If, after assessing your needs and improvement opportunities, you determine that an investment in new software or hardware may be needed, you still have to determine whether the expense is worthwhile. The return on your investment will be driven by how much additional profit you can produce as a result of cost savings as well as increased capability.
Increased capability may translate into:
- Greater throughput (more parts per shift)
- Ability to insource work that was previously outsourced
- Ability to take on jobs that were previously not possible
- or all of the above
Remember that your customers are paying for finished parts, so be sure to look beyond the cutting table. Your business case may be built on improvements upstream, or downstream from the actual cutting operation.
When making the internal business case to invest in your cutting operations, you will want to understand and address the potential costs, benefits and options for updating each stage of your current production environment as many members of the buying group are likely motivated by different benefits.
- A plant manager may be focused on productivity
- A financial officer may be focused on overall profit improvement
- A safety engineer on reducing injuries
- An operator on producing more and better parts
- A HR manager on reducing training costs and increasing employee retention
Investments in cutting software and hardware can produce benefits that satisfy many members of the decision-making team!
For capital investments, attractive financing and the ability to depreciate the cost over time may make the business case even stronger.