From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Persuasion 101 — Getting the Purchasing Department To Follow Through

Say your job is to analyze an assembly task.  Maybe productivity isn’t where you think it should be or injury rates seem a little high or somehow the task itself seems awkward.  After analyzing the workplace to see where the problem lies, you’ve decided that the job has outgrown the tools that the workers are currently using and that new style of wrench is needed.


A dozen off-the-rack wrenches look like they might fit the task, and inexpensive Wrench A could work, but it doesn’t do exactly what you need it to do.  Your answer?  Wrench B, a high-end, pricier model that seems like it was custom-built to the task, the workers and the workplace, all at a price that exceed the realms of your budget.  And the person who okays the purchasing decision won’t sign off if it’s not in your budget, end of story. So what’s the well-meaning ergonomics guru to do?


In a perfect world, budgets and red-tape wouldn’t exist.  But in today’s competitive business climate, adhering to a budget is key.  That, however, doesn’t mean ergonomics has to suffer.  What it does mean is that convincing the company to part with extra money might take a little hard work and innovation.


Before you start on the road of convincing purchasing to cut a check, you need to reassess the situation

This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2003-10-01.