When I bought my first car, I did my homework. I researched similar vehicles, evaluating the quality, price, warranty, efficiency, and more. Once I decided on the type of car I wanted, I reached out to dealers and started test driving the cars. Demoing a forklift is a very similar process. As a customer, it is your responsibility to research the type of forklift you need in your facility and the dealerships that sell that type of forklift.
Genchi Genbutsu is a key tool in the Toyota Production System. It means to go and see for yourself. As you prepare to purchase a forklift, you want to be sure it is exactly what you need to accomplish your objectives. Demoing a forklift will give you first-hand insight into the fit. You need to consider the heaviest load you lift, how high you need to lift the load, and the aisle width in which you need to operate in. There are a number of items you need to consider and demoing a forklift can help you determine if the forklift you are considering is the right one for your company.
A forklift purchase is a large investment and a complex vehicle that is custom-built for customers. In most instances, there are usually more than one person involved in the decision-making process, and all people involved should be in agreement on the forklift they decide to choose. There may be one person that makes the final decision, but other people such as operators, purchasers, maintenance people, among other people, should have an influence on the forklift to be chosen. After all, it is the operators actually demoing and operating the forklift day-in and day-out. They should, of all people have an influence on the decision after they demo the forklift. It is important to keep all stakeholders involved in the decision.
Like a car dealership, a forklift dealership likely supports, parts, services, and rental needs. The dealers may have other related offerings as well that you could take advantage of. When you demo the forklift, you should consider the partner dealership as part of the demo. Observe how they perform a demo, how their support system works, and help you solve challenges. A good partner is there to support you and your company, not just sell to you.