Posted by Simon Johnston
That word, strikes fear into Business Managers, annoys Foremen and makes Operators wince. That may sound melodramatic but downtime has this reputation for a good reason. It stops Productivity -> Progress -> Profit.
Your machine is one your most valuable tools in your business, we didn't need to tell you that, you knew that already. And by extension it's parts, fittings and attachments add to its value.
What happens when something goes wrong? Something breaks, fails, doesn't turn up on time or wears out?
Whether you're a one man operation or large hire company, the result is Downtime.
What's the true cost?
- Reputation loss. Clients no longer think you can deliver, are unreliable or at worst don't think the company is doing well.
- Your machine is costing you. There's no neutral cost in business, if it isn't producing it's losing.
- Behind targets. You have deadlines to meet for your client, and you can't finish on time, potentially penalising you financially.
- Loss of work. If you don't have the tools you can't tender for the job without significant risk.
That's a few negatives. But you can minimise interruptions with these tips.
- Check your machine over, and check it again. Most missed items are hydraulic fluid level and greased parts especially in hired and shared machines. (We know a lot of you operators with your own machine are passionate about this, so we doubt you'll miss this.)
- Quote the job so you can support the business. This might seem like business management 101 but a surprising amount of large businesses here in NZ have done exactly the opposite recently.
- Use more than one source of information. Whether your quoting or estimating a more complicated job or sourcing new tools, use more than one source of information to make the best decision. Three or more sources is ideal and will give you perspective to make the best decision.
- Buy Quality and use Reliable suppliers. It's an old adage that "money spent on good-quality gear is money well spent." But the saying never gets old! Build good relationships with suppliers you trust and can rely upon. These relationships get you more consideration regardless of your company size.
Let's meet Terry,
Terry has been in the excavation business for 12 years and now has 5 staff, 4 excavators and 2 truck and trailers. He recently quoted a job to demolish and clear a commercial building site in the city. It's the biggest job he's taken on yet but he's confident with his crew and set up that he can accomplish the job on time and on budget. He submits his quote to the project management company and he gets the job.
The job is tracking well until half way through he hits a problem with the sub-structure. The building didn't seem to have reinforcement during inspection and the estimations from the project management company showed no sign of it.
Terry faces a problem now, he's got all his company resources committed to completing the job and he wasn't prepared for this eventuality. He needs the right tool to keep the project on track and his company productive.
Fortunately Terry sources a new attachment quickly; a Milti Grab to keep the job going and fits it to his 12 tonne'r. He rejigs the workflow and keeps on track to complete by his deadline.
Terry did this by talking to Attach2, a supplier who responded quickly to his enquiry for the attachment he needed to keep his job on track and delivered on their commitment to being a high quality supplier who's NZ's fastest.