Once, at a trade show, I was talking to the owner of a regional retail/service chain (12 stores in all, plus a small warehouse) about soft cost financing. We got to talking about “training”, because that’s one of the soft costs that a good equipment financing company will finance.
He told me he bought a fairly robust point of sale system, complete with shipping and inventory features. But the bank wouldn’t finance training (they didn’t even finance the entire price, but that’s another story), so he instead went with the included bare bones one-day seminar, and not the week long, hands-on training option.
The result was while the system was easy enough to pick up at basic level, key advanced features were glossed over. One such feature was real-time inventory (as opposed to the daily/weekly/monthly reports they ended up using for the first year.) He estimated that simply using this advanced feature from the beginning would have resulted in more efficient ordering and inventory turnover. In short, learning about this would have paid for itself. If only the bank would have agreed to add training to the financing…
If it’s available, financing training with any equipment purchase can be a very smart move. Obviously, not everything you purchase will require training, but for computer systems, point of sale systems, some more advanced machines (like CNC Machines), financing training can be a very cost-effective move. Especially since the cost of the training is stretched out over years – for most deals, adding training to monthly payments amounts to a few extra dollars, which makes it a no-brainer.
An addendum – we helped my trade show contact with financing other products, and the “deal closer” was the fact that we financed soft costs. It makes those extras and add-ons very attractive, and easy to buy. So whether it’s maintenance agreements, training, or other soft costs like delivery and setup, a good equipment financing company will happily include it in any deal.