Media Releases & Publications
Productivity and Efficiency – the two most favoured words used by companies worldwide, so how do they relate to the Arbor Industry?
What are the Differences?
Productivity: the quantity/rate of work being completed.
Efficiency: the resources used to produce the work being completed (such as money, time, and labour etc.) In simpler terms, efficiency measures whether there is any waste in your company.
“In the Arbor Industry, the Importance of Productivity and Efficiency is Proportionate”
While productivity and efficiency both help to increase your outcome, one often leads to working harder and the other focuses on working smarter. In many cases, working efficiently will result in increased productivity. So how do you balance scenarios like high demand and low resources, or steady demand and high resources?
Let’s start by understanding more than just the ‘jobs-per-day’ quota. For a moment, let’s focus on maintaining your current rate of works while lowering the resources being used (waste).
As an example, here we look at very basic ‘time wastage’. Suppose you are paying your team to complete three jobs in a day. There is a 20-minute commute between each job, a 20-minute setup per job and a 20-minute clean up per job. That’s 60 minutes p/job which equals to three hours in lost time per day. If these areas could be made more efficient, would you be able to complete a fourth job that day?
Reducing ‘waste’ is one of the key components to achieving efficiency. What’s next?
Everything you do is a process. Process optimisation will improve your profitability while also increasing sustainability in ever-changing economic conditions. Processes should constantly be evaluated and evolved to ensure the most efficient way of working is achieved.
For the Arbor industry, this evaluation could mean changing the ways things are done; allocation/expansion/scale down of resources (people, equipment, services, materials, money, time etc.); allocation of jobs; adjusting service coverage; introducing smarter systems to manage operations; or upgrading the operational tools you have available to complete jobs.
Be Visible. Be Accessible. Be Digital.
Today, every business is a technology business. Using the right digital solutions will improve your business in more ways than one; maximise your customer reach; improve operational visibility; improve customer service and communications; and most importantly, automate business processes.
Redundant processes will slowly impact your business’ ability to remain competitive and current. The more you understand about the strengths and shortcomings within your operations, the better – the future of your business relies on it.
“Smart businesses use smart strategies”
Right Tools for the Job
Having the right equipment to complete jobs can assist with:
- Repeat Business
These four elements will define a successful business in the Arbor industry.
Having the right tools is important for protecting your bottom line. When productivity takes a hit because your competition can do it quicker, cheaper, or more safely – take a look at the equipment being used.
While tree climbing and cutting is a long held and proud skill of the Arbor industry, the question of safety is ongoing. More and more Arborists are seeking out equipment such as the CTE Spider Lift range.
Platform Sales Australia are a leading supplier to the Arbor industry. Our team are available to not only discuss the CTE range, but to also assist in discussing ways you can improve the productivity of your business. We also have financing options available to assist with purchasing your next equipment item today.
- Commit to constant and never-ending improvement.
- Commit to resources that improve productivity.
- Minimise waste.
- Understand your overheads.
- Invest in systems that automate processes.
- Learn from successes as well as mistakes.
- Plan for when things go wrong.
*Platform Sales Australia is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how this article relates to your unique circumstances.
Investing in your business now
It is an understatement to say that we are currently living in unprecedented times, with most of us never experiencing an event like the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global ripple effects caused by this pandemic are unescapable. Loss of life, loss of livelihood, non-existent socialising and a completely obliterated global economy. The outcome of this pandemic is impossible to predict, and rebuilding will undoubtedly take years.
While we navigate the road ahead, what we do have is opportunity. More specifically, the opportunity to come out of this on top.
By now, you will likely have a strong indication of your business’ sustainability and know exactly just how lean your business model operates.
While so many businesses are in damage control with a focus simply on ‘survival’, others are also taking the opportunity to analyse operational sufficiencies and shortfalls. Understanding these areas will undoubtedly aid a faster recovery, build future sustainability, and potentially increase existing market share.
If you are one of the lucky businesses/traders still operational, you might be wondering if now is the right time to invest in additional equipment? You might very well feel like the last thing you want to do is further expose yourself to financial risk.
Here are some of the reasons why now might be the right time to increase your assets and support your business’ growth:
- Record low interest rates and funding restrictions easing.
- Stimulus support for asset write-off and depreciation.
- Finance loans that include a 50% loan guarantee from the Government.
- Equipment manufacturers are overstocked and offering record-low deals that will save thousands of dollars.
- Bonus manufacturer offers such as extended warranties, additional accessories and free training.
We strongly suggest exploring whether some of these options are available to your business.
History has shown us that when businesses make strategic decisions and capitalise on crisis opportunities, making a play at growth during critical times will often prove quite rewarding once the dust has settled.
The work is still there, it is just on hold. In the Arbor industry, trees are still growing. The work might have slowed, but it is temporary. Arborists must be ready to react. Arborists must know what sets them apart from their competition.
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of understanding sufficiencies and shortfalls. This is critical to enable your business’ recovery. Creating a simple ‘recovery plan’ would certainly go a long way in ensuring your business can do just that.
Your plan might include these essentials:
- Identifying your business’ sufficiencies and shortfalls.
- Current business position (where you are at).
- Ideal business position (where you want it to be, post pandemic).
- Preparing for Recovery (what steps you will take to be ready for the recovery).
- Validity (ensuring the plan is achievable and realistic).
The Recovery Plan should align to your overall business roadmap (business/strategic plan), which right now must be dynamic in this ever-changing situation. It is critical that you remain up to date on your market, your industry, your customers and your competitors. These factors will all impact YOUR business and the actions you need to take.
You don’t need to spend countless hours on creating a plan. The process can be as simple as writing down the answers to the above points on a notepad. Any planning is better than no planning. Asking yourself a few key questions should trigger an influx of more questions, highlight ideas, possibilities, strengths, weakness and opportunities. Successful businesses seek to gain a competitive advantage in the market. What’s yours?
The adage of ‘plan to succeed or prepare to fail’, has never held more significance than now. As part of our plan, Platform Sales Australia has committed to investing in more stock and is increasing its levels of the world leading CTE Traccess Spider Lifts.
If you already operate these superior machines in your business, now could be the best time to upgrade to the latest model or add to your fleet. The latest features and functionality of the T135, T170 and T230’s is unsurpassed. Like us, you can now take advantage of the lowest pricing possible, as well as Government incentives.
If your business has not previously used a Spider Lift, then we recommend reaching out to us today. We’ll take the time to discuss your specific requirements and understand your business.
The fundamental difference that these machines can make to your business shouldn’t be ignored. There is an opportunity to boost productivity and performance, improve safety and return higher profits at a lower cost than you will ever likely see again. It makes sense to find out more.
Platform Sales Australia has also continued to invest in aftermarket support by increasing parts holdings, widening our service network and extending warranties. We did this to give you extra peace of mind when investing in your business.
So, while we all navigate the road ahead, the time is right to look at all the ways you can improve your current position, and/or be best prepared for the future recovery.
Platform Sales Australia is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how this article relates to your unique circumstances.
Outrigger Pads. Essential Safety.
Access equipment, specifically spider lifts, have become an integral part of the Arbor industry with owners benefiting from three core elements – safety, efficiency and increased productivity.
A key accessory to ensuring these core elements, as well as that of operator safety, equipment longevity and performance, are Outrigger Pads.
What are they and what do they do?
The pads are used to expand and disperse the point of contact pressure (PSI/PSF) from the equipment’s outrigger/pontoon/shoe/float, across the ground surface. This weight dispersion ensures stability to the outriggers, allowing equipment to be used on uneven ground – a common occurrence for arborists.
Over 50% of crane and spider lift failure involves a collapse from improper use of outriggers.
If you’re considering using outrigger pads (and you should!), it is important to use the best quality. LODAX Pads will ensure the lowest risk to both the equipment and the operator. Built to withstand the toughest conditions, they’re backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
Contact us today for more information.
What to consider when selecting the best machine possible to increase your productivity and profit.
Access in Urban Areas
The whole concept of a Spider Lift (or tracked access machine), is primarily for access. When it comes to negotiating the tighter and more narrow spaces found in urban areas, users should consider a spider lift with the most compact design, with the longest outreach specifications available. (The ultimate spider lift for urban arborists will ideally offer the best ratio of smaller stowed dimensions, with a 17m reach). The level of access is therefore minimally restricted by either factor.
Spider Lifts that combine a true ZED boom configuration with the smallest of footprints allow for better boom manipulation in far tighter work zones. ZED with Zero tail swing also provides the best up-and-over capabilities available.
Unrestricted 200kg Outreach
A high-performance fixed work envelope provides unrestricted outreach at 200kg, without weight limiting. No services housed on the boom to be hooked upon, minimizing damage and ensuring a clean boom design.
An electronics philosophy of ‘simplicity’ increases reliability, reduces downtime and lowers service costs on any spider lift. This ensures an overall improvement on return-on-investment.
Platform Sales Australia, with over 30 years of technical experience, are the right choice to grow your business’ assets for the future.
CONSIDERING YOUR ROI – WHY IT MATTERS
With 30-years’ combined industry experience, Platform Sales Australia discusses the importance of identifying a valuable fleet asset versus a financial burden on profitability.
Balancing a wide-range of assets to meet Customer needs is a critical component that impacts the success of any hire business. More importantly however, is ensuring that those assets generate enough income to build sustainability for the future.
In many cases, when purchasing a new asset, the initial investment can overshadow the bigger picture, such as total cost of ownership (TCO), utilisation, hire-rates and resale value at end-of-life. These much broader considerations are what will truly impact the return on your investment.
TCO considerations might include finance costs (such as leasing/depreciation), ongoing service and maintenance, downtime, labour costs (wet hire), as-well-as the expected resale value of the asset at end-of-life. Taking the time to investigate and understand these costs will ensure that you are able to apply accurate hire rates, based on utilisation.
Here are some considerations, based on our experience.
Shopping around for the best interest rate is usually a given, however it’s important to consider the residual too. Further research should be undertaken on the current sale price of your potential asset at a similar age to when you would consider disposing of it – the value should ideally exceed any residual you may be liable for.
Service and Maintenance
Most equipment will require quarterly and annual servicing/inspections. Depending on how long you plan to keep the asset, a major inspection will likely be required as well. When investigating costs, ask the Supplier to provide a quote for the asset’s maintenance. This will provide increased visibility into costs, allowing for more accurate budgeting and determining suitable hire rates.
Let’s face it, equipment breakdowns happen. This doesn’t usually mean that your asset is inferior, however, the frequency of breakdowns and the Supplier’s ability to repair the equipment in a timely manner will impact your Customers, and therefore your business.
Researching both Supplier and equipment reliability will go a long way in reducing overall downtime associated with breakdowns. Parts availability and supply history will also provide valuable insight into the commitment that comes with your asset. Common parts should always be available.
Remember, every day that an asset is out of service, impacts both Customer satisfaction as-well-as your ability to generate income.
The market can often dictate hire rates, so we found it important to research current hire rates for the same/similar equipment while comparing this with the costs we detailed earlier.
The margin you add to these costs should also consider your overheads.
If you decide on a 30% margin and your overheads are 20% of your revenue, then your actual margin is only 10%. Will this sustain your business while maintaining a competitive hire rate?
Determining the correct hire rate to cover your total cost of ownership with a potential margin is one thing, but it also needs to link to an expected minimum utilisation rate. When we research our own ROI, we explore expected minimum (required), and maximum (optimal), obtainable utilisation days and factor this into our hire rate equation.
There are many more points to consider when researching total cost of ownership specific to your business such as, whether there is a market for the equipment and if not, can one be created? What are the costs of marketing the equipment, and what are the costs of training staff?
Proactive research into your assets’ ROI and all that it entails will ensure that you are building a sustainable future for your business.
Platform Sales Australia, suppliers of the largest range of innovative and advanced powered-access platforms, built by leading manufacturers worldwide. Call or enquire to speak with a qualified technician today.