Time for a Change

I use an electric razor instead of razor blades. You may wonder why I am sharing that information with you, but bear with me and I´ll get to the point eventually.

I like electric razors for a number of reasons; the new models give me just almost as good a shave as blades; and I travel a great deal so it is convenient for me to just throw the razor into my carry-on instead of carting around a razor and shaving cream. They all have dual voltage now, so I can use the electric razor everywhere I go with no charging issues.

My last electric razor lasted three years and I started looking on a web site for a new one. While I was doing this, it occurred to me that keeping an electric razor for three years seems like pretty good value, so I decided to see what it would cost me to shave with blades instead.

Here is the cost comparison for the purchase of the electric razor (which I bought) with a basic shaving kit

Item Electric Razor (USD) Razor and Blades (USD)
Purchase Price (includes charger) 149.97 (includes two blades) 8.59

Well, on the surface, the electric razor is clearly more expensive. For the price of one electric razor, you could by more than ten of the blade systems. But we need to look at the recurring costs of running each system to really understand what the total cost of each system is over that three year period.

From the same web site, I saw that the cost of a package of fifteen replacement blades costs USD 34.99 or USD 2.33 per additional blade. I also saw that the cost of a three-pack of shaving gel is USD 10.49 or USD 3.49 each. Now from the days when I used a blade to shave, I recall that I would go through about one blade a week and a can of gel every three months. More if my wife was using my razor blades on her legs without telling me.

I also know from experience that I have to change the heads on the electric razor once during the three year period before I replace it. The replacement kit is USD 49.97.

There are other charges that we have to consider both cases. For the electric razor, we need to consider the power consumption for charging the unit. In the case of the razor blades we have to go somewhere to purchase the product. These are nominal charges, but we will include them anyway just to get the full picture.

So, assuming that we have to change our electric razor every three years, let´s look at the cost comparison over that period.

Item Electric Razor (USD) Razor and Blades (USD)
Purchase Price (includes charger) 149.97 (includes two blades) 8.59
Razor and Blade Consumables
Blades Year 1 (50 needed) 0 116.50
Blades Year 2 (52 needed) 0 121.16
Blades Year 3 (52 needed) 0 121.16
Gel Year 1 (4 needed) 0 13.96
Gel Year 2 (4 needed) 0 13.96
Gel Year 3 (4 needed) 0 13.96
Cost of purchasing (3 years) 0 10.00
Electric Razor Consumables
Replacement heads (1 needed) 49.97 0
Electricity for charging 10.00 0
Total cost of each system over three years
  209.94 419.29

You can see from the above table that shaving with razor blades over a period of three years actually costs twice as much as using an electric razor even though the initial capital outlay is one tenth as much.

I met with a client the other day regarding a network upgrade. We converted their system from a Linux infrastructure to a Microsoft infrastructure two years ago. He told me that in the past two years, he hasn´t had a single problem with his Microsoft infrastructure that caused any significant down time on his network. In comparison, he said that the previous Linux system was a nightmare because he couldn´t manage it properly, had significant disruptions to service and he couldn´t find the right resources to help him when he did have an incident on the network. He told me that it was more expensive, but in the end he made the right choice and this is validated by the reduced number of help desk calls. He also mentioned that this is the first time that he has been in a position to proactively discuss a network upgrade and enhancing services rather than putting out fires.

And now we come to the point. Those of you in the IT industry will know that I am talking about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of running a chosen system over three years. Every system has its benefits and its disadvantages. You have to weigh all the factors when you are deciding on a system and then make a calculation like the one above to determine what the TCO over the life of the system really is.

CES is there to work with you to analyze your requirements and help you make those decisions. We have the experience and the expertise to help you find the right technology that meets your needs not just for today, but for the next three years and beyond.

You may even choose to never shave again, but we would still recommend you bathe regularly.

As a last note, I would like to mention that for the third year running, our Mozambique office (Bytes & Pieces) has been voted as the Best IT Company in Mozambique in the PMR Africa annual survey. Bytes & Pieces was given the Golden Arrow award for best IT Consulting Company, Best IT Sales and Service Company and Best Office Automation Company. I believe this award is a manifestation of the partnerships we have with our clients and I wish to congratulate the Mozambique Team for their consistent attention to our customers to win this prestigious award.

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