There are many factors that go into selecting a submersible pump that is right for your application. More often than not, price is one of the top factors, but it is often only the tip of the iceberg of your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
What is Total Cost of Ownership?
TCO is the accumulated expected costs associated with the pump over its service life. This includes many costs that may be unseen at first glance: maintenance and repair costs, production down time costs, and more. It also takes the expected number of service life years into consideration. TCO matters because selecting the right pump for your specific application generally means a lower overall cost, even if the initial purchase price is higher.
Thinking in terms of TCO includes projecting costs over the life of the pump. The following sections offer items to consider to understand the impact of TCO for a pump.
Maintenance and Operating Costs
Planned maintenance and normal operation are the obvious costs that likely make up the majority of your budget as these can be planned and calculated. Emergency maintenance can also be planned for based on past costs. You can allocate additional budget for unplanned pump failures and fixes. If your pump isn’t clearing accumulated solids, the sump pit may require secondary pumping and cleaning.
Overlooked Associated Costs
When examining the costs of your pump, many companies often overlook several categories of costs. For example, if your pump isn’t working, you may need to shut down facility production. It’s hard to make up this lost time, and it usually includes employees working overtime which adds even more to the cost. Most businesses can calculate the value of a production hour. Other overlooked costs are any potential environmental remediation costs or fines. If your pump isn’t working properly, you may discharge untreated water that violates your local codes and regulations.
In addition, pulling your pump for maintenance is not easy. The pump itself is heavy. The pit, which is full of nasty materials, needs to be drained to get the pump out. It’s just not a pleasant job to do, especially on a regular basis. All in all, there’s an employee morale cost every time someone has to climb in the pit.
Internal Costs vs. External Costs
External costs are easy to see and track. You know how often you bring in a contractor to repair or maintain your pump and how much it costs. This would also include the costs for having a third party drain your pit every time you need to pull your pump for maintenance.
Internal costs are the wages you pay your internal maintenance department to take care of the pump. This isn’t always as clear, and likely isn’t being tracked from a cost perspective. If you have a maintenance log, you should be able to calculate how often maintenance is done. You may have to estimate the number of hours spent each time, but it can give you an idea.
Total Cost of Ownership Summary
To summarize, the TCO of your submersible pump includes all the costs associated with purchasing, maintaining, and repairing the pump:
- Purchase price
- Annual pump maintenance
- Unplanned pump maintenance
- Pump/parts repair and replacement
- Sump pit maintenance
- Lost production time
- Other indirect costs
Look for Pump Suppliers who Understand TCO
To make sure you’re selecting the pump that’s going to give you the best return for the cost, you need to work with a pump supplier or distributor that understands the concept of TCO. These are the companies that partner with you to truly understand your application. They aren’t just selling you a pump, they’re solving your problem for the long term.
For more than 35 years, BJM Pumps and its highly qualified expert distributors have partnered with our customers to provide reliable, long-lasting submersible pumps for their specific applications. We can help you understand the associated costs with your pump and how selecting the right pump benefits you. Customers receive unparalleled service from specification through installation and continued support throughout the life of the pump.
Contact us at 860-399-5937 to request more information or to initiate a personalized evaluation of your submersible pump needs.