It’s a Buyer’s Market

Suppliers are offering generous incentives for material handling equipment upgrades.

When times are tough for sellers, buyers often prevail. Consider the housing market and all the incentives being offered by real estate agents and banks to get people to buy homes.

It’s happening in material handling, too. For those in the market for material handling equipment upgrades, the economic recession has a bright silver lining. Deals offered by private-sector suppliers, combined with government incentives, can make today the best time to purchase equipment.

Several lift truck suppliers, for example, have introduced programs awarding cash incentives for lift truck trade-ins and upgrades. Clark Material Handling Co.’s Great Trade-In Cash-Back Event, part of the company’s existing dealer and customer Stimulus III package, offers customers $2,000, either as trade-in value or a check, when they trade in their used lift trucks for new IC or electric Clark rider trucks with capacities of 5,000 pounds or higher. The used vehicles can be made by any lift truck manufacturer.

As part of its Lift Truck Incentive For Trade (LIFT) program, Raymond Corp. will also provide cash incentives to warehouse and distribution center managers who upgrade their existing lift truck fleets by purchasing more efficient equipment. The program applies to existing Raymond and non-Raymond lift trucks that are at least 12 years old. Trucks traded in through the LIFT program will be recycled. The LIFT program runs until March 31, 2010.

Current incentives aren’t just limited to lift trucks. Rugged mobile computer supplier Psion Teklogix, for example, recently introduced its Cash for Data Collection Clunkers program. Companies that trade in their old data-collection hardware for new equipment can do so for approximately the same cost of their current service contracts. In addition, companies can get up to $300 off a new device for every mobile computer traded as well as a threeyear i-Serv service contract. The offer applies to orders quoted by Nov. 30.

And, Intermec is offering a rebate program as an incentive for customers to upgrade their existing mobile computers to Intermec’s CK3, CN3/CN3e and CN4/CN4e computers. Trade-ins can be made by any manufacturer. The company is also running a limited-time printer trade-in promotion.

In addition, Ryzex is running an Intelligent Refresh (i-Refresh) program for barcode, scanner and mobile computing equipment. Under the program, if a company upgrades its mobile technology within 12 months of purchasing a pre-paid, one-year Ryzex maintenance contract, Ryzex will apply up to 100% of that contract’s cost toward an upgrade. To participate in i-Refresh, a company purchases a pre-paid maintenance contract on existing equipment. Ryzex says no upfront equipment purchase commitment is required. Mobile computer upgrades can be selected from Ryzex’s catalog, which includes devices from several manufacturers.

“We recognize that in any difficult economic environment, and especially the current one, it’s hard for companies to justify investing more in the latest technology,” says Lorne Rubis, CEO and president at Ryzex, “which is exactly why we’re rolling out i-Refresh, to allow companies to both maximize existing investments by prolonging the life of mobile equipment, while also paving the way for future upgrades to the latest solutions.”

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