Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Equipment Appraisals are More Like Puzzles than Math Problems

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Apr 04, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

Machinery and Equipment Appraisal Appraiser Accredited Experienced

Those unfamiliar with the methodologies and approaches equipment appraisers utilize in their work, commonly believe we are very similar to accountants, who analyze data and perform calculations to arrive at a factual conclusion. While there is certainly some mathematical analysis involved in an equipment appraisal, the ultimate conclusions opined on have a degree of subjectivity given the incongruities often found in the available information uncovered.

Even an asset as straightforward as a truck or trailer can have any number of differing market opinions and comparables to review and consider, before ultimately determining a reasonable value.

A more appropriate example would be that of a jigsaw puzzle, where several of the pieces don’t quite fit. The pieces come from three typical buckets of historical and current information, including (1) secondary market comparable sales and listings; (2) estimated replacement cost new, opinions on useful life and average market-derived depreciation; and (3) specifics on the actual machinery being appraised, such as historical costs, specifications, usage, hours/miles, and maintenance.

All of these three areas should be researched and considered as part of the build-out of the puzzle. However, given the potentially large amount of information compiled from these buckets, there will always be pieces that need to be adjusted in order to make sense of the overall picture. I have found it is rare when it all fits together perfectly and, therefore, the final conclusions of value require some subjective decision-making on the part of the appraiser.

This is where experience, common sense, and practicality all make a difference in the final steps of the analysis. A+B+C will not always equal D and is not just a straight-line calculation. Quite frankly, this is a primary reason experienced appraisers are utilized in business transactions and is what separates a really good appraiser from an average one.

The ability to take a step back and make sense of all the information to ultimately conclude on value is a nuanced effort that should be supported by reasonable logic. When you place the last pieces and see the complete puzzle, there may be a few gaps and some bent edges, but the overall picture is clear enough to make sense of it all.

Tags: machinery & equipment appraisal, accredited appraisers, equipment valuation, experienced

Used Equipment Values: Making Sense of the Data

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 10, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

Machinery Equipment Appraiser Appraisal Value Used

There will come a time when your business or individual practice will need to appraise your used equipment. You may have a desire to sell and replace with newer machinery, refinance an existing inventory, seek new investors, settle an estate or transfer the assets of the business into a new entity. Depending on the type of equipment you own and operate, the amount of data available to review in the marketplace will range from overwhelming to non-existent

The most difficult step in the process of estimating used equipment value is making sense of the information you uncover, or lack thereof. For commonly resold assets such as construction equipment, trucks, and forklifts, you can find many similar comparisons in the market, however, the range in pricing can vary greatly. On the other hand, if you own a specialized piece of machinery that is customized to your specific operational needs, the resale market will not be the best place to search for information.

Equipment appraisers face these challenges every day, which is an excellent reason to consider engaging with an experienced, accredited valuation expert to assist in this effort. Over time, a seasoned appraiser will have developed sound strategies to reasonably determine value regardless of the type of assets you own. In the meantime, here are a few tips that can help you along the way:

Consider Multiple Sources

It’s not uncommon to see used equipment with the same year, make and model selling for vastly different prices in the marketplace at the same time. This could be due to any number of variables such as condition, hours/mileage, location, and recent refurbishments being completed. Oftentimes it's simply because dealers are testing the waters to see if they can obtain an inflated price given no immediate concern to sell. With all these factors at play, it is difficult to make sense of the varying data.

It’s important to investigate as many distinct sources as you believe reasonable and see if you can determine patterns that will allow you to better value your equipment.

Look at Multiple Perspectives

Given the inconsistent data found in the marketplace, alternate perspectives can bring the valuation process into better focus. Research what you paid for the equipment when you originally purchased it and consider the history of your usage and time since it was acquired. Determine what you believe to be a reasonable useful life for that equipment along with typical levels of depreciation that make sense in the context of your experiences as an owner-operator.

Finally, consider contacting your local equipment vendor to discuss what similar new equipment is selling for and gather their opinions on the current market.

Recognize the Specific Premise of Value You Need to Measure

Appraisers can provide estimates of value at different market levels, and your situation may fall into one or another, as you determine the need to sell. If you are in a hurry to turn your assets into cash, or just don’t have a lot of time to market your equipment, consider an Orderly or Forced Liquidation. If you are selling the assets as part of a larger transaction and the purchaser will be taking over some or all of your operation, then Fair Market Value is realistic, with consideration for applicable installation costs and related expenses to bring the equipment into operation.

In summary, it is always a good idea to consider bringing in an experienced appraiser to help you through this analysis who can develop an independent, unbiased process that will be supported by one or all of these methodologies.

Tags: machinery valuation, used equipment, used equipment values, equipment valuation, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, used machinery

How Supply Shortages and Order Backlogs Can Effect Equipment Value

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Oct 04, 2021 @ 07:00 AM

Used Machinery Equipment Appraisal Supply Shortage Increased Demand

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it many unanticipated shifts and changes. Some of the more prominent of these occurring in the global business marketplace include unanticipated machinery, parts, and raw materials shortages in a number of key industries including construction, transportation, automotive manufacturing, furniture, and technology.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, many regional areas, both domestic and overseas, were experiencing a prolonged lack of economic growth, which led manufacturers to slow production across key economic markets. By the latter half of 2020, these same manufacturers began experiencing historically high levels of demand driven by workplace and consumer lifestyle changes creating a supply shortage.

This supply shortage, coupled with an unabated increase in demand, has resulted in significant price increases and backorder delays for many types of equipment, personal property, replacement parts, and raw materials. The providers' costs to purchase and transport these products have increased so dramatically that some are simply waiting for the market to adjust while others are passing these costs onto their clients who have no choice but to pay now or lose out on precious contracts. The growing concern is that this severe imbalance in the market is not going away anytime soon, and manufacturers will therefore continue to be unable to provide a reasonable product delivery timeline for correspondingly reasonable costs.

The resulting impact in the used machinery & equipment marketplace is one that is fairly obvious. Any business looking to sell or liquidate their excess property is able to find a greater number of potential buyers, leading to a material increase in value for their assets, given the immediate availability to sell. This increased demand may be short-term, or more likely, it will last for the better part of 2022, given the slow lag time before new tangible products are more readily available.

If you’re considering selling used equipment, parts, or inventory, make sure you can easily replace it, either through the company’s existing asset base or with replacement machines that are available at a reasonable price in the market. If you are looking to purchase used equipment or parts, it may be the best option from a deliverable timing viewpoint, however, you may have to increase your budget to reflect this shortage in the market.

From a valuation perspective, an appraiser may or may not take the impact of these market changes into account when completing an assignment. It will come down to the circumstances involved in the overall scope of work effort and their own subjective opinions on the long or short-term effects in the marketplace. Either way, you should look to engage an experienced, accredited appraiser to complete the work.

Tags: machine appraisal, machinery & equipment appraisal, used equipment, equipment valuation, supply shortage, increased demand, used machinery

Components of a Reliable, Supportable Machinery & Equipment Appraisal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Sep 20, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

Machinery and Equipment Appraisal Accredited Appraiser Report Key Components

An accredited, reliable, and defensible equipment appraisal should include at least three components: a USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) and ASA (American Society of Appraisers) compliant narrative summary report discussing the valuation methodologies and conclusions; an appendix that itemizes the assets that include associated details; and photographs of the equipment.

The narrative report is structured fairly consistently throughout every valuation, with the appraiser focusing on the processes, methodologies, scope of work, assignment summary, definitions used, research, market and industry sources utilized, and the value conclusions.

The photographs are self-explanatory, and ideally include a couple of images of each item along with the machine ID tags, which verify the specifications of the equipment. There are exceptions when photographs cannot be obtained in certain cases, and the appraiser can usually make allowances for this without compromising the integrity of the valuation.

The most important component, in my opinion, is the itemized asset detail, typically listed as an appendix to the report. This document is the backbone of the appraisal and includes the data necessary to document the transaction for which the appraisal is to be used. Regardless of the number of assets involved, this detail is useful for the business owner’s internal accounting and tax records, as well as providing documentation for third parties, such as investors, banks, financial institutions, and tax authorities, when they secure or review their collateral interests.

This detailed appendix should include the following information for each line item asset being appraised:

Description/Equipment Type: (Ex: Hydraulic Excavator or Vertical Machining Center)

Make/Manufacturer (Ex: Caterpillar, Mitsubishi)

Model #

Serial #

Year Manufactured or Effective Age, if Unknown or Refurbished (Common for Older Assets to Extend Their Useful Life)

Additional Specifications and Comments Section (Ex: Condition if other than normal or good; Capacity, Hours/Mileage, Attachments)

Estimated Individual Values and Summary Totals

The report narrative summary will generally only reference the total value for all the assets appraised and refer to this appendix for the itemized detail.

It is not uncommon for clients to request this detail in a separate workable file, so they can better utilize the data as well as transfer it to their internal documents. This is generally acceptable to the appraiser, with the firm understanding that the data itself will not be altered. As long as the appraiser retains the original files, any potential disputes on this issue can be easily remedied.

In summary, when you are considering engaging an equipment appraiser, ensure that these component documents will be part of the overall valuation report and that you are working with an experienced accredited, ASA machinery appraiser.

Tags: machinery & equipment appraisal, appraisal report, equipment valuation, reliable, supportable

Desktop vs. On-site Equipment Appraisals-Determining the Best Option

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Sep 06, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

Machinery and Equipment Appraisal On-Site vs Desktop

Every equipment appraisal can be classified as either a desktop or an on-site. A desktop is one in which the equipment is not physically viewed by the appraiser, who instead relies on the client to provide the necessary data required to properly describe, identify and value the property. The on-site option includes the appraiser personally inspecting the assets during the initial phase of the project to obtain all this information directly.

There are pros and cons to each option, and given the circumstances of each project, one may clearly be more preferred, while in other cases, it will come down to a decision based on cost, efficiency, and/or logistics. If the appraiser you’re working with is highly experienced, they can often suggest the better option based on their understanding of the overall scope of work and the asset mix. Either way, both options are reliable, defensible, and supportable, as long as the appraiser obtains the necessary data to get the job done.

Here are a few of the important factors that go into the determination of engaging in a desktop vs. an on-site equipment appraisal:

Quality of the Data Available: Depending on the level of detail provided by the client, and their ability to obtain the necessary specifications and photographs for the equipment, an on-site valuation may be the most effective option.

Number of Assets and Overall Value: Generally speaking, the larger the transaction and the greater the number of assets, the more likely an on-site appraisal would be preferred. There are typically adjustments, such as new assets purchased and older machinery being retired, that don’t show up on the available listings and can be verified on-site. In addition, the higher appraisal fees associated with personal inspections can be better justified in relation to the overall project.

Cost: The travel and expenses of the appraiser getting to the site(s) and spending the necessary time to inspect, take photographs, meet and interview key company personnel needs to be weighed against the benefits. Locality: The ease, or lack thereof, of traveling to the facility. If the business is close to a major city or way out in a very rural environment, may factor into the decision. Spending an inordinate amount of time getting to and from the sites can oftentimes create a cost inefficiency.

Timing: If there is a very tight timeline to complete the valuation, the desktop option may be the only reasonable approach to meet the delivery deadline. Scheduling and executing the on-site work can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Transactional Hurdles: Depending on the client and scope of work, it may be a requirement to include an on-site personal inspection by the appraiser as part of the process. This may come into play with financial institutions, the SBA, litigation cases, business disputes, and tax authorities.

As an appraiser, completing the site work independently results in a better understanding of the specific business application of the assets and allows for greater control over the data gathering process, while providing a hands-on personal experience. However, as long as the information available to the appraiser is of reasonable quality, the desktop option will be more than adequate. In all cases, the machinery & equipment appraiser should be able to guide you through the scope of work process which will ultimately determine the best options for you.

Tags: machinery & equipment appraisal, desktop appraisal, accredited appraisers, equipment valuation, on-site appraisal, inspection