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Buying Decision Preferences Revealed by Survey

An important aspect of business collaboration in the buyer-seller partnership is examining factors that contribute to purchasing decisions.

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In the just-completed Automation World survey of 205 North American industry professionals, of whom more than 80%  were involved with buying, specifying and/or recommending machinery, survey respondents were asked to rank a series of attributes when deciding to buy equipment from “Extremely Important” to “Not Important At All.” The survey found that 96% chose the attribute of “The Equipment Meets My Needs/Expectations” as Extremely Important or Very Important, with the highest percentage of responses. Clearly, the most important aspect in the business collaboration is understanding and meeting the needs of your customers.

The category of “Return on Investment” was the next most highly ranked attribute, with 89% of respondents selecting it as Extremely or Very Important, followed by the category “Technical Support After the Sale,” which was selected by 86% as Extremely Important or Very Important. “Availability of Spare Parts” was selected by 82% of respondents as the next most critical attribute in evaluating purchase decisions. These results show that the manufacturers are looking at more than just price—they are considering the lifecycle ROI of their equipment purchases, and how they will support the equipment after purchase.

In a nod to the business partnership, 69% ranked “Reputation of the Manufacturer” as Extremely or Very Important, while 62% chose “Availability of Training” and 60% selected “Relationship with the Manufacturer.”

The least important categories are “Financing Offered By the Manufacturer or Distributor” and “Country of Origin of Manufacturer.”

In a global market driven by partnerships that span geographical borders, the respondents to the Automation World survey have made their preferences clear. Purchase decisions are based on the suppliers’ abilities to meet their customers’ needs, provide a return on investment, and support the lifecycle costs of the equipment, regardless of where the partners are located.

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