Lift trucks: Solving the financial puzzle
Own, lease, or rent? According to lift truck consultants, the method that businesses pay for lift trucks tends to be a sound economic indicator. Here’s how distributors are working to solve the complex needs of today’s fleet owner.
If an analyst told you that a market was in recovery, you’d probably think that was good news. Not so fast. If you were talking about the lift truck market you’d have to get beyond the complexity first. In fact, some business analysts see recovery being as problematic as the recession when it comes to lift trucks.
George Keen is one of those. Keen’s a senior consultant with Currie Management Consultants, a Worcester, Mass.-based firm that specializes in distributor business enhancement strategies. Keen sees the lift truck market as a remarkably complex puzzle, as challenging to understand for sellers as it is for buyers.
According to Keen, customers’ purchasing philosophy and behaviors evolve over time as a market matures.
The problem with lift trucks is that although they are mature products, they employ some of the most leading-edge technologies around—from computers and sensors to alternative power sources.
This leads to unpredictable buying patterns and competing approaches to selling. Depending on their needs, buyers may make their lift truck selection based on product innovation, price, total value, or total cost of ownership. Keen sees these as phases.
About the Author
Tom Andel is a Contributing Editor to Logistics Management
Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine
The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) August edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business saw its PMI, the ISM’s index to measure growth, fall 1.6 percent to 51.1, following a 0.8 percent decline to 52.7 in July. Even with the relatively slow growth over the last two months, the PI has been at 50 or higher for 31 consecutive months.
Hackett observed in the new report that China’s economy has lost steam, with actual growth falling short of targeted rates, while the United States most recent second quarter GDP reading at 3.7 percent outpaced expected targets, even though it was negatively impacted by gains in manufacturing and retail inventories.
The proposed merger of Cosco and CSCL could spark further container consolidation
The average price dropped 4.7 cents to $2.514 per gallon, which now stands at the lowest weekly average price for diesel since July 2009, when it was at $2.542 the week of July 27, 2009, according to EIA data.
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in June dropped 3.8 percent annually to $99.0 billion. This followed a 10.8 percent decline in May to $92.7 billion.