10 Ideas To Increase Productivity and Save Money
We often think of assets in one of two ways: equipment or people. Both are absolutely vital to the successes we experience every day. To achieve that success, however, we must be able to have a consistent focus on productivity maximization. In order to do this, we must therefore know how to make the most out of each and every asset that is at our disposal.
Let’s be honest with each other here: even our best workers can’t produce at their best levels consistently if they don’t have the right equipment.
The best equipment can’t perform at its peak potential if it isn’t maintained and used by your best workers. How can you build up this relationship between workers and equipment so that each can perform at its very best?
Although every system must be individualized to be its most effective, here are some of the general methods we’ve found that provide the most consistent financial results.
#1. Access is everything.
There is this idea in our industry that if you just make do with whatever equipment you have, then you’re saving money. Maybe this is true for some jobs, but generally it is a misconception. If you are using the wrong equipment, then you’re losing time. Since time is money, you’re actually costing yourself with the lessening of your productivity.
This is why having the specifically designed equipment for each task may be an investment now, but it is one that will pay long-term dividends throughout the life of your purchase. Better access means better productivity. It also means better worker confidence, which results in an overall better quality of work. This is why access is everything in our industry.
#2. Safety improvements have been evolving over the years.
If you’re still using equipment that is more than a decade old, then you may be putting your workers and your assets at a needless increased risk. Various improvements to maintenance and servicing are helping people work with more confidence thanks to toeboards, improved safety railing, and even improved metal strength so that you can get the results you need.
Just take a look at the best maintenance platforms that are available in our industry right now. They are lightweight, but still strong, and can stand up against the forces of corrosion that try to eat away at your investment.
#3. You must be proactive about less overall down time.
When you’re working around obstacles, there are numerous access and safety factors which must be considered. Can you move the obstacle? And if you’re using tools around these obstacles, can you do so safely? The modern maintenance platform is a static, yet still adaptable, working area that can elevate workers above those obstacles so you have more time doing the heavy duty work which may be required.
You can still use ladders, lifts, and other portable access systems in combination with your platform for additional access options as well. Many systems today will work with each other or you can contact us today about a customized system that will meet your specific needs for a surprisingly affordable price.
#4. You need new strength to get the job done.
If you’re thinking about upgrading to one of the best industrial ladders in our industry today, then you won’t believe the number of options that are available to you right now. Our inventory offers cantilever rolling ladders, clean room ladders, and mobile platform ladders that are rigid and stable. Many models offer handrails and counterbalance weights so that you can reach some of the most difficult places possible. Some models even offer numerous overhang depths so you can get the precise results needed. This strength gives your workers the confidence they need for pure results as well.
Within this category, you’ll find that the modern ladder can also double as a module stairway, a gangway, and have numerous other uses. All of our ladders meet or exceed government standards for safety.
#5. You can establish some real best practices.
Until you’re using the best equipment for the jobs that need to get done, it is impossible to setup real best practices. No matter what your maintenance tasks may be, you must transition from being reactive to proactive and that’s what you’ll receive today with modern equipment. From moment #1, you’re able to begin gathering data about worker performance, down time issues, and other individualized metrics so you know what kind of response times are available.
Why should you establish best practices with new equipment instead of older assets?
- You remain competitive. If your competitors have established best practices on modern equipment, then they’re going to be able to outperform you.
- You create consistency. This allows you to know what everyone is supposed to be doing at any given time.
- You can track in real-time. Metrics that are created from best practices can let you gauge the productivity levels of every asset you have.
The best equipment also allows you to reduce the variables that can affect worker performance. This is because you receive consistency with an equipment upgrade so you waste less money due to an ineffective performance, either from your old equipment or your uncertain workers.
#6. Modernization must happen in multiple categories.
It might be a great idea to invest into a new maintenance platform, but what about the industrial cranes you’re using at each job site? Crane modernization is just as important as modernizing your other assets, even if your 30 year old crane is still operating on a daily basis.
The main benefit to crane modernization is that you can make fewer adjustments thanks to the design standard improvements that are included in the newer models. Your cost savings per job will increase, the Total Cost of Ownership begins to go down, and you wind up with a crane that can maintain safety standards over the next 30 years.
You also get to take advantage of these additional benefits.
- Enhanced Performance. The modern crane simply works better. This helps you out since your production demands are likely increasing as well.
- Efficient Operations. You get to work faster. This means you get the potential to earn more cash.
- Modernizing can help you take advantage of numerous automation so you’re working smarter instead of harder.
#7. Organization helps you save money every day.
Disorganization is one of the largest costs every business faces today. The word part about this damage is that it is often kept secret even thought it is nearly 100% preventable. We often look at disorganization as something may only affect one department or one worker, but it really is a disease that upgraded equipment and storage solutions can help to fix.
Think about it like this. Let’s say your workers don’t have any place to store their gear. They just heap it into a pile at the end of the day and then put it on again the next time they come in for a shift. Let’s say you’ve got 10 workers and eight of them spend 5 minutes trying to find their gear. You’ve just lost 40 minutes of productivity right there.
Now let’s say those workers recognize that they’re losing time and try to make adjustments. They rush through their morning routines, so now they have less time with their families. This begins to create resentment, which creates a negative emotion within the worker, which then further robs them of their productivity.
Fixing this is simple. Be organized. From stainless steel lockers to simple storage cubes, there’s always a way to stop the disorganization. Don’t be seduced by the lie that because things have always been done the same way that this established method is the best possible solution. It usually is not.
#8. The issue of capital assets and new equipment.
Because most of the items you’ll find on Industrial Man Lifts are designed to provide your business with benefits for longer than 12 months, they can’t usually be classified as a business expense for taxation purposes. They become a capital asset, which means your improvements could be costing you cash without realizing it.
Did you know that even if you make an improvement to an existing asset that it is still considered a capital expenditure? This is why repairs and maintenance are often performed because those costs can often be fully deducted as a business expense during the same year.
Here’s why we bring this up. Let’s say you’re spending $20k on maintenance for your platforms, cranes, and storage solutions. Since many of our systems are interdependent assets, they can usually be considered multiple units of property. If you improve that equipment instead of repairing it or maintaining it, the rules of depreciation kick in and you deduct the standardized portion on your taxes.
In some years, you may wish to take the full $20k and just maintain your assets. In other years, maybe you don’t need that kind of deduction – that is when a new purchase might make sense. Always speak with your tax advisor, however, before making any decision based on this issue.
#9. Standard equipment is not always the best equipment.
One of the latest trends in our industry is something that we would call “mass customization.” It basically means that instead of forcing you to accept three generic choices when you need equipment, our focus is to make sure that you can have a fully customized solution every time for a competitive price.
Henry Ford once said you could have any color as long as it was black. We say now is the time to change that old-fashioned idea so you can get things to the exact specifications that are required for your next job.
Many products that we have right now can be completely customized to your exact specifications. Let us know what you need and we’ll be happy to make that happen for you.
#10. Two words: “Fire Resistance.”
If you’re still running with older equipment, you might think that you’re saving some money because you don’t have to insure the same replacement cost for the asset as if you would a new one. In some ways this may be true, but new equipment does come with one distinct advantage. Aluminum products are one of the most fire resistant alloys that are used today.
Within our industry, fire is always something one must take seriously. Whether it’s a worker using a torch or welding on a platform or you happen to work in a high heat environment, older products can have their structural integrity affected under the right conditions. Aluminum, on the other hand, can give you the resistance that you need.
Give your insurance company a call and talk about the new assets you’re thinking about purchasing today. See what they do to your insurance rates. There’s a good chance that if you compare the cost increase to the cost savings our equipment options can provide, you’ll come out further ahead than you might expect.
We can always find excuses not to upgrade our equipment. We can work to try to get the most out of every asset, but there comes a time when even our most reliable options simply wear out or age out of our industry. Ineffective equipment is going to waste money, either directly or through the extra work that it creates.
We encourage you to take a look at all of your assets that are being utilized right now. Could new equipment help you bring in better returns? Give your workers more confidence? Help you complete projects faster? Asking questions like these on a routine basis can help you make sure that you’re not wasting your cash and not even realize it is happening.
How do you manage your assets? We’d love to hear from you on how you make sure you get the best dollar value from each asset you have working on your behalf.