When Crossroads Christian Fellowship in Rockford, Illinois, a church with a new 300-seat sanctuary, needed new flooring for a large portion of its administrative area, Pastor Randy Hargate researched the choices. "There were many types of flooring to choose from," he says, "everything from hardwood to carpeting."
The options available to the church varied widely in price—but the purchase price was not Hargate's primary consideration in making his decision. Instead, he based his decision on the total lifecycle cost, a strategy long-known in business circles, and one that church leaders and business administrators can use to help ensure better, longer-lasting purchases get made.
The pastor did his homework, studying the utility of the products relative to their total costs, which included the prices of the flooring, the costs of installation, the costs of maintenance throughout each product's lifetime, and the eventual replacement costs, among other things.
"After exploring the installation problems associated with hardwood and our all-cement floor, and the carpeting possibility, which did not seem to work for us, I decided to go with rubber-plank flooring," explains Hargate.
Once he chose the best possible solution based on several factors, only then did he turn his attention to the best possible price. "Our local stores were not very aggressive for the sale, so I went on the Net and shopped," he says.
That effort saved the church 37 percent compared to the local dealer's price.