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.

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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.

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About the Author

Tom Andel
Tom Andel is a Contributing Editor to Logistics Management.

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