It’s not uncommon for companies to get lost by only staring at the price tag when they’re investing in new devices. When it comes to selecting handheld computers or tablets for industrial use or fieldwork, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is actually more important. TCO is not just about the upfront cost of the devices, it also takes into account the costs of the product throughout its full lifecycle. This article delves into why rugged computers, despite sometimes having a higher price tag, are often the more economical investment long term.
Total Cost of Ownership, TCO for short, is a comprehensive assessment of all expenses related to a purchase. The cost of its deployment, the maintenance cost, how quickly it needs to be replaced, and ofcourse, the initial price. For computers and tablets that also includes support, warranty and the costs of potential downtime. When making a large order of new devices TCO is a crucial part of making a well-informed decision.
Initial purchase price vs Long-term costs
At first glance, consumer devices might seem like a bargain compared to rugged computers. However, the initial purchase price is just a fraction of the total cost. Consumer devices, while cheaper upfront, may incur higher costs over time due to their lower durability, shorter lifespan, and increased maintenance needs. Rugged computers, designed for durability and longevity, often prove to be more cost-effective in the long run.
The rugged durability gives a lower TCO
The hallmark of rugged computers is their ability to withstand harsh conditions — be it extreme temperatures, moisture, dust, or rough handling. This robustness translates to fewer repairs and a lower likelihood of failure. For industries like construction, manufacturing, or field services, where equipment is regularly exposed to challenging environments, the durability of rugged computers means significantly reduced maintenance costs and less downtime.
Longevity and Life Cycle Costs
Rugged computers are built to last and will on average have a much longer lifespan. This means they don’t need to be replaced as often as consumer devices. On average you will get an extra year or two out of a rugged computer, making consumer devices more expensive than their rugged counterparts in the long haul.
Warranty and Support Considerations
Manufacturers of rugged computers typically offer more comprehensive warranty and support services compared to consumer devices. Enhanced services with dedicated support and devices that are built to easily replace parts will reduce downtime and further decrease the TCO.
TCO and rugged computers summed up
While the higher initial cost of rugged computers might deter some buyers, a closer look will reveal that the total cost tells a different story. The durability, longevity, and robust support of high-quality rugged computers make them a more economical option over time. This is especially true for companies that operate in environments where equipment is exposed to harsh conditions. By focusing on TCO rather than just the upfront cost, businesses and industries can make smarter, more cost-effective investment decisions. The cheapest option is not always the most cost-effective in the long run.