What to look for when investing in technology

A number of factors can influence your purchasing decision when looking to invest in technology.

These can include warranty, place of manufacture, price, distributor, certification of machine, ease of use, training support and maintenance.

But which of these factors is most important, and why?

This was the first of six questions discussed in depth at the fifth Professional Beauty Industry Roundtable.

In attendance eight was salon owners and suppliers focusing on the key considerations toward introducing technology and equipment into a salon, clinic or spa.

Our stellar line up of guests included Mandy Gray from True Solutions, Karen Austin from Skin & Laser, Farshad Kazazi (Kaz) from Eden Laser Clinics, Daniel Clifford from ClinicalPRO, Bruce Byers from Cynosure, Metro-Dora Clifford from Beauty Thru Nature Skin & Laser Clinic, Mathew Green from Syneron Candela and Meredith Langley from The Beauty Room Cosmetic Clinic.

Almost all agreed fostering and maintaining business partnerships was crucial when investing in technology.

Mandy said when looking at technology, you first had to make sure it delivered results, then ensure the client’s safety.

Metro said as a clinic owner she considered training support very important, while Daniel said support from the supplier was crucial.

Karen said most important for her was return on investment, while Meredith said she always looked for distributor support.

Mathew said people wanted an enduring business partnership with the company, while Kaz said market awareness was very important.

Bruce praised the importance of peer review clinical articles to show that a product really worked.

Watch the video for the full discussion.

“If you’re looking at technology, you’ve got to make sure it works. If you don’t deliver a result, all those other things are irrelevant. So results and that it works is number one. And then safety is number two. You’ve got to minimise your risk. But without a doubt, results are the key. And the only way you’re going to know about results, is you want to see things like clinical trials. Before and afters were an eighties thing, but doesn’t work anymore. You actually want hard data.”

“As a clinic owner I would consider training support as very important. You can have the best equipment but if you don’t know how to use it and don’t make the best use of it, it’s useless. It’s just sitting there, occupying space. The distributor needs to be on the ball. They should be contactable. Training needs to be well understood about all aspects of the machine so that every dollar that is invested brings a return to the clinic owner.”

“Support from the supplier, whether they have their own training team or they are delivering the training themselves, is a key component of making sure that that return on investment is met. The quality of the system does play into some things. When there’s a problem, does the supplier meet my needs? Or does that mean I’ve also got a delay in business operations, and that adds delays to return on investment or that growth plan as well?”

“Most important for me was return on investment. If you don’t have a good return on investment, you’re not going to make the money. I like to make sure that technical support is 100 percent. I don’t want to have downtime. Downtime means it costs my business money. So, I look at all of that apart from training as well.”

“Having that distributor support. If something goes wrong with the machine, knowing that you can get it fixed quickly or they’ll send you a replacement is wonderful. Also, having the confidence in your equipment knowing that it’s going to work. Delivering the results you’re promising the clients. It gives your staff the confidence to promote it.”

“People want an enduring business partnership with the company. And that means a lot of touch points, such as clinical support, which is on -going, technical support, which is responsive, local parts supply, and lots of technicians available. Marketing and business development post-sale is very important. You can have the best device in the world, with the best trained staff, but they don’t know how to sell the treatments, there’s no ROI. So I think an enduring partnership is what I like to call it.”

Kaz:“Market awareness is very important. It’s easy to claim you’re gold standard. But does the public agree that it’s gold standard? When I was researching, whether it was online or speaking to other clinic owners, I wanted to establish if the brand that I’m going to select for my business is actually recognised as the brand that is effective, and comes with a lot of support. It was also important to know the people behind the brand. I want to sit down and have a conversation, with the sales people, with the sales managers, with the managing director. Beyond that, training is of utmost importance. When you put all of these together, you form a partnership. It’s good to be loyal to the brand, because that loyalty is returned from suppliers in due course by everything that’s been mentioned at the table.”

“Peer review clinical articles are extremely important. Not just the ones that come out of North America, but the ones that come from all over the world. Because those articles will reflect the skin types, or the indigenous properties that those particular markets have. I like the articles that come out of Asia, the ones that come out here in Australia, the ones that come out of Europe. It’s important that every company has those clinical articles, not one that’s done an article on ten patients or so, but is really in depth, where it’s minimum 50 patients, to show they can really can prove the science behind the product. Showing that it works is the most important thing.”

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