Fax machine

New research, has found that 49 per cent of UK businesses think that a lack of equipment has hindered their ability to scale up.

The research, conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of Shire Leasing involved a survey of 250 office workers who have equipment purchasing responsibilities.

Nearly all (85 per cent) of businesses claimed a lack of equipment hindered them from working at a proficient pace. Even more shockingly, 41 per cent of employees say this affects their working ability every week.

Moreover, it was workers in larger organisations, those with over 500 employees, who saw it the worst. They were most likely to say their working ability is hindered by outdated or a lack of equipment at least once a week (55 per cent).

However, it’s not just the struggle of building the company up. The survey has also found that most companies have around £90,800 worth of broken or obsolete equipment.

UK businesses are harbouring thousands of pounds worth of unused equipment, including items such as fax machines (30 per cent) which have been obsolete for the past decade.

Further to this, 8 out of 10 companies are actually holding onto equipment which has no use to them whatsoever.

The top five obsolete items were:

  1. Old computers that don’t work (36 per cent)
  2. Typewriter/word processor (32 per cent)
  3. Fax machine (30 per cent)
  4. Old printers that don’t work (25 per cent)
  5. Old laptops that don’t work (24 per cent)
One that didn’t quite make the top five - but is sure to bring back nostalgic memories - is the humble Floppy disk, with 22 per cent of businesses still holding on to them.

With that in mind, the research also looked into how much money is being invested into getting new equipment for office-based companies. Last year companies with less than 250 employees spent £62,100 on new technology, which far outnumbers larger businesses (with 250-500 employees) who only spend a tiny £44,500 in comparison.

When asked how they have overcome this issue, only 16 per cent of businesses said that they have leased business equipment through finance, yet the top issues with purchasing equipment were keeping up with new innovations in the market (41 per cent) and cost of maintenance (31 per cent), which finance can combat.

Mark Picken, Shire Leasing’s CEO, says: “SMEs often overlook the alternative finance options that are available. Through leasing, businesses can affordably pay for equipment as they use it, and in some cases, the single direct debit payment can also include the maintenance and service offered by the supplier.”

“Simple return or upgrade options also minimises businesses having to store obsolete equipment over the oncoming years, and fixing the interest payable in these times of rising interest rates is good plain business sense.”