Equipment management includes managing, monitoring and maintenance of both motorised assets and non-motorised equipment. Effective equipment management can make a major difference to productivity and efficiency, allowing companies to deploy their vehicles and equipment where and when they’re needed, and to reallocate assets quickly where required. It allows businesses to know where their assets are locate and whether or not they are optimally utilised.
How equipment management changed over the years
In recent years, the arrival of ‘big data’ and the Internet of Things (IoT) have radically transformed equipment management in sectors such as the construction industry, providing managers with previously unheard-of amounts of detailed data on fuel usage, maintenance, location and asset utilisation. Furthermore, it provides a real-time overview of operations via asset tracking, ensuring that managers are better equipped to determine where improvements to efficiency can be made.
The importance of efficient equipment management in construction
Given the size and scope of the projects it the industry generally undertakes, the construction industry is particularly prone to delays and budget overruns. Construction projects can sometimes go wildly over budget and profit margins are often thin as a result. According to research from McKinsey, large construction projects can take 20 per cent longer to complete than expected and go up to 80 per cent over budget. The study also notes that productivity in the construction industry has tended to lag behind general rates of productivity growth. This makes it all the more imperative for construction firms to ensure they have a robust equipment management system in place, so that they can make efficient use of their equipment and maximise productivity.
Enhancing productivity and efficiency when managing equipment
The construction industry in Australia has been fast to take up and integrated technology and digitise the way it operates. As construction business continues to adopt and integrate telematics into the way they work, they will be provided with new and detailed insights into their own operations - it then becomes about getting the most out of the data. Smarter data leads to smarter results. This will allow them to highlight shortcomings in relation to efficiency or productivity, and to develop new approaches that can deliver real improvements in these areas.
For example, operations will have a clearer idea of how much of their equipment is being utilised at any given time. This could then allow them to eliminate unnecessary rental expenses and maximise productivity, providing a more accurate and detailed insight into overall equipment costs. Efficient equipment management can also facilitate significant improvements in the area of fuel management, a major concern for construction firms. Data on engine run time and idling time can help construction companies identify areas where efficiencies can be delivered.
How equipment management software helps ensure efficient maintenance – why does this matter?
Equipment that is inadequately maintained is far more likely to be susceptible to breakdowns and failures. This means unexpected downtime – which can contribute to project delays and cost overruns. Equipment maintenance software makes it easier for construction firms to schedule maintenance and ensure that said schedule is adhered to. This helps to reduce the risk of unscheduled downtime and identify any possible faults with equipment before they develop into a serious problem, so that these issues can then be resolved.
The impact of equipment management on safety
Good equipment management practices is vital to ensuring safety on construction projects. Effective maintenance, in particular, is crucial to ensuring that employees on site can go about doing their jobs as safely as possible. Having processes (i.e. regular maintenance and inspection reports) in place that identify equipment faults can help to prevent accidents on site. This means that good equipment management can not only boost productivity and efficiency – cutting back unnecessary costs and preventing waste – but it can also, and at the same time, provide real improvements to safety on the job.