) furniture & fixings, should all be designed for longevity with controls & equipment of a good make and that can be replaced with minimal effort.
Have you an industry average ownership cost?
Currently there is not an official industry average and with lots of disruption created by new safety guidelines and confused messages being posted by various bodies, any such value could be way off.
We do however, have 1000’s of contract files and inherit hundreds of other firm’s installations each year, to provide compelling evidence that suggests there are two typical capital values. Good design @ less than £600 per year and poor design @ more than £1100 per year, plus servicing and repairs (with poor systems needing far more of both).
What is the difference between good & bad design?
Two to three times at the original investment cost. Even like-for-like offers can result in a product that has more or less engineering detail most untrained people would not recognise, until it is too late.
Every day people invest extra up front, to limit the cost of ongoing ownership!
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