Consider all costs of Ownership: Understanding the Trade-in Value of an ultrasound system

August 05, 2021

When making a high investment in medical equipment it is important not only to compare the price and quality of each product, in these cases it begins to be necessary to analyze the total cost of ownership (TCO) during the useful life of the equipment, since it could happen that the indirect costs exceed the sale price, plus all the additional problems that can even lead to damage to the reputation of the hospital.

In recent medical meetings, the TCO and the indirect costs that constitute it are being debated. Some of these costs to consider are technical service and repairs, although software updates, possible cybersecurity problems, the duration and coverage of the warranty, the cost of training to use the ultrasound machine, the Average repair cost, breakdown downtime, component replacement, or trade-in value.

In this article we are going to focus on this last variable: the exchange value or the future Trade-in Value of our equipment when we decide to acquire a new equipment. Owners of an ultrasound system must analyze all the variables that make up the resale value of their equipment and check them over time as the system ages. With the aim of, in the future, when it is necessary to update the ultrasound system, to be able to recover part of the investment.

The choice of the ultrasound brand can increase the value of the equipment due to a good reputation based on durability, low repair costs, absence of preventive maintenance, etc. In this case, the cost of ownership is lower due to the assumed high exchange value. When buying a computer, reputation and resale value are important aspects.

Another variable to consider is the category of the equipment, a Premium ultrasound will give a greater proportional value, since it will be designed with more resistant materials and will offer more, unlike an economic ultrasound of a lower category and that does not require a large investment to acquire it new. The higher the product category, the more confidence it will bring and therefore its repurchase value will be higher.

As is the case in the telephony sector, as new technologies appear, devices that are becoming more outdated are losing value. Unlike telephony, where new models are launched on the market each year and the old ones are not sold, in the field of ultrasound the obsolescence time is much longer, although ultrasound systems suffer from the loss of novelty, being then necessary to consider the time since the launch date. In addition, the manufacturing materials are being improved and the software is modernized, better adapting to the current needs of users. For all this, although the old systems continue working correctly, they will be less valued.

The companies stipulate the guarantee of their products based on the minimum time that they trust that the equipment will work without breakdowns. Therefore, if the ultrasound system still has a few years of official guarantee, it will be a point in favor. Although this guarantee may only be effective if it is used by the original purchaser, in order to carry out an update of the equipment in the official house, you will be able to enjoy a greater discount. Regardless of the warranty, the fewer years it is, the more reliable and in the best condition it will be, and therefore the higher the buyback value it will have.

When updating your equipment, you must select the new system that will replace it, and sometimes depending on the selected equipment the discount will be higher or lower, ultrasound companies prefer to sponsor new or premium category products Offering a higher credit for your old ultrasound when renewing it for one premium model. This was the case with the launch of the new Sonosite PX in December 2020. Fujifilm Sonosite created a one-off campaign offering a very high trade-in value to upgrade your old ultrasound machine to the Sonosite PX, thus facilitating the acquisition of this new ultrasound machine by of your customers.

A good understanding of the concept of “trade-in value”, choosing the right moment and the ultrasound model will allow you to save a significant amount of money and enjoy the latest technology.

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