Our Sales Engineer Henrik Johns offers real insider tips that you should keep in mind when buying a machine - regardless of what you buy and where you buy it. 


lt is time, a machine purchase is just around the corner. This may not be your first purchase but. unless you have already ordered and installed the same system numerous times, it is always an important job, which I would like to make easier and more valuable for you using my 25 years of experience. 


Before purchasing a machine, it is worth roughly planning "the journey" - a meta­phor we like to use here at Greif-VELOX. When planning, use the following three phases: 

  • The Horizon phase: First, if possible, roughly define the target that you already have in mind - what kind of system do you need and what func­tions should it have?
  • The Cloud phase: Let your imagina­tion run wild and, without a care in the world, express what you would like your system to be able to do if there weren't any limitations or rules. This phase still plays an important role in partner selection. 
  • The Ground Floor phase: You then return to the solid ground of the facts and first define a rough possible budget framework and a schedule. You can also divide these points into any number of levels between maximum/minimum to be able to differentiate limits and scenarios for yourself. 

Now you have a rough but inspiring brief­ing that you can use to inspire engineers and system builders. You should select them in the next phase so that you can work together with them to create a realistic budget.


lf you have already had a very good ex­perience with existing partners and are satisfied with the value for money, you already have a clear favoritel Of course, there are always cheaper options in to­day's globalized economy, but this could also result in much worse results and production losses due to non-confined delivery times. Machine defects usually cost far more money than initial savings and in any case are a considerable source of stress and take up your precious time. lf you involve other providers, although your standard supplier is still  a clear favorite, be fair and open. Share all the information and allow new im­pulses, visions and potential. lf you leave your standard supplier or need a new partner, such differentiation investments are not determined by prices - as long as they are somewhat com­parable - but rather by your gut feeling, reinforced by corresponding references, customer recommendations and provider cases. lt is also important that you are confident that your partner has honest intentions. Consider the following: 

  • Does the seller just want to sell you something or does he really want to find the best solution for you?
  • Do you know the team behind the seller, with whom you will have to work later?
  • Do you understand the project?
  • Do you trust the senior designers?

Team charts in presentations already pro­vide you with a first important impression. How your contact persons react to your briefing components from your "cloud phase" is especially important. lf your contact persons or essential team members are thinking in problems and not in solutions, then bewarel Even the best engineers cannot solve every challenge, but they can be inspired to find alternatives. Partners work with you on how to make the impossible possible through creative ideas. Non-partners will only inform you in detail why things are not working. Such people are inflexible later on in the project and likely to miss important market trends. However, priorities must be set to develop a realistic budget. And even if everything is technically possible, budget­ing leaves little room for creativity and passion. In budgeting, a realistic figure for all involved is literally "worth its weight in gold". As a further tip, I can share with you that. for major projects, it helps to stage workshops with potential partners to deal with challenging requirements. This could also be a fee-based workshop, if there has not yet been an assignment and several important persons must attend. This will still pay off. Here, you will not only get to know the team but also learn how the team works: 

  • How prepared are the participants?
  • How is the workshop conducted?
  • How do they work together?
  • ls the chemistry in the team right?
  • Are skill synergies being used?

And above all:

  • Will you and your needs be addressed?
  • Does the team really listen to you?

Such workshops are performance­oriented "chemistry meetings", which should always result in specific ideas leading to realistic budget frameworks. 


After the budget has been released in­ternally, the shopping part follows. In this part. prices and technical details will be negotiated and clarified. Think of all con­tingencies, especially the requirements for further cooperation after delivery. Many system deliveries are preceded by a partnership that can extend over a period of 15-20 years. This is why you personally assist in the purchasing negotiations, as bargains cost a lot of time and money and cause a great deal of stress - as we already learned during partner selection. lf the prices are in your budget and in a similar range, a reliable, efficient partner with sustainable solutions justifies a reasonable but higher price. You are not only purchasing a machine but also acquiring a long-term partner­ship with many hours of intensive contact and collaborative work. 
lf you would like to gain further insight. for example into what you should be awa­re of regarding services and how order processing works, you will find further insider reports from my colleagues on our websites Blog section, "GREIF tangible solutions!". lf you have any questions about this report. my colleagues and I look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with any challenges and upcoming projects. 

Kind regards,