What Are The Four Phases Of The Equipment Life Cycle?

What Are The Four Phases Of The Equipment Life Cycle?

Not a lot of people are aware that there are four phases of the equipment life cycle. Perhaps many people assume that equipment is purchased, used, and discarded. However, the fact of the matter is that there’s much more to equipment use than this. 

Understanding what the four phases are can help with equipment tracking. It can also give you a further understanding of what all types of equipment such as tools, machinery, and computers go through. As a result, you may be more inclined to take better care of them so each tool or machine, etc. has a longer life. When equipment lasts longer it can potentially be more productive and thereby, increase the bottom line.


The first phase relates to planning to purchase some equipment and more specifically: 

  • What you need
  • What the equipment’s purpose is 
  • Whether the equipment will improve operations
  • If the budget allows for it
  • The estimated depreciation 

Will the equipment you’re about to purchase fit your business’s needs? Will it contribute to operations and help to boost profits? These are things to consider before you purchase anything.

Business Asset Tracking


The second phase relates to the acquisition or purchase of that much-needed equipment. Purchasing an asset is one of the most important but also one of the hardest parts of the equipment life cycle. If you fail to make the right purchase, production and even profits could be affected. Therefore, you need to:

  • Work with your budget in mind, ensuring you purchase equipment suited to your business
  • Identify the asset or service you wish to purchase
  • Write up a shortlist of who you could purchase it from 
  • Try to negotiate a price and delivery, if necessary
  • Agree and finalise the purchase(s)

Once you have purchased the right product, it’s important to add it to your equipment tracking software. Doing so will allow you to monitor your new purchase throughout its life cycle.

Operation and Maintenance

Phase three relates to equipment operation and maintenance. Hopefully, this phase is the longest phase in the life cycle. Ideally, the equipment purchased can:

  • Improve operations and boost profits 
  • React positively to upgrades, licences, repairs, if necessary
  • Be monitored regularly as with other equipment, and checked for issues

The operation part of phase 3 could potentially work out to be better than expected if a good maintenance plan is used. 

A maintenance plan can be useful when it is used alongside trusted equipment tracking software. Software such as this can help to:

  • Reduce equipment downtime
  • Lower the cost of emergency repairs
  • Increase uptime 
  • Increase the asset’s life expectancy

As we have already mentioned, it is hoped that this phase of the life cycle is the longest. However, when a piece of machinery, for example, is under constant use it can suffer. Parts may fail to work as well as they should, the machine may overheat, etc. However, if the machine is looked after, disruptions can be kept to a minimum. There’s always a chance that such equipment could last longer than expected.

Renew Or Dispose

Every asset will come to the end of its life cycle at some stage. This is perfectly normal and something that all managers have to deal with. Ideally, any equipment that your business uses will last a long time. It should have been manufactured to a high standard and then used as intended during its working life, as such. 

Additionally, the maintenance plan should have ideally helped to keep the equipment working for perhaps longer than it was anticipated. Using a good maintenance plan alongside some equipment tracking software will make a difference to the longevity. However, after time, all equipment eventually fails. It’s at this stage that it will either need to be renewed, if possible, sold, or disposed of. If it is possible to recycle equipment, there’s an opportunity for it to gain a whole new life so that the four phases begin once more. 

If the equipment does need to be disposed of, it’s of prime importance that it is disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner. It is also important that any data should be wiped for security reasons. As soon as the equipment has been disposed of, it is time for a replacement to be used and for the four phases of the equipment life cycle to begin once more. 

With a clearer understanding of the four phases of a life cycle, it’s possible to ensure that your equipment, computers, tools, and vehicles have a potentially longer life. As a result, your business could have a boost in productivity and an increase in the bottom line. This is no doubt something that every business strives for. Thankfully, it’s potentially achievable when you use those four phases in conjunction with equipment tracking software. 

Wish to speak with an expert about equipment tracking and life cycle management? Contact us now at: team@itemit.com.

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